Requesting DACA is not easy. Your application will need to be detailed and thorough, and you should be sure that you meet the eligibility requirements first. If you have any questions, it is a good idea to refer directly to information on the USCIS website, as requirements are subject to change.

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is for informational purposes only as a service to the public. It is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel. The information contained in this website may or may not reflect the most current legal developments; accordingly, information on this website is not promised or guaranteed to be correct or complete and should not be considered an indication of future results. As legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for advice of competent counsel. In sum, the materials on this website do not constitute legal advice.

Am I eligible for DACA?

You may be eligible to file for DACA if you fulfill all of the following requirements:

  • Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
  • Arrived in the United States before your 16th birthday
  • Have resided in the United States continuously between June 15, 2007 and the present date
  • Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012 and at the time of your filing a deferred action request with USCIS
  • Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012
  • Are currently enrolled in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a GED certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or Coast Guard
  • Have never been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors
  • Have never presented a threat to national security or public safety

Should I file for DACA if I am eligible?

If you seem to be eligible for DACA, the decision to file is up to you. While deferred action procedures were put in place to help young undocumented students, the future of these procedures is still unknown. It is highly recommended that you first discuss your specific case with an immigration attorney so that you can get advice tailored to your situation.

Can I apply for DACA without a lawyer?

Legal representation is not necessary to apply, but the process will be simpler, albeit more expensive, if you have help from an immigration attorney. Beware of scams. Notarios are not qualified to give immigration advice, but many advertise legal services anyway. Ask your lawyer to provide a copy of his or her certifications or check with your state’s lawyer licensing database to find qualified help.

If you prefer to apply without an attorney, refer carefully to resources provided by USCIS. E4FC has also published a step-by-step guide to applying for DACA.

What do I need to apply for DACA?

If you plan on requesting DACA, your application will need to be thorough. You must submit the following:

  • Proof of your eligibility
    • Even if you apply with an attorney, it will be your responsibility to collect the documents that show proof of your eligibility for DACA.
      • Proof that you arrived in the United States before June 15, 2007
        • Anything that places you in the country before that date—school transcripts, a lease, dated receipts—is useful.
      • Identification documents
        • A birth certificate and/or passport is used to prove your date of birth.
      • A copy of your GED, diploma, school records, or military discharge paper and/or a letter from your current institution (on letterhead) confirming/stating you are currently enrolled and working toward a GED, high school diploma, or college/university degree
      • A copy of all criminal or traffic case reports on record
        • Be aware that certain traffic or criminal cases can cause you to be barred from the DACA program.
  • Three completed forms; all forms are available on the USCIS website. Make a photocopy to keep for yourself before submitting the originals.
  • A $465 fee; this amount covers two fees:
    • The $380 application fee
    • The $85 biometric processing fee
    • Very few fee waivers are available, but applicants who are foster children, homeless, or suffering from a chronic disability might be eligible. If you do not meet these fee waiver requirements, you may apply for a loan for the application fee through 21Progress, a nonprofit that helps young immigrants become community leaders. Other DACA loans might be available from credit unions in your region. For a full list, visit the online resource center at United We Dream.

Am I allowed to renew my DACA?

For the time being, beneficiaries of these policies are able to renew their DACA indefinitely as long as they continue to meet eligibility requirements. DACA expires every two years, and USCIS recommends that you renew your DACA between 150 and 120 days before the expiration date. You can find out more information about renewals here.

What is the future of the DACA program?

Again, DACA does not offer a permanent immigration solution to any beneficiary, but it currently offers benefits to some eligible immigrants who file and renew their applications every two years. The future of the program is uncertain because it is sure to be affected by shifts in U.S. politics. Those shifts may cause the program to expand or to cease to exist.

Page last updated: 03/2017