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Deferred Action - DACA (I-821D)

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I-821D Deferred Action

DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a process where undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children can ask to be overlooked for deportation and for work authorization. Immigrants looking to use this program file Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals. If you are granted deferred action, you won't be removed from the U.S. for a two years and you may legally work during that time, as well.

What forms are involved?

To apply for DACA, applicants file Form I-821D along with an application for a work permit, Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) and Form I-765WS (Form I-765 Worksheet). One fee includes the cost of filing the three required forms.

What are the eligibility requirements?

You might be eligible to apply for DACA if all of the following apply to you:

  • You arrived in the U.S. prior to your 16th birthday,
  • You've continuously resided in the U.S. (lived inside the U.S. without leaving, or took only brief trips away from the U.S.) from January 1, 2010 to the present,
  • You were physically present inside the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and are physically present in the U.S. when you file the DACA application,
  • You had no immigration status on June 15, 2012,
  • You presently attend school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces, and
  • You haven't been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and don't otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

DACA benefits automatically stop if you leave the U.S. without first getting an advance parole document (travel papers), which USCIS sometimes gives for education, employment or humanitarian purposes.

What are the processing times?

Form I-821D may take several months to be reviewed and decided on by the USCIS, so it is important for applicants to take care in filing correctly to avoid further delays.

How much does it cost to apply for DACA?

The following is a breakdown of the different fees associated with Form I-821D with application assistance:

  • Application assistance fee: $170
  • Application fee: $410 (for form I-765, which is required to use I-821D)
  • Biometrics fee: $85
  • Total: $665