DACA: 5 Easy Steps for Applying
How IMPORTA Can Help with DACA Applications
IMPORTA designed this webpage to help you complete your DACA application without paying for assistance. If you have a simple application (no criminal or immigration history), it is not difficult to complete and submit the forms yourself. We charge nothing for helping you prepare your application. We do ask you to volunteer a little time to help others apply. DACA not only benefits you--it helps build the power and prosperity of the entire Latino community.
IMPORTA also offers free workshops and will answer questions or schedule individual appointments. Contact us by sending an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org (You can also use our form: click here)
Click to go to each of the steps explaining how to apply:
There is also a section of notes and cautions and a general discussion of the future of DACA related to the election. Click here to view.
To apply for DACA you need to:
1. Be less than 16 years old when you entered the U.S. and less than 31
years old on June 15, 2012
2. Have arrived before June 15, 2007 and lived in the U.S. since then
(most short visits outside the U.S. are alright)
3. Have no felonies in your past, no significant misdemeanors and
two or fewer minor misdemeanors
4. Not be a gang member
5. Have graduated from high school or have a GED or be in a recognized school at the time you apply or have been honorably discharged from the US armed forces or Coast Guard.
6. If you meet these conditions then you must fill out three forms to apply: the DACA application, an application for a work permit, and an accompanying worksheet for the work permit application.
7. To prove your age, you must supply a copy of your passport or your Matricula Consular (or similar overseas government documente) or a birth certificate with a translation together with a school ID with your photo.
8. To prove that you arrived in the U.S. before your 16th birthday you must supply a copy of a U.S. school transcript, health record, or other document.
9. To prove that you have been in the U.S. from June 15, 2007 until now, you must supply a school transcript, a health record, bills in your name, etc.
10. To prove that you meet the education or military service requirement you must supply a copy of a high school diploma or GED certificate or current school transcript or proof of honorable discharge from the military.
11. You must enclose a check or money order for $465.
12. You must enclose two passport size and quality photos.
13. You will receive a notice asking you to appear for a Bioscan on a future date (probably in Oxnard). You will be asked to present a government ID.
14. The USCIS may request additional documentation and in some cases schedule an in-person interview.
15. A few cases have already been approved--time about 1 month. Most will be much longer.
1. You must have been born after June 15, 1981. If you were born on June 15, 1981 or earlier, you became 31 years old on or before June 15, 2012 and therefore, according to the DACA requirements, you are not eligible.
2. You must have been less than 16 years old when you entered the US. If you had turned 16 before you entered, you are not eligible.
3. You must have been continously residing in the United States from June 15, 2007 until the date your application is submitted. Short trips out of the US for study, visiting family, education, etc.country are OK, but you must have actually been in the US on June 15, 2012. Consult with us if you traveled outside the US since June 15, 2012.
4. If you entered on a visa, it must have expired before June 15, 2012.
5. You cannot have committed a felony, signficant misdemeanor, or more than 2 other misdemeanors. Minor traffic offenses are OK. If you have a criminal record or immigration record, consult with us. To get a copy of your criminal or immigration history, click here
6. You must have graduated from high school, have a GED, or be attending a legitimate school at the time you apply. Or you must have been honorably discharged from the US armed forces or the Coast Guard. If you didn't graduate from high school, haven't earned a GED, and are not now in school, you must enroll in a school (including a GED program) before you apply.
7. Even if you meet all the requirements, you must be at least 15 years old to apply. If you have not yet reached your 15th birthday, you will have to wait until you become 15 to apply.
3. FILLING OUT THE FORMS
You can download the forms right here. You can either fill them out on a computer and then print them out or you can print them out first and fill them out using black ink only, with very clear hand-printed letters.
Here is a sample of a completed I-821D for an easy case. The applicant is a high school student.
More on the Effect of Criminal Convictions
If you had any of the convictions listed below, you probably will not qualify for DACA. However, an arrest is not a conviction, and a conviction for a lesser offense after an arrest for a more serious conviction may mean you are eligible. Every case is different and some applicants have obtained DACA despite a criminal history. Unless your crimes were very serious, or you are a fugitive, it is very unlikely that a denial of DACA would result in a referral to ICE (the immigration police).
It is very important, however, for you to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer or an accredited representative to assess your case if you have a criminal history. (Do not assume that all lawyers calling themselves immigration attorneys are knowledgeable since there is no formal qualifications for the title other than being a member of a state bar.).
The following kinds of convictions normally make you ineligible for DACA:
A. Any felony conviction
(If the judge can sentence you to more than one year in jail for a crime even if you are sentenced for a shorter period, that crime is a felony.)
B. A conviction for a "significant misdemeanor"
A crime can be a significant misdemeanor in two ways:
1. The crime is a crime of domestic violence, sexual abuse or exploitation, unlawful possession or use of a firearm, drug sale, burglary, or driving under the influence; or
2. The crime is a misdemeanor for which you received a jail sentence of more than 90 days. (Suspended sentences do not count against you.)
C. Convictions for three misdemeanors
If the judge can sentence you to jail time of five days up to one year, that crime is a misdemeanor.
Certain minor traffic offenses, like driving without a license, do not count. Also, if two misdemeanors happened on the same day or were part of the same event, then that will count as one misdemeanor.
1. Only convictions count, not arrests
2. You can qualify if you were convicted of no more than two misdemeanors that occurred on different occasions, provided neither is a "significant misdemeanor" as described above.
3. Some anti-immigrant state governments have made immigration offenses misdemeanors. These don't count against you, although the immigration offenses might affect the decision of the officer who is evaluating your case.