Apoyo y Desarrollo
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
email@example.com (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.
Every Wednesday from 6-8 IMPORTA will hold a DACA workshop to answer questions and help you fill out your forms.
Next Wednesday, Sept. 26, the workshop will be at the IMPORTA office at 422 N. Milpas,#7 behind Altamirano restaurant, between Gutierrez and Haley
IMPORTA does not charge for help with DACA.
The suggestions we offer are based on information from non-profits doing immigration work, from lawyers, and from officals at the USCIS. We believe that at this point no one knows how cases with a criminal or immigration history will be handled.
Our office (129 E. Carrillo St in Santa Barbara) is open Monday-Wednesday from 3 pm until 7 pm, and Thursday and Friday from 3 pm until 6 pm. Under the OneCalifornia Grant, IMPORTA will provide free representation for persons seeking DACA for the first time, or persons who are renewing their DACA.
If you wish to make an appointment for a consultation or for IMPORTA to represent you in applications for DACA, leave us a message at (805) 604-5060 and we'll contact you shortly. You may also contact us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Summary of Requirements for DACA
- Age: You must have been born after June 15, 1981
- Age When Entered U.S.: Before your 16th birthday (so if, for example, you were born October 22, 1986, you would have to have entered less than sixteen years later or before October 22, 2002: add 16 years to the date you were born and subtract 1 to see the latest date you could have arrived to be eligible).
- Date When First Entered U.S.: On or before June 15, 2007
- Continuous Residence in U.S.: You must have lived in the United States continuously since June 15, 2007. That doesn't means you never left the U.S. but only short trips out of country are allowed for family, humanitarian, or educational purposes. If you left more more than a month or two, you broke your residence and you won't be eligible. Proof of continuous presence may be a challenge! The government wants evidence that you were here on on before June 15, 2007, and evidence that you were in the U.S. almost every 3 months for the following years until the date you apply. School records are the easiest proof, but if you have been out of school, you will have to depend on bank records, rent receipts, etc.
- Education: You must either 1) be in school now or 2) have already graduated from high school or 3) have a GED; or 4) were honorably discharged from U.S. military or Coast Guard. If you are not now in school and don't otherwise meet the Education requirement you can re-enter a qualified school before you apply. Click for information on qualified schools
- Criminal and Immigration History: You must have no convictions for felonies or "significant" misdemeanors, but you can have on your record convictions for two minor misdemeanors. Whether a deportation makes you ineligible is a complicated matter; so are juvenile convictions. Immigration problems and a criminal history require professional help. (See below for more information on the effect of a criminal history of crimin Click for more information on criminal history
- Age to Apply: In most cases you must be 15 or older at the time you apply.
- If you meet these conditions, you apply by submitting three forms: the DACA application I-821D, an application for a work permit I-765, and an accompanying worksheet for the work permit, I-765WS.
- In the spring of 2014 a new I-821D was issued that should be used in place of the previous form. DACA approvals are good for three years and can be renewed. The new form is also used for renewals.
- You must submit evidence with your application: a passport or birth certificate, evidence that you arrived in the U.S. before age 16, evidence of continued residence in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, and evidence that you satisfy the education or military service requirement. (Evidence is discussed below.) We recommend that you acquire a passport from your home country if you do not already have one.
- You send the completed forms with required evidence and two passport-style photos, a cover letter, and a check or money order for $465 to the USCIS. All information is found on the directions for the I-821D.
- A few weeks after sending in your application, you will receive a letter giving a time for an appointment for a biometric (fingerprint) scan in Oxnard. You should take your passport or (or Mexican Matricula Consular) as identification. It is very important not to miss the biometric appointment!
- It takes anywhere from 2 months to 9 months to get approval. Some applicants will receive a letter asking for additional documentation. Rejections (denials) are rare.
The following documents are required to support initial DACA applications. DACA expires after two years, but can be renewed for an additional two years. Requirements for renewal are much simpler. Under the OneCalifornia Grant IMPORTA offers to represent you without charge for an initial DACA application or for a renewal.
This website is designed to help with practical matters involving immigration issues. It does not provide legal advice about specific cases. To obtain such advice, you must consult with an attorney or one of our BIA Accredited Immigration Representatives.
129 East Carrillo Street
email@example.com (805) 604-5060
a BIA-recognized non-profit provider of immigration legal services
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.