Basic Requirements for Initial DACA: 1) Born after June 15, 1981 2) Entered U.S. before age 16 and before June 15, 2007 3) Continuous residence in US from 6/15/2007 until date of application (brief trips away may be permitted). 4) Must be at least 15 to apply
Proof of Continuous Presence: Generally required proof of presence at least every four months, and close to June 15, 2007 and June 15, 2012. (A list of acceptable documents is given below.)
Proof of Education: Current School Records or a High School Diploma or GED Certificate
Personal ID: Passport or Matricula Consular or other national identity document or Birth Certificate with translation or Other Photo ID may or may not be acceptable)
Notes on Documentation
Age is documented by a current or expired passport, a Matricula Consular or similar national ID. A translated birth certificate with a school photo ID may be used only if a national ID is not available. It is important to have a national ID, preferably a current passport from applicant’s home country.
Only one document is needed to show entry before 16th birthday. Examples: US school transcript or vaccination record dated before age 16 (use the oldest possible record). If the entry was with a visa, copy the visa page of the passport.
Do not bring us awards, certificates, etc. unless they are required to show your presence at a certain date.
No tax returns can be used to show continued presence in US.
No pay stubs with false Social Security numbers should be submitted.
A letter from an employer attesting to the applicant’s physical presence as an employee must be on the company letterhead and state the age, size, and nature of the business, the dates and nature of the applicant’s employment, and must be signed by the owner of a sole proprietorship, partner of a partnership, or a corporate officer.
Before Trump, the requirements were 1) No felonies (defined by federal law); 2) No significant misdemeanors (DUI, domestic violence, sexual exploitation, drug trafficking, unlawful possession or use of firearm, burglary + many others); 3) maximum 2 nonsignificant misdemeanors for which the sentence given was 90 days or less.
Standards are now much stronger now, and investigations are often required to determine chances of a successful application..
Acceptable Evidence of Presence in the U.S.
Almost any U.S. document that contains your name and the date including: School records (transcripts), Medical Records (including vaccination records), Pay Stubs, W-2 forms, Letters from Employer, Military Records, Church Records, Money Order Receipts, (If you have children) their birth certificates, Bank or credit card transactions, Auto repair receipts or registration documents, Rental leases, Rent receipts, Utility bills, Hotel or motel receipts, Auto insurance, Repair receipts, Store receipts, Service bills, Traffic tickets, Invitations, Mail sent to you, Education course or class enrollments, Club memberships, Team rosters, News stories mentioning you, Awards, Prizes, Lottery receipts, Facebook or other internet pages, Utility bills.
A very complete and reliable source of information is given by UC Berkeley for their many foreign students:
Latest News on DACA: July 16, 2021 Update
In a long-expected decision, Judge Andrew Hanen has issued an 83 page decision finding the DACA program to be illegal. The Decision orders the USCIS to immediately cease all approvals of initial DACA applications, but allows for existing DACA recipients to continue to have the protection of DACA including renewal of DACA status. However, this permission may be reversed at any time by Hanen, by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (a very conservative court), or by the U.S. Supreme Court. Legal analysts will have a lot more to say about the decision in the next few days, but a few preliminary conclusions can be made.
Based on Judge Hanen's long and carefully reasoned argument, it appears that only an act of Congress will provide any sort of protection for even the limited benefits DACA now offers. According the Hanen, the DACA program goes far beyond the traditional understanding of Prosecutorial Discretion. Only a program that has no blanket criteria for awarding prosecutorial discretion could be considered to not conflict with the Immigration and Nationality laws. That would mean a program in which many DACA recipients could be dropped from the program at the whim of a low-level official. There would be no guarantee of renewal, and no guarantee of being given a work permit. Given previous decisions of the Fifth Circuit Court and the U.S. Supreme Court (and especially considering the composition of the Supreme Court since Justice Ginsberg's death) it seems extremely unlikely that anything milder than Judge Hanen's ruling will occur. And it is possible that the Supreme court will rule out any revision of DACA, even a weak version. This process will probably take one to two years.
Here are our recommendations:
1. If you now have DACA, prepare to renew within 120-150 days of expiration. This is a simple process but any potential criminal issues must be handled correctly. IMPORTA is very experienced with DACA renewals and does not charge for its legal services. You must still pay a $495 fee to the USCIS, but at least that is now good for two years.
2. Initial DACA cases will be received, but they will not be processed. We will continue to prepare these filings until further notice. If you think you may be eligible for initial DACA, carefully read the requirements listed below. The hardest part is proving continuous residence in the U.S. over a 13 1/2 year period (from June 15, 2007 to time of filing). Official policy is at least 4 evidence documents per year, at 3 month intervals. However, there are sometimes Requests for Evidence asking for more evidence of continuous presence. We recommend gathering information now. Once you have as much evidence as you can find, we will analyze your case in detail and explain any risks of denial. It is certain that now that the USCIS is under the control of the Biden administration there will be fewer denials.
3. We will help DACA recipients with advance parole applications. Leaving the US with government approval and returning (advance parole) gives proof of admission to the U.S. that can lead to legal status through adjustment of status (which usually requires marriage to a U.S. citizen).