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:
For Our Clients
Latest News on DACA: December 22 Update
Today U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen deferred his long-awaited decision on DACA. A lawsuit by nine Republican state attorneys general challenged the constitutionality of DACA several years ago. In an earlier opinion Hanen permitted DACA to continue on a restricted basis even though he stated that he believed DACA was unconstitutional. The delay in Hanen's decision is not a cause for optimism, and it is likely that incoming Biden Administration will be challenged to find a work-around (unless the the Democrats win both Senate runoff contests in Georgia in early January, in which case the Democrats will have the votes to amend the immigration law to make DACA legal).
In the meantime, the recent order by another U.S. District Court judge that ordered the USCIS to accept initial DACA applications, and that DACA is valid for two years, remains in effect.
Here are our recommendations:
1. If you 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. 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, under the current administration 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 once the USCIS is under the control of the new administration there will be fewer denials.
3. We strongly advise not paying any fees in advance for initial DACA application work since the program may be cancelled. Even if it not cancelled, DACA is discretionary and under the current administeration your application may be rejected for very minor reasons. There is no appeal and you will lose the $495 fee. That's why we often recommend waiting to file initial DACA applications until the new administration in control of the USCIS. You may schedule an appointment with IMPORTA after January 1 to go over your documents. If we feel that they are complete we will prepare your initial DACA application and represent you without charge.
5. 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. This process (called adjustment of status) is not easy under current rules, but should become easier once a new administration is in charge of the USCIS.