Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
This page provides information on requesting consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA). You may request DACA for the first time or renew your existing period of DACA if it is expiring. Please select:
What Is DACA
On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status.
Watch a Video on DACA
The following information explains the guidelines for requesting DACA for the first time. If you need further information and cannot find it in our Frequently Asked Questions, you can call our National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 or 1-800-767-1833 (TDD for the hearing-impaired). Customer service officers are available Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in each U.S. time zone.
You may request DACA if you:
Anyone requesting DACA must have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012. You must also be at least 15 years or older to request DACA, unless you are currently in removal proceedings or have a final removal or voluntary departure order, as summarized in the table below:
Timeframe for Meeting the Guidelines
Education and Military Service Guidelines
Please see our Frequently Asked Questions for more detail on school-related guidelines.
If you meet the guidelines for DACA, you will need to complete the following steps to make your request to USCIS.
There are very limited fee exemptions available. Your request for a fee exemption must be filed and favorably adjudicated before you file your DACA request without a fee. In order to be considered for a fee exemption, you must submit a letter and supporting documentation to USCIS demonstrating that you meet one of the following conditions:
Submit the following types of evidence:
USCIS will send you a Request for Evidence (RFE) if it has questions on the evidence you submitted.
If USCIS Grants DACA in Your Case
If USCIS grants DACA and employment authorization in your case, you will receive a written notice of that decision. An Employment Authorization Document will arrive separately in the mail.
If USCIS Does Not Grant DACA in Your Case
If USCIS decides not to grant DACA in your case, you cannot appeal the decision or file a motion to reopen or reconsider. USCIS will not review its discretionary determinations.
You may request a review using the Service Request Management Tool process if you met all of the DACA guidelines and you believe USCIS denied your request because of an administrative error.
You can find a full list of possible errors in our Frequently Asked Questions.
To make a service request, you must call the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283. A USCIS customer service representative will then forward your request to the proper USCIS office. Your service request will be reviewed for accuracy and USCIS will send you a letter informing you of its decision.
The USCIS National Customer Service Center is now open Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. in each U.S. time zone.
Certain travel outside the United States may affect the continuous residence guideline. Traveling outside the U.S. before Aug. 15, 2012, will not interrupt your continuous residence if the travel was brief, casual, and innocent. If you travel outside the United States after Aug. 15, 2012, and before we decide your request for DACA, you will not be considered for DACA.
The following chart explains whether your travel will affect your continous residence.
Once USCIS has approved your request for DACA, you may file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, to request advance parole to travel outside of the United States. If you travel outside the United States without first receiving advance parole, USCIS will automatically terminate your DACA.
USCIS is currently updating its policy on granting advanced parole for DACA recipients. Please check the Frequently Asked Questions for the latest guidance.
You will not be considered for DACA if you have been convicted of:
What is the difference between “significant misdemeanor”, “non-significant misdemeanor”, and “felony”?
A minor traffic offense will not be considered a misdemeanor for purposes of DACA, However, driving under the influence is a significant misdemeanor regardless of the sentence. You can find detailed information in the National Security and Public Safety section of the Frequent Asked Questions.
Dishonest practitioners may promise to provide you with faster services if you pay them a fee. These people are trying to scam you and take your money. Visit our Avoid Scams page to learn how you can protect yourself from immigration scams.
Make sure you seek information about DACA from official government sources such as USCIS or the Department of Homeland Security. If you are seeking legal advice, visit our Find Legal Services page to learn how to choose a licensed attorney or accredited representative.
Remember you can download all USCIS forms for free at www.uscis.gov/forms.
USCIS is committed to safeguarding the integrity of the immigration process. If you knowingly and willfully provide materially false information on Form I-821D, you will be committing a federal felony punishable by a fine, or imprisonment up to five years, or both, under 18 U.S.C. Section 1001. In addition, individuals may be placed into removal proceedings, face severe penalties provided by law, and be subject to criminal prosecution.
Find this page at www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals
Last Reviewed/Updated: 09/09/2014
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