Official Website of the United States Department of Homeland Security
Share This PageShare This Page PrintPrint

Filing Tips for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Filing your initial or renewal request for DACA involves several steps. You need to submit multiple forms, evidence and fees. Small mistakes in preparing your request could lead to it being rejected. This page contains tips on completing Form I-821D and avoiding common errors

Completing Form I-821D

As of June 5, 2014, you must use the new version of Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, for either initial or renewal requests. The new version has the date 06/04/14 at the bottom of each page. USCIS will reject older versions of the form if you submit them.

Form I-821D

Complete and sign Form I-821 D and Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. Also complete Form I-765WS, Worksheet, establishing your economic need for employment.

Form I-821D is divided into Parts 1- 8. The following information should help you fill out the form.

Part 1. Information About You (For Initial and Renewal Requests)

Part 1. Information about you (For Initial and Renewal Requests). If you are currently in immigration detention and believe you meet the guidelines, you may identify yourself to your deportation officer or Jail Liaison but you may not request consideration of deferred action from USCIS. You may also contact the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Field Office Director. For more information visit ICE’s website at http://www.ice.gov/. If you are in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement and you think you may meet the guidelines of this process, you may contact ICE through the local ICE Office of the Chief Counsel with jurisdiction over your case.

Item Numbers 1.- 2. Type of Request. If you are submitting an Initial Request, select Item Number 1. If you are submitting a Renewal Request, select Item Number 2, and provide the expiration date of your most recent period of deferred action under DACA. This is also the date that your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) expires. If ICE initially deferred action in your case and you are seeking a renewal, select Item Number 2, provide the expiration date of your most recent period of deferred action under DACA, and respond to all subsequent questions on the form.

If you are seeking a renewal and:

  • You were under the age of 15 and in removal proceedings when you submitted your last Form I-821D that was approved, and
  • You are still under the age of 15, but no longer in proceedings,

select Number 2 and provide the expiration date of your current period of DACA.

Item Numbers 3.a.- 3.c. Full Legal Name. Provide your full legal name. If you have two last names, include both and use a hyphen (-) between the names, if appropriate.

Item Numbers 4.a.- 4.f. U.S. Mailing Address. Provide your complete U.S. mailing address in the spaces provided. You may list a valid residence, APO, FPO, C/0 (“In Care of”), or commercial address. You may provide a Post Office address (PO Box) if that is how you receive your mail. If your mail is sent to someone other than yourself, please include that person’s name in the "In Care Of Name" as part of your U.S.mailing address. If your mailing address is in a U.S. territory and it contains an urbanization name, list the urbanization name in the "In Care of Name" space provided.

Item Numbers 5.- 5.g. Removal Proceedings Information. Answer this question to the best of your knowledge. If you answered "Yes" to Item Number 5., then you must also select the appropriate status or outcome (in 5.a, 5.b, 5.c, 5.d. or 5.e, and provide the date (in 5.f) and location (in 5.g) of your most recent removal proceedings. If you were given voluntary departure, select 5e. and provide a copy of the voluntary departure order.

Item Number 6. Alien Registration Number. An Alien Registration Number, otherwise known as an "A-Number," is typically issued to persons who apply for, or are granted, certain immigration benefits. In addition to USCIS, U.S. ICE, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration Courts, and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) may also issue an A-Number to certain aliens. If you were issued an A-Number, please enter it in the space provided.

Item Number 7. U.S. Social Security Number (if any). Provide your 9-digit U.S. Social Security Number that was officially issued to you by the Social Security Administration, if any.

Item Number 8. Date of Birth. Provide the date on which you were born in mm/dd/yyyy format. If you are requesting a renewal of DACA, there is no maximum age limit as long as you were under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012.

Item Number 9. Gender. Select your gender (male or female). If you do not identify with a specific gender, please provide the gender that you were assigned at birth as reflected on your birth certificate.

Item Numbers 10.a - 10.b. Place of Birth. Provide the city, town, or village of your birth and country of your birth in the spaces provided.

Item Numbers 11.- 12. Country of Residence and Country of Citizenship or Nationality. Provide the name of the country where you currently reside as well as the name of the country where you are currently a citizen or national. NOTE: If you are stateless, provide the name of the country where you were last a citizen or national. If you are a citizen or national of more than one country, provide the name of the foreign country that issued your last passport.

Item Number 13. Marital Status. Select the marital status you have on the date you file your Form I-821D. NOTE: You may select "married" if you were married according to the laws of the state where your wedding ceremony occurred, even if your current state of residence does not recognize that marriage. If you are separated but not yet divorced, you should select "married."

Item Numbers 14.a. - 14.c. Other Names Used (if applicable). Provide any other names you have used, including nicknames, aliases, and maiden name, in the spaces provided. If you need additional space, use Part 8. Additional Information.

Processing Information

Items Numbers 15 – 20 comply with the Office of Management and Budget’s requirements for the collection of race and ethnicity as provided in its memorandum found at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg_1997standards/

USCIS uses biometrics and biographic information to perform the background checks that are required to make a DACA determination. Background checks require that the requestor appear at a USCIS ASC to provide the information required for the background check and their biometrics. USCIS is now collecting this information as part of the request to reduce the time you must spend at your USCIS ASC appointment.

Item Numbers 15- 16 Ethnicity and Race. Select the boxes that best describe your race and ethnicity. For more information on the collection of and standards for classifying Federal data on race and ethnicity, visit the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) website at www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg 1997standards.

Categories and Definitions for Ethnicity and Race

  1. Hispanic or Latino. A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race. (NOTE: This category is only included under Ethnicity in Item Number 1)
  2. White. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.
  3. Asian. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  4. Black or African American. A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
  5. American Indian or Alaska Native. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment.Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.

Item Number 17. Height. Select the values that best match your height in feet and inches. For example, if you are five feet and nine inches, select "5"for feet and "09"for inches. Do not enter your height in meters or centimeters.

Item Number 18. Weight. Enter your weight in pounds. If you do not know your weight, or if you need to enter a weight that is under 30 pounds or over 699 pounds, enter ''000." Do not enter your weight in kilograms.

Item Number 19. Eye Color. Select the box that best describes the color of your eyes.

Item Number 20. Hair Color. Select the box that best describes the color of your hair.

Part 2. Residence and Travel Information (For Initial and Renewal Requests)

Item 1. Select the appropriate response to this question.

Items 2.a. – 5.f. Addresses. If you are filing an Initial request, list all your addresses where you resided in the United States starting with your present address, then your previous address, and, to the best of your knowledge, all the way back to your first address since your initial entry into the United States. If you are filing a Renewal request, list only your address or addresses where you resided in the United States since you submitted your last Form I-821D that was approved.

Item Numbers 6.a - 7.c. Departures. List all of the times you have left the United States starting with your most recent time that you left the United States, then your second most recent time you left, and all the way back to your oldest travel outside the United States. ''Departure Date" means the date you left the United States. "Return date" means the date you came back to the United States. Some examples of reasons you may have left the United States include weddings, funerals, and a family emergency. If you need additional space, use Part 8. Additional Information.

For Initial Requests: List all of your absences from the United States since June 15, 2007.

For Renewal Requests: List only your absences from the United States since August 15, 2012.

Item Number 8. Travel Without Advance Parole. Select the appropriate response to the question.

Item Numbers 9.a.- 9.c. Passport. In the spaces provided, list the country that issued your last passport, that passport number, and the expiration date on that passport.

Item Number 10. Border Crossing Card Number (if any). If you have a Border Crossing Card, provide the number printed on your card in the space provided.

Part 3. For Initial Requests Only

Item Number 1. I initially arrived and established residence in the U.S. prior to 16 years of age. If you came to the United States before you turned 16 years old but left the United States for some period of time before returning and beginning you current period of continuous residence, you may demonstrate that you established residence prior to 16 years of age by providing evidence such as records showing you attended school or worked in the United States prior to age 16, or that you lived in the United States for multiple years prior to the age of 16.

Item Number 2. Date of Initial Entry into the United States (on or about). In the space provided, include the date in mm/dd/yyyy format of your initial entry into the United States. You may enter the actual date or an approximate date if you do not know the exact date.

Item Number 3. Place of Initial Entry into the United States. In the space provided, list the U.S. city or port of your initial entry into the United States. You may list the actual location or an approximate location if you do not know the exact location.

Item Numbers 4 and 5: Provide the appropriate information.

Item Numbers 6, 7, and 8. Education Information. In the spaces provided, indicate how you meet the education guideline for DACA. Also, provide details about the school or place you receive or received your education, including your graduation date or last attendance date if you are currently in school.

Item Number 9. Military Service Information. Indicate if you were a member of the U.S. Armed Forces. If you answered "Yes" to Item Number 9, then you must provide details about your service, including branch, service dates, and type of discharge in the spaces provided in 9.a – 9.d.

Part 4. Criminal, National Security, and Public Safety Information (For Initial and Renewal Requests)

Item Numbers 1. - 7. Select the appropriate response to each question. You must answer all questions in this section. If you answer "Yes" to any question in this section, describe the circumstances and provide a full explanation in Part 8. Additional Information.

NOTE: If you answer "Yes" to Item Number 1. or 2., read the form carefully to ensure you comply with the additional evidence requirements for these questions.

If you are filing a Renewal request, and you have been arrested, indicted, and/or convicted of a criminal offense since the last time you filed for and received DACA, you must fill out the items that apply to you in this section (Part.4). You must also, use Part 8. Additional Information to describe the circumstances and include a full explanation for any of the items you answered “yes” to in this section (Part.4).

NOTE: Misdemeanors involving drug distribution or trafficking, driving under the influence, domestic violence, sexual abuse or exploitation, burglary, or unlawful possession or use of a firearm constitute significant misdemeanors regardless of the sentence imposed.

Part 5. Statement, Certification, Signature, and Contact Information of the Requestor (For Initial and Renewal Requests)

Item Numbers 1.a.- 5. Select the box that indicates whether someone interpreted this form for you. If applicable, the attorney, Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)-accredited representative, or other individual who helped prepare this form for you must complete Part 7. Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature of the Person Preparing this Request, If Other than the Requestor and sign and date the form. Every request must contain the original requestor's signature. A photocopy of a signed request or a typewritten name in place of a signature is not acceptable. Sign and date the form and provide your daytime telephone number, mobile telephone number, and email address. If you are under 14 years of age, your parent or legal guardian may sign the request on your behalf.

Part 6. Contact Information, Certification, and Signature of the Interpreter (For Initial and Renewal Requests)

Item Numbers 1.a.- 5. If you used an interpreter to read the instructions to you and record your responses to each question on this form, he or she must verify the accuracy of the information recorded on your form. The interpreter must also complete this section of the form, provide his or her name, the name and address of the business or organization (if any), a daytime telephone number, and an email address. The interpreter must also sign and date the form.

NOTE: If you selected Item Number 1.b. in Part 5 (meaning somebody helped interpret the form for you), you must complete Part 7. Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature of the Person Preparing this Request, If Other than the Requestor.

Part 7. Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature of the Person Preparing this Request, If Other than the Requestor (For Initial and Renewal Requests)

Item Numbers 1.a.- 7.b. If the person who completed this form is someone other than the person named in Part 1., including an attorney or BIA-accredited representative who provides pro bono assistance or an interpreter, he or she must complete this section of the form, provide his or her name, the name and address of the business or organization (if any), and his or her contact information. If the person completing this form is an attorney or BIA-accredited representative, he or she must submit a completed Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or BIA-Accredited Representative, along with this application. The attorney or BIA-accredited representative, and anyone who assisted in preparing your application, must also sign and date the form.

Note: An attorney or BIA-accredited representative who provides pro bono assistance to an individual in a workshop setting, but who does not intend to represent the individual after the workshop, should assess the extent of the relationship with the individual and the nature and type of the assistance provided. On that basis, the attorney or BIA-accredited representative should determine whether to file a Form G-28. If a Form G-28 is not filed, the attorney or BI- accredited representative should determine whether it would be appropriate under the circumstances to provide the individual and USCIS with a letter noting the limited extent of the representation.

Part 8. Additional Information (For Initial and Renewal Requests)

Item Numbers 1.a. - 6.b. If you need extra space to complete any item within this request, use the space below. You may also make copies of Part 8. to complete and file with your request. Include your name and A-Number (If any) at the top of each sheet of paper; indicate the Page Number, Part Number, and Item Number to which your answer refers; and sign and date each sheet.

Return to top.

Avoid Common Errors

Please read these tips to avoid having your request rejected or delayed because of common filing errors. 

1.    Mail all forms together – You must mail the following forms in one package:

a.    Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
b.    Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
c.    Form I-765WS, Worksheet

Read the mailing instructions to see where to mail the forms based on the state you live in. Remember to send it to the P.O. Box address if mailing through the U.S. Postal Service. All forms are available on www.uscis.gov for free. Do not pay for blank USCIS forms either in person or over the Internet.

2. Carefully review age guidelines before filing –If you have never been in removal proceedings, or your proceedings have been terminated, you must be at least 15 years of age or older at the time of filing.

You cannot be 31 or older as of June 15, 2012, to be considered for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

3.   Write your name and date of birth the same way on each form –Variations in the way information is written can cause delays. For example, you should not write Jane Doe on one form and Jane E. Doe on another form. It is important to read all instructions on the forms carefully.

4.   Sign your forms –You must sign both your Form I-821D and Form I-765. If someone helps you fill out the forms, that person must also sign both Form I-812D and Form I-765 in the designated box below your signature.

5.   Use the correct version of Form I-765 –Always make sure you have the most recent form when submitting your request with USCIS. Review our Forms page to download the most recent version. You can download all USCIS forms and instructions for free on our website www.uscis.gov.

6.   Use Form I-821D NOT Form I-821– Form I-821D is used to request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals. Form I-821 is a different form used to apply for Temporary Protected Status, an entirely different process.

7.   Do NOT e-file Form I-765 – Requests for consideration of deferred action cannot be e-filed. You must mail your package (Forms I-821D, I-765, I-765WS, evidence and fees) to the appropriate USCIS Lockbox.

8.   Submit correct fees –The fee to request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals is $465 and cannot be waived. There are fee exemptions available only in limited circumstances. You may submit separate checks of $380 and $85, or one single check of $465.

9.   Answer all questions completely and accurately –If an item is not applicable or the answer is “none,” leave the space blank. But do not leave date fields blank. See Tip #10 below. To ensure your request is accepted for processing, be sure to complete these required form fields:

  • Form I-821D: Name, Address, Date of Birth, Initial Request or Renewal Request, expiration date of most recent period of DACA (renewals only), A-Number (renewals only)
  • Form I-765: Name, Address, Date of Birth, Eligibility Category

10.  Do not leave date or place of entry responses blank – You must fill in all fields related to dates and places of entry on Form I-821D. You may fill in your closest approximation of the date or place of entry if you do not know the exact information.  You must enter dates in MM/DD/YYYY format.

11.  Provide all required supporting documentation and evidence – You must submit all required evidence and supporting documentation. These documents are required for USCIS to make a decision on your request. Please organize and label your evidence by the guideline it meets. USCIS may issue a request for evidence if additional information is needed to make a decision on your request.

12.  Personal information to prove economic need – USCIS will consider whether you have an economic need to work by reviewing your personal current annual income, current annual expenses, and the total current value of your assets. You do not need to include other household member’s financial information to establish your own economic necessity. It is not necessary to submit supporting documentation, though it will be accepted and reviewed if you choose to submit it.

13.  If you make an error on a form, start over with a clean form – USCIS prefers that you type your answers into the form on a computer and then print it. If you are filling out the form by hand, use black ink. If you make a mistake, please start over with a new form. Scanners will see through correction fluid or correction tape and this could lead to the form being processed as incorrect, and lead to processing delays or denial.

14.  Review your entire request package – To ensure that your request is accepted for processing, it is important that you review your entire request package very carefully before you file with USCIS.

For more information on consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, visit www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals. If you have questions about filing a request, please call USCIS at 1-800-375-5283.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 08/25/2014