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DACA Supporting Documents2024-01-11T10:02:18+00:00

DACA Supporting Documents: Your Essential Checklist for a Successful Application

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, universally known as DACA, provides certain undocumented immigrants, who entered the United States as children, with temporary protection from deportation. This policy, implemented by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), also allows for work authorization. However, to benefit from this program, applicants must provide a comprehensive set of documents that substantiate their claims for eligibility.

Gathering the necessary supporting documents is a pivotal part of the DACA application process. Applicants need to present evidence of their identity, proof of their arrival in the United States before a specific age, and documentation showing they have continuously resided in the country since the date stipulated by the program. Moreover, they must demonstrate that they were present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and that they meet the educational or military service requirements as put forth by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Given the legal complexities and the vital importance of each document, applicants are advised to be meticulous in assembling their application packets. Renewal applicants equally need to adhere to the documentation requirements to maintain their DACA status. While USCIS continues to process renewal requests, the acceptance of new applications is subject to legal decisions and injunctions, highlighting the importance of staying informed on the current state of DACA policies and requirements.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), applicants must meet specific age, residency, educational, and criminal history criteria. These requirements are designed to ensure that individuals who came to the United States as children, have built a life here, and do not pose a threat to public safety, can request to defer action on their immigration status and obtain authorization to work.

Age Requirements

At the time of applying for DACA, individuals must:

  • Have been under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012
  • Have entered the United States before turning 16

Residency Requirements

Applicants must demonstrate that they:

  • Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time
  • Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making their request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS

Educational Requirements

To be eligible, one must:

  • Be currently in school, or
  • Have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, or
  • Have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or
  • Be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States

Criminal History Review

The review of an applicant’s criminal history includes ensuring they:

  • Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors
  • Do not pose a threat to national security or public safety

Application Process Overview

The application process for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is structured and requires attention to detail. Applicants must carefully prepare and submit specified forms along with supporting documents.

Forms to File

Initial DACA Requests: Applicants must complete and file the following forms:

  • Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
  • Form I-765WS, Worksheet establishing economic need for employment

Renewal Requests: Those seeking to renew their DACA must also file:

  • Form I-821D, as renewals require re-establishing eligibility
  • Form I-765, and Form I-765WS, if employment authorization is desired

Application Submission Procedures

All forms must be submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) following specific guidelines:

  • Forms should be correctly filled out, signed, and accompanied by the required evidence and fees.
  • Required evidence typically includes proof of identity, proof of entry into the United States before the age of 16, proof of residence, and any information on educational or military status as relevant.
  • It’s important to consult the USCIS website or a legal advisor to ensure all guidelines and procedures are met, as incomplete or incorrect applications may be rejected.

Evidence of Identity

When preparing a DACA application, it is essential for applicants to provide proof of identity. This requirement ensures that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can verify the identity of the applicant. Below are acceptable documents that may be used as evidence.

Passport or National Identity Documents

Applicants may present a passport or national identity document from their country of origin. These documents should be current and include a photograph that helps affirm the applicant’s identity.

Birth Certificate with Photo ID

A birth certificate along with a photo identification card can serve as evidence of identity. The photo ID needs to be government-issued and should clearly show the applicant’s name and photograph.

School or Military ID with Photo

Lastly, applicants can submit a school ID or military ID card with a photograph. For the school ID to be deemed valid, it must be issued by an accredited educational institution.
Applicants must ensure that the submitted documents are unaltered and legitimate, as USCIS has strict regulations against fraudulent materials.

Proof of Continuous Residence

In a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) application, an applicant must substantiate their presence in the United States from June 15, 2007, until the current application date. Documentation must be thorough, providing clear evidence of residence over the duration specified.

School Records

School records serve as a steadfast source of verification for an applicant’s presence within the U.S. These records can include:

  • Report cards
  • Transcripts
  • Diplomas
  • Registration documents

Each document must have the applicant’s name, the school’s name, and a date within the required timeframe.

Financial Records

A financial footprint can also establish continuous residence through:

  • Bank statements
  • Tax returns
  • Credit card bills

These records should maintain a consistent timeline and reflect the applicant’s personal economic activity throughout the required period.

Employment Records

Documentation from employment corroborates an applicant’s chronology within the country. Acceptable materials include:

  • Pay stubs
  • W-2 forms
  • Employment verification letters

The inclusion of dates and employer’s details on these records is essential to prove the applicant was working in the U.S.

Utility Bills

Utility bills are often used as proof of residency. They provide a monthly snapshot of an individual’s whereabouts, especially when combined with additional evidence. Utility bills can include:

  • Electricity bills
  • Water bills
  • Gas bills
  • Internet service bills

All utility bills must contain the applicant’s name and residential address.

Evidence of Education

When applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), applicants must substantiate their education status. This documentation serves as proof of meeting the educational criteria set by the USCIS for DACA eligibility.

School Transcripts

Applicants should present their official school transcripts as part of the evidence. These transcripts must include a record of courses taken and grades received, illustrating the applicant’s progress through their educational program. Consistency is crucial; the information on the transcripts should match the education history reported on Form I-821D.

GED Certificates

For individuals who have completed a General Education Development (GED) program instead of traditional high school, a GED certificate is required. This certificate must indicate that the applicant has passed the GED exam, which deems them as having high school-level academic skills.

Diplomas

Applicants are also advised to submit a copy of their high school diploma if available. The diploma should clearly state the graduate’s name, the graduation date, and the name of the educational institution. It’s essential that the graduation date on the diploma corresponds with the date provided on the applicant’s DACA application form.

Supporting Documents for Criminal Checks

When applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), applicants are required to provide supporting documents related to any criminal history to establish eligibility for the program.

Court Records

Applicants must acquire and submit detailed court records for any encounter they may have had with law enforcement that led to criminal charges, whether the incident resulted in a conviction or not. These records should be official documents obtained from the relevant court and include the charge, the disposition of the case, and the sentence (if applicable).

Police Clearance

Police clearance certificates are essential for applicants who have been arrested or detained, regardless of whether it led to a charge. This document, which can be requested from the local police department where the arrest or detention occurred, certifies the applicant’s current criminal status and any history with that department.

FBI Background Check

Finally, applicants are expected to include an FBI background check which provides a summary of their criminal history on a federal level. This can be requested by submitting a fingerprint card to the FBI and includes all arrest records, federal employment, naturalization, or military service.

Renewal Specifics

When renewing DACA, applicants must adhere to specific document requirements. It’s important to provide accurate paperwork to prevent delays or rejections.

Previous DACA Receipt Notice

Applicants should include a copy of their previous DACA approval notice (Form I-797). This is essential as it indicates proof of previously granted DACA status.

New Evidence Submission Guidelines

If there have been significant changes in an applicant’s situation since the last approved DACA, they must submit new evidence. This should include documents that reflect any change in criminal history, immigration status, or other relevant factors.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the necessary supporting documents for DACA applications?2024-01-02T06:41:44+00:00

Applicants should provide evidence that they meet the guidelines for DACA. This includes proof of identity, proof of arrival in the United States before the age of 16, proof of residence in the United States since June 15, 2007, and proof of education status or military service.

Is there a difference in documentation between initial and renewal applications?2024-01-02T06:42:33+00:00

Yes. While both require similar types of supporting documents, an initial application must include more evidence to establish the applicant’s eligibility. A renewal application typically requires evidence that the individual has continuously resided in the United States and has not departed without advance parole.

What if an applicant has a travel record?2024-01-02T06:42:55+00:00

Applicants who have traveled outside the United States since August 15, 2012, without advance parole, might not be eligible for DACA. Those with an approved advance parole document should provide evidence of this travel permission.

Are there common errors to avoid in the application process?2024-01-02T06:43:30+00:00

Applicants should ensure that all forms are fully completed, signed, and accompanied by the appropriate fees. They should avoid common mistakes like omitting signatures, not using the most current form versions, or providing insufficient evidence.

Common Errors to Avoid
Omitting signatures
Using outdated forms
Submitting incorrect fee amounts
Failing to include all required documentation
Providing incomplete or non-specific evidence

It’s crucial to comply with all requirements to prevent delays or rejections.

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