DACA Application: Eligibility and How to Apply

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program allows eligible individuals who arrived in the U.S. as children to receive temporary protection from deportation and work authorization. If you are eligible for DACA, it is important to understand the requirements and process to apply. This post will outline the eligibility criteria and provide a step-by-step guide on how to apply.

Eligibility Criteria for DACA

To be eligible for DACA, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must have arrived in the U.S. before your 16th birthday.
  • You must have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007.
  • You must have been physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time of your DACA application.
  • You must have entered the U.S. without inspection, or your lawful immigration status must have expired as of June 15, 2012.
  • You must be currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the U.S.
  • You must not have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not pose a threat to national security or public safety.

If you meet these criteria, you may be eligible for DACA.

How to Apply for DACA

To apply for DACA, you must follow these steps:

  • Gather the necessary documents. You will need to provide proof of your identity, age, and presence in the U.S. since June 15, 2007. You will also need to provide evidence that you meet the educational or military service requirements, and that you do not have a criminal record.
  • Complete the DACA application (Form I-821D). This form asks for information about your background, education, and employment history. You will also need to provide your biographical and biometric information.
  • Complete the Employment Authorization Application (Form I-765). This form is used to request work authorization.
  • Pay the filing fee. The current filing fee for DACA is $495, which includes both the DACA application and the employment authorization application. If you cannot afford the filing fee, you may be eligible for a fee waiver.
  • Submit your application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office. You can submit your application online or by mail.
  • Attend a biometrics appointment. Once your application is received, USCIS will schedule an appointment for you to provide your fingerprints, photograph, and signature.
  • Wait for a decision. It can take several months for USCIS to review your application and make a decision. If your application is approved, you will receive a DACA approval notice and an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which will allow you to legally work in the U.S.

The Help You Need

If you are eligible for DACA, it is important to take the necessary steps to apply. The process can be complex, and it is recommended that you work with an experienced immigration attorney to guide you. Tourzani & Long, LLC has a team of knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys dedicated to helping individuals navigate the immigration system. Contact us at (201) 987-0036 to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can assist you with your DACA application.

Tourzani & Long, LLC targets North Bergen, Jersey City, Newark, Passaic, Paterson, and the surrounding New Jersey communities.