What supporting documents do I need for a DACA application? Checklists for new applications and renewals

October 8, 2020
What supporting documents do I need for a DACA application? Checklists for new applications and renewals

Summary

When you file your DACA renewal or new DACA application, you will need to submit supporting documents to prove that you are eligible for DACA. The documents you need to submit will be different depending on whether you are renewing or applying for the first time. They will also vary based on your personal background. This article provides document checklists for all scenarios so that you can confidently apply for your DACA renewal or initial DACA status without an attorney.


When you are ready to apply for DACA, ImmigrationHelp.org can help you prepare your DACA request for free with our simple web application. Click any of the green buttons below to get started.



This article is not legal advice. We do not intend for it to replace the expertise of an immigration attorney. Its goal is to help you learn more about the supporting documents you will need to submit with your DACA application.

Overview

What you'll find in this article

Supporting document checklist for a new DACA application

In 2020, the Supreme Court ruled against the Trump Administration’s attempt to scrap the DACA program from U.S. immigration law.  However, as of the writing of this article, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is not accepting new or first-time DACA applications for the DACA program. The situation may change in the future, so we want to make sure that you are ready when it does. 


To submit a new DACA application and get work authorization, you must file these three forms:


  1. Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
  2. Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
  3. Form I-765WS 

If you would like to travel outside of the U.S. as a DACA recipient, you must also complete Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, so you can be granted advance parole once USCIS approves your DACA request. As of the writing of this article, USCIS is not accepting Advance Parole applications.

If you would like to receive email[ notifications about your DACA application, you should complete Form G-1145 as well.

You can find the latest version of all forms on the USCIS website. 

In addition to the forms above, you must also submit two recent passport photos with your application and pay the filing and biometrics fees. The total fee for a DACA application is $495. The full charge includes the $410 work authorization fee for the Form I-765 and an $85 biometrics fee. You can pay the fees either with a credit card or by check or money order. Make your check or money orders payable to the order of “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”. If you want to pay your filing fees with a credit card, you must submit Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions with your application.

Some applicants qualify for a fee waiver that allows them to avoid paying these fees. We can help you see if you qualify for a fee waiver when you use our free web application to prepare your DACA paperwork.

The checklist below contains all the required documents you must submit with your Form I-821D, Form I-765, Form I-765WS, filing fees, and passport photos for a new DACA application. You must submit all of the following that apply to you:

Proof of your identity

Submit at least one of these documents to prove that you are who you say you are:

  • Birth certificate with photo identification
  • Passport or national I.D. from your country of origin
  • School I.D. with photo
  • Military I.D. with photo
  • Any U.S. government immigration document with your name and photo on it

Proof you came to the United States before your 16th birthday

Submit at least one of these documents that shows that you came to the US before your 16th birthday: 

  • Birth certificate with photo identification
  • Passport or national I.D. from your country of origin
  • School I.D. with photo
  • Military I.D. with photo
  • Any U.S. government immigration document with your name and photo on it

Proof of expired immigration status (if applicable)

Submit at least one of these documents that shows that you had immmigration status that has expired:

  • Form I-94, I-94W or I-95 showing authorized stay expiration date
  • Final order of exclusion, deportation or removal issued as of June 15, 2012
  • A charging document placing you into removal proceedings

Proof that you have been living in U.S. since June 15, 2007 and were in the U.S. on June 15, 2012

Submit at least one of these documents that shows that you were living in the US during this time frame: 

  • Passport entries
  • Copies of money order receipts for money sent within the U.S. or from the U.S. to a person or place outside the U.S.
  • Dated bank transactions
  • Tax receipts, insurance policies
  • Automobile license receipts or registration
  • Deeds, mortgages or rental agreement contracts
  • Official records from a U.S.-based religious entity confirming your participation in a religious ceremony
  • Rent receipts or utility bills
  • Employment records (W-2 forms, pay stubs etc)
  • U.S. school records (report cards, transcripts etc)
  • Birth certificates of children born in the U.S.
  • Military records (Form DD-214 or NGB Form 22)

Proof that you are currently a student (if applicable)

Submit at least one of these documents that shows that you are currently a student: 

  • Official records from the school you are currently attending in the U.S. (transcripts, report cards, etc)
  • U.S. high school diploma or certificate of completion
  • U.S. GED certificate

Proof that you are a U.S. Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces veteran who was honorably discharged (if applicable)

Submit at least one of these documents that shows that you are a U.S. Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces veteran who was honorably discharged: 

  • Military personnel records
  • Military health records
  • Form DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty)
  • NGB Form 22 (Natural Guard Report of Separation and Record of Service)
    Check out USCIS.gov to learn more about which documents you need and how to get them.


When you are ready to submit your application, you should organize your forms, filing fees, passport photos, and the required supporting documents into a filing packet to mail to the USCIS lockbox or service center. We recommend that you include a cover letter at the front of your immigration packet that lists the forms and documents included in your application. This summary letter makes it easy for USCIS to review your application. You are welcome to use this sample DACA application cover letter as a template.

It is a good idea to  make a copy of everything in your renewal packet (including your check or money order) for your records. You should not submit original documents for anything other than passport photos to USCIS - you may not get them back. Instead, submit copies of the original documents with your renewal packet.

We can help you prepare the required forms and supporting documents for your DACA application. Just click the green button below to get started with our easy-to-use web app.

Prepare your DACA application

Supporting document checklist for a DACA renewal application

Unlike new DACA applications, DACA renewals don't require many supporting documents unless something has changed since the most recently approved application. For example, you may need additional supporting documents if any of the following happened since your most recently approved DACA renewal:

  • You were charged with a significant misdemeanor 
  • A judge ruled that you were a threat to national security or public safety
  • or you recently enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard or Army in the time since your last approved application, you would need to provide supporting documents about these changes with your renewal.

A completed DACA renewal and Work Permit application must include the following supporting documents, in addition to a completed Form I-821D, Form I-765, and Form I-765WS:

  • $495 filing fees ($410 for the work permit and $85 for biometrics services). You can pay this with either a check or Money Order paid to the order of U.S. Department of Homeland Security, or a completed Form G-1450 if you prefer to pay with a credit card
  • Two recent passport photos
  • A copy of the front and back of your current Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
  • Any documents related to changes to your application since your last approval. This DACA filing guide from USCIS should give you an idea of the types of changes that would require additional supporting documents.


If you would like to receive email notifications about your DACA application, you should complete Form G-1145 as well.


When you have prepared your forms, paid your fees, and gathered your supporting documents, its’ time to file!  Organize everything into a filing packet to mail to the USCIS lockbox or service center. It’s a good idea to include a cover letter at the front of your immigration packet that lists the forms and documents included in your packet. This summary letter allows USCIS to easily review your application. Feel free to use this sample DACA application cover letter as a template.


It is a good idea to  make a copy of everything in your renewal packet (including your check or money order) for your records. You should not submit original documents for anything other than passport photos to USCIS - you may not get them back. Instead, submit copies of the original documents with your renewal packet.


To learn more about the documents you need and where to get them, review these DACA FAQs at www.uscis.gov. You can also check out our DACA renewal guide for more frequently asked questions about the renewal process.


In 2020, average wait times for DACA renewal applications are longer than normal because of the Covid-19 pandemic. You can always find the most recent application processing times on USCIS website. 



We can help you complete your DACA renewal paperwork for free. Please click the green button below to get started with our simple web application.

Prepare your DACA application

Conclusion

We hope that you find our checklists for assembling your DACA supporting documents and DACA renewal supporting documents useful. If you have any questions about applying for DACA for the first time, renewing your DACA, or if you want to share your experience, we'd love to hear from you. Drop a comment below, and we will reply ASAP!

Prepare your DACA application
Prepare your DACA application
Prepare your DACA application
Prepare your DACA application
Prepare your DACA application
Prepare your DACA application
Prepare your DACA application
Prepare your DACA application

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