In 2012, President Obama started the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Applicants for DACA must meet certain education requirements. You'll have to provide your education history to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS asks for your education history to confirm that you qualify for DACA . USCIS also checks your education background to see if you can get a job if they give you a temporary work permit. So, it's very important that you complete the education history part of the form correctly. This article explains the education history section of the DACA application and how to complete it.
Which part of my education history do I have to provide on my DACA application?
On Form I-821D, the official application for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, you must provide information about your highest level of education and the most recent school you attended.
Highest level of education
You need a high school diploma or an equivalent certificate to qualify for DACA. If you are currently in school, you may also be eligible. You can find out if you’re eligible on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.
If you are a U.S. high school graduate, then you meet the education requirement for DACA. If you have a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, you also qualify. If you have a U.S. military background and are honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or the Armed Forces, you are eligible. You should indicate whichever of these education levels apply to you on your forms.
Most recent school attended
Next, you will report the name, city, and state of the school you attended. Be sure to write out the full name of your school. You should not include any acronyms in your school name. You will also need to list your graduation or certificate completion date.
To prove your education status, you have to submit supporting documents. Keep in mind that your school may have to verify your education history. Your supporting documents and your Form I-821D should also contain consistent information. For example, your graduation date should be the same on your form as on your graduation certificate.
What evidence must I submit with my DACA application for my education history?
You’ll need to submit copies of one of the following as evidence to prove your education history:
- Official records from the school you attend in the United States including transcripts, report cards, etc.
- Your U.S. high school diploma
- Your General Education Development (GED) certificate or another certificate
You may have non-English school records. If so, make sure you submit both the original documents and their certified English translations. Check out our supporting documents checklist for first-time and DACA renewal applications.
What should I do if I can't access my education history documents?
If you can’t access your education documents, contact your school. Sometimes, schools withhold your transcripts if you have outstanding fees.
Other times, some applicants cannot access their records due to special circumstances. Perhaps an accident destroyed the records held in a school building. In cases like these, it’s a good idea to contact a school official. This official can be a principal, teacher, or another faculty member. They can explain your situation to USCIS in a signed and notarized affidavit. The affidavit should confirm that you graduated from their school on the date that you entered on your forms.
Completing the DACA education section can be complicated, but working with a good immigration attorney can make it easier. If you can't afford the attorney fees and don't want to handle your DACA case alone, we may be able to help. If you are eligible, our free web app will walk you through the application process. We'll help you prepare and file your DACA application with the U.S. government. Click "Get Started" to see how we can help make your American dream come true!