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How To Complete Form I-821D for Your DACA Application

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Key Takeaways

Form I-821D is officially called “Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It is the most important form to submit for Dreamers requesting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This article explains Form I-821D, including who can file it, how much it costs to file, how to file and what supporting documents to send with it, and what happens after you file Form I-821D.

After you file your application, check our DACA processing times page to see how long it's taking USCIS to process DACA renewals right now.

Table of Contents

Who can file Form I-821D?

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has specific eligibility requirements for new and renewing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) applicants. New DACA applicants who meet the general eligibility requirements for the program may file Form I-821D (the “Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals”). You can review DACA eligibility requirements on our guide to the DACA program.

If you are renewing your DACA status, you can file Form I-821D if you meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • You have not left the United States on or after August 15, 2012, without receiving Advance Parole.
  • You have continuously resided in the United States since applying for and receiving your last DACA status grant.
  • You have not committed any felonies, significant misdemeanors, or three or more misdemeanors. You also do not pose a risk to the United States’ national security or public safety.

For both new and renewal applications, you are eligible to file Form I-821D if:

  • You have never been in a removal proceeding.
  • You have been in a removal proceeding, but an immigration judge terminated it before you submitted your DACA application.
  • If you are in a removal proceeding, have a final order of removal, exclusion, or deportation issued in other contexts, have a voluntary departure order, or have been in administratively closed proceedings, you may file this form to request that USCIS considers deferring action in your situation.

How Much Does It Cost To File Form I-821D?

There is no filing fee for Form I-821D. However, DACA applicants will need to submit filing and biometrics appointment fees when they file for a work permit (Employment Authorization Document or “EAD”), through Form I-765, the “Application for Employment Authorization,” and   Form I-765WS, the “Form I-765 Worksheet.” You will file both Form I-765 and I-765WS at the same time as Form I-821D. 

Form I-765 has a filing fee of $410 and biometric services cost $85. You may pay these fees with a money order, personal check, or cashier’s check. Remember that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a government agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), so you should make out your check to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”. If you are filing at a USCIS Lockbox facility, you can also pay by credit card using Form G-1450 (the “Authorization for Credit Card Transactions”). USCIS service centers cannot process credit card payments.

Unfortunately, USCIS does not offer fee waivers for DACA applicants. Check out our article on how you can afford USCIS’s filing fees.

How Do You Fill Out Form I-821D?

Form I-821D contains seven sections and an additional information section, but not all sections may apply to you.

Part 1: Information About You

You must complete Part 1, which asks for some biographical information about you. In this section, you will specify if you are applying for an initial or renewal request for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. You’ll need to indicate your current immigration status and disclose whether you are in any removal or deportation proceedings.

Part 2: Residence and Travel Information

You must also complete Part 2, where you’ll provide information on your residential and travel histories. New applicants must provide more information than DACA renewal applicants. As a new applicant, you’ll need to provide detailed information about your travel and residence history. The form will also ask whether you have ever served in the U.S. military in this section.

For guidance on completing Part 2, check our step-by-step articles on completing the address history and travel history sections for your DACA application.

Part 3: Information About Your Arrival in the United States

Only initial DACA applicants will need to complete Part 3. Renewal applicants should skip this section. Part 3 asks about your arrival in the United States and information about how and when you traveled to the United States.

Part 4: Criminal, National Security, and Public Safety Information

All applicants must complete Part 4, which asks you to answer questions about national security, and public safety concerns. You should answer all questions truthfully. Even if you have a criminal record, you may still be eligible for DACA status. Check out our article on applying for DACA with a criminal record for more information on which offenses disqualify you from DACA status.

Part 5: Statement, Certification, Signature, and Contact Information of the Applicant

In Part 5, you’ll need to sign and certify that the information provided on this USCIS form is accurate and true.

Part 6: Contact Information, Certification, and Signature of the Interpreter

If you have used an interpreter to help you complete the form, you must have your interpreter sign and provide all necessary contact information on Part 6.

Part 7: Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature of the Person Preparing this Request, if Other than the Applicant

If someone else prepared your request, such as an immigration lawyer, you must have that person complete Part 7 of the form.

Part 8: Additional Information

You should only complete Part 8 if you require additional space to answer any questions on the form.

What Supporting Documents Must You Send With Form I-821D?

The supporting documents you’ll need to send with Form I-821D depend on whether you are making an initial request for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), or if you’re renewing your DACA status. You should provide photocopies of all documents you submit as evidence. You must have translated non-English documents into English. 

If you are applying for DACA for the first time, check out our DACA supporting documents guide to see what you need to provide with your application. If you are a first-time DACA applicant, you'll need to prepare extensive paperwork to provide evidence of the following:

  • Your age and date of birth
  • Documents proving arrival to the United States before your 16th birthday
  • Documents proving continuous residence in the United States since June 15, 2007
  • Documents proving your presence in the United States on June 15, 2012
  • Documents proving your education (proof of high school attendance or the equivalent) or proving your military service (such as in the U.S. armed forces or Coast Guard)
  • Other documents as required

If your DACA status expiration date is approaching and you are applying to renew DACA, the evidence requirements will depend on whether any of your previous application responses have changed. If nothing has changed, USCIS will contact you if they need additional evidence.

There are two specific cases in which USCIS will require additional evidence with this form:

  • At the present time, you are in exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings. Note that if these proceedings are administratively closed, you won’t need to submit these documents.
  • You have committed a felony or misdemeanor.

If any of the above apply to you, be sure to submit evidence of these incidents in your renewal application package.

What Happens After Filing Form I-821D?

After you mail your DACA application, USCIS will check your form for completion. If your form is incomplete, they will send it back to you. USCIS may also request further information or evidence on your case through a Request for Evidence (RFE). In some cases, they may request that you appear for an interview at a USCIS office or provide original copies of some documents you submitted. USCIS will return any original copies of these documents after they have reviewed them.

After you file your application, check our DACA processing times page to see how long it's taking USCIS to process DACA renewals right now. Historical USCIS processing times for DACA renewal applications have been relatively fast. In the last five years, the average processing time for DACA renewals was 1.1 months.

After a USCIS officer reviews your application, they will decide on your case. Even if you satisfy the eligibility requirements for DACA status, USCIS may, for any reason, not grant your DACA request. USCIS holds unreviewable discretion in DACA status determinations, which means that you cannot appeal its decisions on your application.

Conclusion

Applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) can be complicated, but help is available. If you are eligible, our free web app will walk you through the DACA renewal process and help you prepare and file your application with the U.S. government. If our app isn’t a good fit, we may be able to refer you to an experienced immigration attorney to help. Click "Get Started" to see how we can help make your American dream come true!

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