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How Do I Apply for DACA?

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) explains that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is “an exercise of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time.” In other words, it is a specialized federal program that protects certain qualified people (The “Dreamers”) from deportation. It also provides them with work authorization. Here, our Portland DACA attorney provides an overview of the process for applying for DACA in 2024. 

An Overview of the Steps to Apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

DACA is not granted automatically. Even if you are eligible for protection under the law, you must actively apply for that benefit. Here is an overview of the key steps to apply for DACA: 

  1. Confirm Your Eligibility: The first step in applying for DACA is to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria. Applicants must have arrived in the United States before turning 16 and lived in the country continuously since June 15, 2007. They must have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012. Applicants must also meet certain education requirements. Finally, an applicant cannot have a serious felony conviction on his or her record.
  2. Gather Relevant Documents: As with any other type of immigration law matter, documentation is key to supporting a DACA claim. As an applicant, you should be prepared to provide proof of identity, proof of arrival in the U.S. before age 16, proof of residence in the U.S. from June 15, 2007, to the present, and documentation of education status. 
  3. Complete the Application (Form I-821D): Once eligibility is confirmed and documents are gathered, the next step is to complete Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The form requires detailed information about the applicant’s background, education, and presence in the country. You need to fill it out accurately and completely. You should generally also complete and submit an Application for Employment Authorization along with your DACA Form I-821D. 
  4. Attend Your Biometrics Appointment: After submitting the application, USCIS will schedule a biometrics appointment. The appointment is for fingerprinting and photographs. It is necessary for running a background check. 

Already Applied Before? You Need to Be Sure to Renew DACA

DACA protection is temporary. If you have successfully applied for DACA before, you need to be sure to proactively renew it. Ensuring your DACA status is current is essential for maintaining work authorization and protection from deportation. The renewal process involves submitting the required forms and documents before your current period expires. Do not let your DACA lapse. 

Contact Our Portland, OR DACA Attorney Today

At Vanderwall Immigration, our Portland immigration lawyers have the skills and experience to handle all types of DACA cases. Have questions about DACA? We can help. Call us now or contact us online for a fully confidential, no-obligation initial appointment. With offices in Beaverton and Salem, we provide DACA services throughout the region. Si hablamos Español.