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10 Reasons to Apply for DACA

  1. DACA has both immediate AND long-lasting benefits that may help if a new immigration law passes.
  2. As a DACA beneficiary, you are:
    • Protected from arrest
    • Protected from detention and deportation
  3. You are eligible for DACA without a high school diploma.
  4. If you have been working with a made-up social security number (SSN), there are benefits to getting your own SSN. Some benefits include:
    • Ability to access and claim your hard-earned federal retirement dollars later in life.
    • Access to services, such as unemployment compensation or disability benefits.
    • Protection from identity theft
    • Possibilities to start a line of credit.
  5. Unable to afford the $465 DACA application filing fees? There are many resources and ways to pay, including free/low-cost legal services.
  6. DACA will allow you to travel abroad!
    • With DACA, some people will be allowed to safely travel and return to the U.S. with ‘Advanced Parole.’ Travel authorization will only be allowed under certain circumstances, including study abroad connected to an educational degree.
  7. With DACA, new job opportunities may be available that may not have been before.
    • EG: Some states are allowing DACA recipients obtain the required Physician and Surgeon’s License to become a medical doctor.
  8. Going through the DACA application process can also bring to light your eligibility for other immigration remedies.
    • It has been found that 25% of individuals who are potentially eligible for DACA are also eligible for other permanent immigration remedies:
      • By consulting with an immigration attorney, you will not only find out whether you’re eligible for DACA but also possibly learn about remedies that can lead to a permanent lawful status.
  9. DACA beneficiaries are NOT a priority for ICE and future deportation seems unlikely.
    • People with DACA are among ICE’s lowest priority cases for deportation as long as they continue to meet DACA eligibility requirements.
  10. DACA beneficiaries under 18 years of age will NOT accrue “unlawful presence.”
    • Undocumented children approved for DACA before turning 18 will not accrue “unlawful presence” as long as they participate in the program.
      • Unlawful presence is the time during which someone is present in the United States without permission.
    • Why do I want to avoid accruing “unlawful presence?”
      • It can prevent otherwise qualified individuals from gaining lawful permanent residency or being able to return to the United States after traveling abroad.

For more detailed information on the above “10 Reasons to Apply for DACA,” please view the document created by Educators For Fair Consideration (E4FC) HERE.

Eligibility & Process

Basic eligibility is as follows:
• For individuals who came to the United States before reaching their 16th birthday and are under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
• For individuals who have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007
• For individuals who need to provide proof that they are currently in school, have graduated, or obtained a certificate of completion from high school

This FREE “Pocket DACA” App can also walk you through step-by-step regarding your eligibility. Go here for instructions on how to use it.

Interested, eligible individuals must:

1) Complete the official application

2) Submit required documents verifying residency, including academic records.

  • SFUSD will help current students and graduates apply for this opportunity by providing available enrollment histories and school transcripts, which can be requested online HERE.

3) Submit the $465 filing fee ($380 for the I-765 form, and $85 biometrics processing fee for all applicants under the “Childhood Arrivals ((c)(33))” category.)

    • Some categories are filing fee exempt. For more information, please view the application instructions HERE.
    • Fees can be paid via money order, certified check or valid credit card.

Application Forms

1) You can find the application form (the I-821D, “Consideration for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals”), instructions on how to apply HERE.

2) You can find the second form (the I-765, “Application for Employment Authorization”) that must be filled out with your I-821D, and instructions on how to apply HERE.

3) If you would like to stay up to date about the status of your application electronically, please fill out and submit the following form found HERE with your application (as a resident of CA, you must be sending your forms to a “USCIS Lockbox Facility” located at the following addresses to qualify for this feature).

  •  If sending forms via the United States Postal Service, you can send them to:

USCIS
P.O. Box20700
Phoenix, AZ 85036-0700

  • If sending forms via the United States Postal Service Express Mail/Courier service, you can send them to:

USCIS
Attn: DACA
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ  85034

Financial Assistance

For concerns and information related to application fees and financial services, please refer to our Financial Resources page HERE.