The US government is only granting DACA renewals, but you can still submit a new DACA application to hold your place in line.

DACA

Can You Apply for Advance Parole With a Criminal Record?

Written by Jonathan Petts
Updated November 22, 2022

Getting status and other U.S. immigration benefits may be out of reach for people with criminal records. If you have ever committed a felony, for example, you can't get immigration benefits. Advance Parole is a travel permit available to special immigrants and those adjusting status to green cards. For example, if you have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, you can travel abroad and return with Advance Parole. This article explains how you can qualify for Advance Parole and whether or not a criminal record can keep you from getting Advance Parole.

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What Is DACA, and How Do You Apply?

Written by Immigration Help Team
Updated November 22, 2022

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) provides relief from deportation for eligible young immigrants who are documented and living in the United States. DACA recipients can get Social Security cards and work permits that they can renew every two years. ImmigrationHelp.org is a non-profit that helps eligible DACA applicants to get their initial and renewal application paperwork together for free. This article explains all you need to know about the DACA program, including its history and purpose, who can apply for it, and how to apply if it's your first time or if you're renewing your status.

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Can a DACA Recipient Get a Green Card Through Marriage?

Written by Jonathan Petts
Updated November 22, 2022

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program doesn’t yet provide a pathway to lawful permanent residence. But if you’re a DACA recipient and you fall in love with and marry a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you may be able to get a marriage green card.  As a green card holder, you’ll have protection from deportation and long-term employment authorization, meaning you’ll never have to renew your work permit. Getting an immigrant visa is also the first step towards naturalization - the process of gaining U.S. citizenship. But to change your immigration status from DACA recipient to green card holder, you must satisfy certain eligibility requirements.  Your green card eligibility will depend largely on how you entered the United States and if you’re married to a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident. This article explains the different ways that DACA recipients can qualify for marriage green cards and how long the process takes.

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How To Write a Cover Letter for a DACA Renewal

Written by Jonathan Petts
Updated August 15, 2022

If you’ve already been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you are eligible to renew your status every two years. You’ll need to fill out Form I-821D and submit it along with other required forms and fees to renew. It’s also recommended that you prepare a simple cover letter to include with your application as well. The cover letter allows the USCIS officer to see what’s included with your application at a glance. This article explains what a DACA renewal cover letter is and the elements it should include. It also includes a template you can use to write your own.

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How to Complete Form I-765 WS for Your DACA Application

Written by Jonathan Petts
Updated November 22, 2022

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) provides protection from deportation for many young undocumented immigrants. When you're applying for DACA, you'll submit three main forms together with your supporting evidence to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In addition to the official DACA application Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, you'll have to file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization and Form I-765WS, the worksheet explaining why you need a work permit. This article will focus on the shortest out of the three forms—Form I-765WS. You'll learn what Form I-765WS is and why you need it, as well as how to complete the different parts of the form.

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How To Get the Proof of Identity Document (ID) You Need for Your DACA Application

Written by Jonathan Petts
Updated November 15, 2022

Every application for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) must have both the official application forms and supporting evidence to back your case. One of the most important pieces of evidence you must submit with your application is a proof of identity document (ID). U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processes DACA applications, and they have requirements for what ID you can submit with your new DACA or DACA renewal application. This article explains what an acceptable ID is for DACA and how to get one for your application.

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How to Get Student Loans with DACA: The Complete Guide

Written by Jonathan Petts

Paying for school as a non-resident person in the United States can be difficult. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients are not eligible for any federal funding and may face some challenges in trying to secure funding for their college education. There are, however, alternative resources available to DACA recipients and undocumented students. There is state-level assistance available in some states and a host of private student loans and scholarships that DACA students can get. In this article, we discuss some things to consider as a DACA student applying to colleges and explain whether DACA students can get federal or state assistance, as well as private loans and scholarships.

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What Supporting Documents Do I Need for a DACA Application? Checklists for New Applications and Renewals

Written by Jonathan Petts

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](http://immigrationhelp.org/) can help you [prepare your DACA request for free](http://bit.ly/IHODACA) with our simple web application.

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How can DACA and TPS Students Get Advance Parole for Educational Purposes?

Written by Jonathan Petts

Recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under U.S. immigration law can travel abroad to study without compromising their immigration status. Advance Parole is a document that allows students with these immigration statuses to spend some time outside of the United States and return. People who also have pending adjustment of status green card applications can also apply for Advance Parole so they can study abroad without abandoning their applications. ImmigrationHelp.org is a nonprofit that can help you prepare your Advance Parole application for free. In this article, we'll highlight the educational reasons that can be the basis of an Advance Parole application, and then explain the application process itself.

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All About USCIS Requests for Evidence (RFEs): What They Are, How to Avoid Them, and What to Do if You Receive One

Written by Jonathan Petts

When the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) determines that it needs extra information to make a decision on your immigration case, it will send you a Request for Evidence. This is popularly called an “RFE”, and USCIS will send it to the mailing address you listed on your application. In this article, we will explain what a USCIS Request for Evidence (RFE) is, how to avoid RFEs, and how to respond to a USCIS RFE if you receive one. The best way to avoid RFEs is to do a great job on your paperwork before you file. [ImmigrationHelp.org](http://immigrationhelp.org/) can help you [prepare your immigration application for free](http://bit.ly/IHOmain) with our easy-to-use online tool. Click the "Get Started" button above or read on to learn more.

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How To Prepare DACA Forms for Free With ImmigrationHelp

Written by Jonathan Petts

ImmigrationHelp.org is a nonprofit with a mission to help cut down the cost of legal fees for eligible low-income Dreamers. ImmigrationHelp is not an immigration law firm or accredited representative that provides legal advice. Even though ImmigrationHelp is not a form preparation service, we help with many immigration application types, and most of them follow a similar process. Our service is interactive, and the faster you respond, the sooner we can get you your completed forms. Generally, we hope to help you file your forms two weeks after you first contact us to work together. This article will focus on how to complete a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal application or new DACA application with ImmigrationHelp.org’s system.

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How To Renew DACA in 2022

Written by Jonathan Petts

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) allows eligible immigrant youth to get two-year renewable work permits. It also provides protection from removal proceedings. DACA has faced many legal challenges over the past five years. The Trump Administration tried to end the program, but a U.S. Supreme Court decision prevented that. Even so, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was only accepting and processing DACA renewals. While President Biden signed an executive order to reinstate the program fully — allowing both new applications and renewals — a judge ruled in favor of a group of Texas attorney generals who argued that DACA is unconstitutional. As a result, USCIS is accepting renewals but no longer processing new DACA applications. This means only immigrants who have received DACA in the past are still eligible to renew their status. Renewing your DACA status and work permit costs $495 and takes 6-12 months. This guide explains everything you need to know about renewing your DACA status.

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Can DACA Recipients Apply for a Green Card?

Written by Jonathan Petts

Since President Obama introduced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012, eligible undocumented youth have received protection from deportation. The Trump administration terminated the DACA program in 2017, but President Biden restored DACA at the start of his presidency. DACA recipients enjoy benefits like an employment authorization permit. But DACA status and the work permit are only temporary. They are valid for two years, after which DACA recipients have to renew their status. Plans to grant DACA recipients more long-term legal status in the United States have been on the docket for a while but have yet to pass into law. It is still possible for some DACA recipients to get green cards. This article explains the existing pathways for DACA recipients to get green cards.

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Can You Apply for DACA With a Criminal Record?

Written by Jonathan Petts

The U.S. government conducts a criminal background check for most immigration applications. The reason is simple - to make sure that people who receive immigration benefits are people of good moral character. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is no different. As part of your application, you'll have to answer some questions about your criminal background. When U.S. Citizenshixp and Immigration Services (USCIS) is reviewing your DACA application, they'll check your criminal record for felonies, significant misdemeanors, and other crimes that disqualify you from getting DACA. This article explains what offenses will and may not disqualify you from DACA, and how to go about your application if you have a criminal record.

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What is "Sanctuary" and how Does it Help Immigrants?

Written by Jonathan Petts

Immigrants in the United States have been increasingly vulnerable to raids, detentions, and deportations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) immigration agents. As a result, many faith groups and some neighborhoods, campuses, and offices have tried to find ways to advocate for and protect the immigrants in their communities. The practice of sanctuary is one way that faith groups and other communities are trying to protect immigrants from deportation. In this article, we'll explain what sanctuary is, and how it can be helpful to immigrants who are living in a place that is a sanctuary.

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USCIS Has Approved Over 1300 New DACA Applications Since November Ruling

Written by Jonathan Petts

President Obama created Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2012. The DACA program protects certain young people who entered the country illegally from deportation. DACA beneficiaries can get a work permit, a Social Security Number (SSN), and apply for a driver’s license. But, many have contested the legality of the program over the past few years. Trump administration officials argued that the program did not comply with current immigration laws.

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How To Complete Your U.S. Travel History on a DACA Application

Written by Jonathan Petts

In 2012, President Obama introduced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program as protection from deportation for eligible Dreamers living in the United States without status. If you apply for DACA, you'll have a work permit and lawful immigration status that you can renew every two years. The DACA application itself is quite extensive and requires you to provide, among other things, information about your U.S. travel history. You'll have to provide the dates when you arrived in the United States, how you came in, and what your immigration status was upon arrival. In this article, we'll explain the different parts of your U.S. travel history that the DACA forms are asking for and how to provide that information.

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What Is Form I-765: Application for Employment Authorization?

Written by Jonathan Petts
Updated October 9, 2022

Form I-765 is one of the main forms for applying for a work permit. To receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), you need to file Form I-765 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This article explains what Form I-765 is and how it’s used. We'll also explain who can file the form, how to complete it, what supporting documents to include, and how much it costs.

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How To Complete Your Address History on a DACA Application

Written by Jonathan Petts
Updated October 24, 2022

Many immigrants who come to the United States have moved around and changed addresses. Most U.S. immigration applications, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) application, ask for your address history as an applicant. This article explains what address information you need to fill out your DACA forms, how to find old address information, what happens if your address history is incomplete on your DACA forms, and what supporting documents should accompany your DACA application.

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What Happens at a USCIS Biometrics Appointment?

Written by Jonathan Petts

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) requires a biometrics appointment as part of many applications for immigration benefits. This is sometimes called the "fingerprint appointment." At the appointment, the U.S. government will take your fingerprints, pictures, and signature. These are used to run a background check and for identification purposes. Usually, USCIS will schedule a date and time for the biometrics appointment for you, but something you have to schedule it yourself. If you have a conflict, you can attend your scheduled biometrics appointment early or reschedule it for a later, more convenient time. But it’s best to attend at the scheduled time whenever possible. This article explains what happens at a biometrics appointment, how you should prepare for it, and what you should and should not bring along to your appointment.‍

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How Do You Get Advance Parole for Humanitarian Reasons?

Written by Jonathan Petts
Updated November 1, 2022

Advance Parole is a travel permit available to certain groups of immigrants to travel abroad and return to the United States without negatively impacting or abandoning their U.S. immigration statuses. With President Biden's executive order to reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program after the Trump administration halted new applications, many more people can get DACA and, by extension, Advance Parole. Adjustment of status applicants, as well as DACA status and other Temporary Protected Status (TPS) immigrants, can get Advance Parole for humanitarian, educational, or employment purposes. This article explains how to apply for Advance Parole based on humanitarian reasons.

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What To Do if You Are Denied Entry Into the United States With Advance Parole

Written by Jonathan Petts
Updated November 1, 2022

For green card applicants based in the United States and people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, Advance Parole is a welcome provision. With this travel document, you can leave the United States while in DACA status or while U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processes your green card application. Advance Parole provides a chance to visit ailing family, study abroad, attend forums and conferences abroad, and catch up with friends. But sometimes the U.S. government does not allow people with valid Advance Parole documents to reenter the United States. This article explains some reasons why the U.S. government would refuse to let you back into the country even with Advance Parole and some things you can do if you find yourself in this situation as an adjustment of status applicant or a DACA recipient.

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How to expunge your criminal record as a DACA applicant

Written by Jonathan Petts

You must get an immigration lawyer’s help with your application if you have a criminal history. The U.S. government will check your criminal record for any crimes that disqualify you from getting the immigration benefit you’re applying for. It may be possible to take these crimes off your criminal record; this is called expunging your criminal record. Your crimes that would otherwise disqualify you from immigration benefits will no longer count against you. The U.S. government will still see your expunged records, but they possibly won’t harm your application. This article explains disqualifying criminal convictions for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and how to get an expungement of your criminal record to apply for DACA.

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How long does it take for USCIS and the NVC to process applications, and how do I check the status of my case?

Written by Jonathan Petts

If you would like to track your immigration application as it moves along the immigration process or if you are wondering how to check if your application's processing is outside the expected processing timeframes, we've got you covered! This article will explore how to check your application case status - both with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the National Visa Center (NVC) - and what to do if your application processing falls outside the normal processing time.

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What Is the Form I-94 Travel Record?

Written by Jonathan Petts

Nearly every foreign traveler to the United States has an I-94 travel record (also known as “Form I-94” or “I-94 Form”). U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials issue Form I-94 to foreign travelers entering the United States. CBP officials use Form I-94 to track arrivals and departures of non-citizens visiting the United States. This article explains Form i-94 in-depth, including how it is used, how to access yours, and answers to some frequently asked questions.‍

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Missing I-94 Arrival Record - How Do I Prove Lawful Entry to the United States?

Written by Jonathan Petts

Every year thousands of people apply for a green card based on their family relationship with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. If you want to apply from inside the United States, you must prove that you entered the country lawfully. To prove that, you normally submit a copy of your I-94 Arrivals and Departure record with your Green Card application. The I-94 officially documents all the dates when you left and came into the United States through ports of entry. But what happens if you can't find your I-94 record? This article explains how to get a copy of your missing I-94 record and discusses other ways you may be able to prove lawful entry into the United States.

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

Written by Jonathan Petts
Updated October 19, 2022

Form I-821D is officially called the 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 needs to file it, what the filing fees are, and what supporting documents you need to file with it.

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How Can My Undocumented Immigrant Spouse Get a Green Card Through Marriage?

Written by Jonathan Petts

If you are married to an undocumented immigrant, you are not alone. According to the Wall Street Journal, about 1.2 million undocumented immigrants are married to United States citizens. And that number doesn't even include undocumented immigrants married to U.S. permanent residents. Getting a marriage green card protects your spouse from deportation and, as immediate relatives, gives them a path to naturalization. But applying for a marriage green card can be a difficult process. And in most cases, it is even more challenging when your spouse is undocumented. This article will help you weigh the benefits and risks of applying for a marriage green card for your undocumented spouse.

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How To Find Help With Your Immigration Application When You Need Some Extra Help

Written by Jonathan Petts

ImmigrationHelp.org is a nonprofit that helps low-income Dreamers prepare their Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Advance Parole application paperwork for free. With DACA, you can access immigration benefits like work authorization and protection from deportation. ImmigrationHelp.org is not a law firm, so we cannot provide legal representation for our users. As a nonprofit, our goal is to empower you to file your DACA and Advance Parole paperwork on your own. In this article, we explain other resources you can turn to when you need a bit more help than we can provide.

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Why Would Your DACA Renewal Application Be Denied?

Written by Jonathan Petts

If you are applying to renew your DACA status, there are some reasons that USCIS might reject your application. Common reasons include failing to reply to requests for evidence (RFEs) or experiencing changes since your last application that make you no longer eligible for DACA. This article will walk you through eight reasons USCIS might deny your DACA renewal application and what you can do about each.

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How To Get Advance Parole for Business Travel

Written by Jonathan Petts

For many people applying for immigration benefits, Advance Parole is necessary to travel abroad while they wait for the U.S. government to process their application. Other immigrants, like recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), must also have an approved travel permit before leaving the United States if they'd like to return. Advance Parole makes it possible for immigrants with business ties abroad to leave the United States temporarily for work. In this article, we'll explain what business reasons you can get Advance Parole for as well as the step-by-step application process for getting the travel permit.

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How To Apply for DACA in 2022

Written by Jonathan Petts

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an immigration program created by President Obama in 2012 that allows Dreamers—undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children—to live and work legally in the United States and avoid deportation. The program has faced a lot of contention. In 2020, the Trump Administration issued an order terminating DACA. This prevented Dreamers from submitting first-time DACA applications, even after a Supreme Court decision rejected the Trump order.  On his first day in office, President Biden signed an order to allow for both new DACA applications and DACA renewal requests. Unfortunately, on July 16, 2021, a Texas judge ruled that the DACA program was unconstitutional. In response to that ruling, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is no longer processing new DACA applications. However, the court ruling is currently on appeal, and you can still submit new applications to reserve your place in line if the law changes. This guide explains the DACA application process.

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Can DACA Recipients Become U.S. Citizens?

Written by Jonathan Petts
Updated October 2, 2022

In 2012 President Obama passed an Executive Order that launched the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for millions of undocumented youth in the United States called Dreamers. DACA provides protection from deportation for eligible Dreamers, but it doesn't provide a pathway to long-term lawful permanent residence in the United States. Over the years, lawmakers have proposed many different laws to grant Dreamers a clear path to permanent residence and eventual citizenship, but none have passed yet. Still, it may be possible for some DACA recipients to get green cards and then naturalize as American citizens. This article explains the barriers to citizenship for DACA recipients and discusses the conditions under which some DACA recipients could get green cards and later naturalize.

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How Can You Prove Continuous Residence on Your DACA Application?

Written by Jonathan Petts

When applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), you'll submit supporting documents with your forms to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Your DACA supporting documents will prove to USCIS that the information you provided on your application is correct and confirm that you qualify to apply for DACA. One of the requirements to qualify for DACA is continuous residence in the United States. This article explains what continuous residence is and what the continuous residence requirement is for DACA. It also discusses the documents you can submit to prove your continuous residence on your DACA application.

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How to Get a Credit Card as a DACA Recipient

Written by Jonathan Petts

Building credit is important for making a living in the United States. Getting a credit card and building credit can be a little complicated for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients because many don't have any U.S. credit history. But it is still possible for DACA recipients to get a credit card! In this article, we explain how to check your U.S. credit history and options for getting a credit card with or without a U.S. credit history.

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Is It Risky To Travel With Advance Parole?

Written by Jonathan Petts

For Deferred Action and Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and adjustment of status applicants, the U.S. government makes provision for a travel document called Advance Parole. Advance Parole allows immigrants based in the United States to travel abroad while in status or while waiting for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to process their paperwork. If you have DACA or are applying for adjustment of status, your approved Advance Parole document will serve the same purpose as a U.S. visa, allowing re-entry to the United States upon returning. In this article, we explain Advance Parole, how to get it, and highlight some of the risks involved in traveling back to the United States on Advance Parole.

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How To Complete Your Education History on a DACA Application

Written by Jonathan Petts

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.

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Forms I-601 & I-601A: How to Apply for a Waiver of Inadmissibility

Written by Jonathan Petts

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may find you inadmissible for immigration based on different factors. You may have violated U.S. immigration law or simply not met the eligibility requirements for the immigration status you’re applying for. However, waivers of inadmissibility may be available to you. A waiver of inadmissibility asks the U.S. government to forgive your grounds of inadmissibility and grant you the immigration benefit you’re applying for anyway. This article introduces Forms I-601 and I-601A, which are the forms you’ll file for the waiver. It explains the requirements for each document and their respective application processes.

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How To Get a Bank Loan With DACA: The Complete Guide

Written by Jonathan Petts

It is generally difficult for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients to get bank loans - but it's still possible. Many banks and lenders will consider you a high-risk individual because of your status. Many banks consider DACA to be temporary and not guaranteed because DACA is easily affected by U.S. immigration law. However, there are other lenders that DACA recipients can borrow from. You can get personal loans, student loans, and home loans from banks and other lenders. This article explains how to get personal loans, student loans, and home loans as a DACA recipient.

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How Do You Apply for Advance Parole as a DACA Recipient?

Written by Jonathan Petts
Updated August 22, 2022

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)recipients sometimes have an urgent need to travel outside of the United States. If you're in DACA status, you can apply for permission to travel outside the U.S. using a process called “Advance Parole.” With an approved Advance Parole application, DACA recipients can travel outside the United States and return lawfully. If you get Advance parole, USCIS gives you a document to show to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) so that they let you re-enter the United States. This article explains what Advance Parole is, who is eligible to apply for it, and what the Advance Parole application process is like. 

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