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

In a Nutshell

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.

Written by Jonathan Petts
Written May 25, 2022


If You’re Submitting an Initial DACA Application

As of October 31, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is accepting but not processing first-time Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications and accompanying employment authorization requests. But the agency is accepting and processing applications for renewal of DACA status and accompanying employment authorization and advance parole requests. The situation may change in the future, so we want to make sure that you are ready when it does. 

To submit a new DACA application and hold your place in line for when USCIS does begin processing initial applications, you must file these three forms:

Supporting Document Checklist for a New DACA Application

In addition to the forms above, you must submit two recent passport photos with your application and pay the filing and biometrics fees. The total fee for a DACA application is $495. The full charge includes the $410 work authorization fee for Form I-765 and an $85 biometrics fee. You can pay the fees either with a credit card or by check or money order. Make your check or money orders payable to the “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”. If you want to pay your filing fees with a credit card, you must submit Form G-1450: Authorization for Credit Card Transactions with your application.

Some applicants qualify for a fee waiver that allows them to avoid paying these fees. We can help you see if you qualify for a fee waiver when you use our free web application to prepare your DACA paperwork. To qualify for DACA status, you must provide sufficient evidence to prove your eligibility in several categories. Keep reading to see what supporting documentation you need. 

‍Your Identity

Submit at least oneof these documents to prove that you are who you say you are:

  • Birth certificate with photo identification

  • Passport or national I.D. from your country of origin

  • School I.D. with photo

  • Military I.D. with photo

  • Any U.S. government immigration document with your name and photo on it

Entering the U.S. Before Your 16th Birthday

Submit at least oneof these documents that shows that you came to the U.S. before your 16th birthday: 

  • Birth certificate with photo identification

  • Passport or national I.D. from your country of origin

  • School I.D. with photo

  • Military I.D. with photo

  • Any U.S. government immigration document with your name and photo on it

Expired Immigration Status

If applicable, submit at least oneof these documents that shows that you had immigration status that has expired:

  • Form I-94, I-94W or I-95 showing authorized stay expiration date

  • Final order of exclusion, deportation, or removal issued as of June 15, 2012

  • A charging document placing you into removal proceedings

Living in U.S. Since June 15, 2007, and Present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012

Submit at least oneof these documents that shows you were living in the U.S. during this time frame: 

  • Passport entries

  • Copies of money order receipts for money sent within the U.S. or from the U.S. to a person or place outside the U.S.

  • Dated bank transactions

  • Tax receipts or insurance policies

  • Automobile license receipts or registration

  • Deeds, mortgages, or rental agreement contracts

  • Official records from a U.S.-based religious entity confirming your participation in a religious ceremony

  • Rent receipts or utility bills

  • Employment records (W-2 forms, pay stubs, etc.)

  • U.S. school records (report cards, transcripts, etc.)

  • Birth certificates of children born in the U.S.

  • Military records (Form DD-214 or NGB Form 22)

Student Status

If applicable, submit at least oneof these documents that shows that you are currently a student: 

  • Official records from the school you are currently attending in the U.S. (transcripts, report cards, etc.)

  • U.S. high school diploma or certificate of completion

  • U.S. GED certificate

Honorably Discharged U.S. Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces Veteran

If applicable, submit at least oneof these documents that shows you are a U.S. Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces veteran who was honorably discharged: 

  • Military personnel records

  • Military health records

  • Form DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty)

  • NGB Form 22 (Natural Guard Report of Separation and Record of Service) 

Compiling Your Initial Application Packet

When you are ready to submit your application, you should organize your forms, filing fees, passport photos, and the required supporting documents into a filing packet to mail to the USCIS lockbox or service center. We recommend that you include a cover letter at the front of your immigration packet that lists the forms and documents included in your application. This summary letter makes it easy for USCIS to review your application. You are welcome to use this sample DACA application cover letter as a template.

Go ahead and make a copy of everything in your renewal packet (including your check or money order) for your records. You should not submit original documents for anything other than passport photos to USCIS. You may not get these materials back. Instead, submit copies of the original documents with your renewal packet. 

If You’re Submitting a DACA Renewal Application

Unlike new DACA applications, DACA renewals don't require many supporting documents unless something has changed since the most recently approved application. For example, you may need additional supporting documents if any of the following happened since your most recently approved DACA renewal:

  • You were charged with a significant misdemeanor. 

  • A judge ruled that you were a threat to national security or public safety.

  • You enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard or Army.

Supporting Document Checklist for a DACA Renewal Application

A completed DACA renewal and work permit application must include the following supporting documents, in addition to a completed Form I-821D, Form I-765, and Form I-765WS:

  • $495 filing fees ($410 for the work permit and $85 for biometrics services)

    • You can pay this with either a check or money order paid to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or a completed Form G-1450 if you prefer to pay with a credit card.

  • Two recent passport photos

  • A copy of the front and back of your current Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

  • Any documents related to changes to your application since your last approval

If you would like to receive email notifications about your DACA application, you should complete Form G-1145 as well.

Compiling Your Renewal Application Packet

Organize everything into a filing packet to mail to the USCIS lockbox or service center. It’s a good idea to include a cover letter at the front of your immigration packet that lists the forms and documents included in your packet. This summary letter allows USCIS to easily review your application. Feel free to use this sample DACA application cover letter as a template.

Make a copy of everything in your renewal packet, including your check or money order, for your records. You should not submit original documents for anything other than passport photos to USCIS. You may not get them back. Instead, submit copies of the original documents with your renewal packet.

Check out our DACA renewal guide for more frequently asked questions about the renewal process.

Conclusion

We hope that you find our checklists for assembling your DACA supporting documents and DACA renewal supporting documents useful. DACA applications can seem 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 process and help you prepare and file your application with the U.S. government. Click "Get Started" to see how we can help make your American dream come true!


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