Everyone applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), whether for the first time or as a renewal, must fill out Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
Filling out this form means that you are asking U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to exercise its discretion and allow you to stay in the U.S. temporarily, until either your DACA application is approved or renewed, you become eligible for another form of relief, your DACA status expires, or USCIS terminates your deferral.
NOTE: These instructions are for the Form I-821D that was revised on June 4, 2014, for use under the DACA program before it was amended by executive action to go into effect in 2015. USCIS will be revising the form to conform to the changes made in the DACA program, so if you’re applying after those changes have gone into effect, some of the information in this article will be out of date.
Several Forms Are Needed for a Complete DACA Application
USCIS will not grant you deferred action if you submit only Form I-821D. You must also submit Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, Form I-765WS (Worksheet), and all applicable fees.
Guidelines for submitting a complete DACA application are listed in Nolo’s articles “Who Qualifies for Deferred Action as an Immigrant Student or Graduate” and “How to Renew Your DACA Status.”
Plan ahead: If you are filing for a DACA renewal, you should submit your request to USCIS within a specific time window; that is, 120 to 150 days before the date that your initial DACA approval will expire. Do not submit your renewal application more than 150 days from the expiration of your deferred action period. USCIS estimates that it will take 120 days for a DACA renewal application to be approved.
How to Fill Out Form I-821D
Form I-821D has eight sections. If you are applying for DACA for the first time, you should fill out all eight parts. If you are applying to renew your DACA status, you should fill out all sections except for Part 3. Be sure to fill out each item as completely and accurately as possible – including stating “N/A” or “Not Applicable” for any item that does not apply to you – so that USCIS will be able to make a timely decision on your application.
Don’t leave any dates blank—if you can’t remember an exact date, give your best guess.
Part 1. Information About You
In this section, you must certify that you are not currently in immigration detention and that you are including all forms necessary to process your DACA application. If this is the first time you are applying for DACA, check the box that states “Initial Request” (Line 1). If you have already been granted deferred action and would like to extend your deferment, check the box that says “Renewal Request” (Line 2) and write the date that your current deferral period expires in the box in the requested format.
Lines 3a through 3c: In these boxes, type or print your full legal name. This is likely the name that appears on your passport, birth certificate, or identification card. If your name is now different than the name on these documents, you must submit proof that your name legally has been changed, such as a marriage certificate or court document indicating the name change.
Lines 4a through 4e: Enter your current mailing address. Since USCIS will mail all notices and requests for more information to this address , this should be the home where you currently live or an address where you will be certain to receive mail.
Lines 5 through 5g: Check the “No” box if you have never been in removal (deportation) proceedings and have never received an order of removal. Check the “Yes” box if you have ever attempted to enter the U.S. at the border and been turned away or if you have entered the U.S. (either with or without authorization) and then have been removed by U.S. immigration authorities. If you check the “Yes” box, then you must check one of the boxes in 5a through 5e, so that USCIS can determine whether you are currently in proceedings or what was the outcome of past removal proceedings. You must also fill in the date that you last appeared in immigration court and the city and state where the court is located (Lines 5f and 5g).
Line 6: Alien Registration Number. Your “A-Number” is the nine digit number following the letter "A" that appears on every form sent to you from USCIS. Fill that in here. If you applying to renew DACA, you have an A-number that was issued to you on your approval notice. If you are applying for DACA for the first time, if you have never been in been in removal proceedings, or if you have never received any communications from USCIS, you probably do not have an A-number. In that case, just write “None” in the box.
Line 7: If you have been assigned a U.S. Social Security Number, write that nine-digit number here. If not, write “None.” If you have ever used a Social Security Number that was not been assigned specifically in your name, do notwrite that number in this box.
Line 8: Fill in your date of birth here in the format required. This date should match the birth date listed on your birth certificate, passport, and any other official identification documents.
Line 9: Check the box indicating your gender.
Lines 10a – 10b: Type or print the city or town and country where you were born.
Line 11: Fill in the name of the country where you currently live. This should be the United States: In order to be eligible for DACA, you must be present in the U.S. on the date that you apply for DACA.
Line 12: State the country where you are currently a citizen or national. This is likely the country that has issued your passport or other identification documents.
Line 13: Check the box that best describes your marital status. If you are separated, but not legally divorced, check “Married” and be sure to explain this in Part 8 – Additional Information.
Lines 14a-14c: If you have ever used or been known by names other than your legal name, write these in here. If there are multiple names, be sure to list them all in Part 8 – Additional Information.
Line 15: Check only one box, indicating whether or not you are Hispanic or Latino.
Line 16: Check the boxes that reasonably apply to you. If you are multiracial, you can check as many boxes as describe you.
Lines 17-20: Enter accurate information about your current eye and hair color.
Part 2. Residence and Travel Information.
You must complete this section, whether this is your first or renewal DACA application.
Line 1: Check the box that accurately states whether you have been living continuously in the U.S. from June 15, 2007 through the current date. Remember that in order to be eligible for DACA, you must be able to honestly state (and prove) that you have lived in the U.S. – with only brief trips abroad– since June 15, 2007. (Under the new DACA program going into effect in 2015, this date has been changed to June 15, 2010.)
Lines 2a-2e: Fill in the address where you currently live and the date that you first moved there. This must be your actual home address, where you reside. Unlike in Part 1, Line 4, this cannot be just a mailing address.
Lines 3-5: If this is the first time you are applying for DACA, list each address where you have lived since entering the U.S., starting with the most recent address first. If you have lived at more than three addresses, list the additional addresses in Part 8 – Additional Information.
If you are applying to renew DACA, list only the addresses where you have lived since your first DACA application was approved. For example, if you have moved since your last DACA application was approved, list only that (or those) address(es) here. If you have not moved since then, you only need to fill in your Present Address (Lines 2a-2e).
Lines 6-7: If this is your first DACA application, and if you have left the U.S. for any reason from June 15, 2007 to the current date, list the dates of your trip and the reason why you left, here. If you have taken more than two trips outside the country, list any additional departures in Part 8 – Additional Information. If you have not left the U.S. since June 15, 2007, write “N/A” in each of these boxes. (Under the new DACA program going into effect in 2015, the relevant date will be changed to June 15, 2010.)
If you are applying to renew DACA, and if you have left the U.S. for any reason since the date your last DACA application was approved, list the departure/return dates and the reason for your trip, here. If you need additional room, use Part 8. If you have not left the U.S. since you were approved for DACA, state “N/A” in each box.
Line 8: Indicate whether you have left the U.S. without advance parole, which is an immigration document issued by USCIS to allow you reentry into the U.S. after a brief departure. Check “No” if you requested and received advance parole using Form I-131, Application for Travel Document and used this document to reenter the United States. If you have received an immigration benefit such as an initial DACA request, Temporary Protected Status, or applied for adjustment of status, you may have also applied for advance parole at the same time. If you travel outside the U.S. without advance parole on or after August 15, 2012, you may not be eligible for advance parole.
Lines 9a-9c: Fill in the country that issued your last passport, the passport number, and expiration date here.
Line 10: If you are a Mexican national and were legally admitted to the U.S. as a B1/B2 visitor when you first entered – even if that status has since expired – you may have been issued a Border Crossing Card (BCC). If so, enter that number here. If not, enter “None” or “N/A.”
Part 3. For Initial Requests Only.
Fill in this section only if this is the first time you are applying for DACA. If you are submitting a renewal application, you can skip this section.
Line 1: Check the box that applies to you. Remember that in order to be eligible for DACA, you must have arrived in the U.S. before you turned 16 and have lived here ever since.
Lines 2-3: Enter the date and place (city, state) of entry. You can find this on your Form I-94 Arrival/Departure document if one was issued to you. If you have no admission documents, attempt to find other travel documents or enter your best guess.
Line 4: If you entered the U.S. without inspection, write “No Lawful Status.” If you were legally admitted to the U.S. but your status has since expired, write “Status Expired.” If you were granted admission into the U.S. for humanitarian or other emergency reasons but stayed beyond the expiration date of your parole, write “Parole Expired.”
Lines 5a-5c: If you were ever given any of the three forms listed upon entering or leaving the U.S., check “Yes” and enter the form number and the expiration date on these lines. If you’ve never received any of these documents, check “No” and write “N/A” on 5b and 5c.
Lines 6-8: In order to be eligible for DACA, you must meet an education requirement. List your education status; the name of your school and the city and state where it is located; and the date of your graduation here. If you are still in school, write “current” on Line 8.
Lines 9-9d: If you have been a member of the U.S. military, check “Yes” and enter the branch you served in, the date you joined, the date you were discharged, and the type of discharge you received on these lines. If you have never served in the U.S. military, check “No” and write “N/A” on each of the remaining lines.
Part 4. Criminal, National Security and Public Safety Information.
In order to be eligible for DACA, you must not have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors. You must not pose a threat to national security or public safety. This section asks questions about each of these issues.
If you have questions about whether you were convicted of a misdemeanor or felony, you should consult with an immigration attorney with experience in criminal law matters. DACA applicants with any criminal background or who must check “Yes” on any of the questions in this section are strongly advised to consult with an immigration attorney before applying.
Line 1: If you have ever been arrested at any time and for any reason other than a minor traffic violation (such as speeding), check “Yes.” Then, submit any and all documents relating to that arrest with your DACA application. These can include formal charging documents, as well as certified copies of the disposition and sentence, which can be ordered from the court clerk where you were arrested or charged. Even if you have been arrested and/or charged with up to two misdemeanors, you may still be eligible to receive deferred action, but again, it is strongly advisable to consult with an attorney first.
Line 2: If you were ever arrested for, charged with, or convicted of any crime in any country outside of the U.S., check “Yes.” Then, request and submit the applicable documents, as listed above.
Lines 3-7: Check the box indicating your answer to each. If you would like to provide further explanation for any of these questions, be sure to check one box then provide additional information in Part 8.
Part 5. Statement, Certification, Signature, and Contact Information of the Requestor.
Lines 1a-1b: Check the box that applies to you. If it applies, you may check box 1a even if another person – including an attorney – has prepared this form for you. If you’ve received any assistance from an interpreter, check box 1b and fill in the language that you speak fluently.
Lines 2a-5: Sign and date Lines 2a-2b yourself, even if another person has assisted you in preparing Form I-821D. Then, fill in at least one telephone number and an email address (if you have one) in Lines 3-5.
Part 6. Contact Information, Certification, and Signature of the Interpreter.
If an interpreter has read Form I-821D to you or prepared the form for you, that person must put his or her information – including dated signature – here. If you have prepared this form by yourself, write “N/A” on each of the Lines in Part 6.
Part 7. Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature of the Person Preparing this Request, If Other than the Requestor.
If anyone other than the person who wants to receive DACA has prepared Form I-821D, fill in that person’s information in Part 7. The preparer can be an attorney, friend, or relative. If you have prepared this form for yourself, be sure to write “N/A” on each of the lines in Part 7.
Part 8. Additional Information.
If there is any question on this form that you did not have the space to answer fully and completely, use Part 8 to do so. This can include any additional names you have used, any additional addresses you have lived at, or any explanations regarding any arrests, charges, or convictions you may have received.
If you use Part 8, be sure to list (again) your full legal name and A-Number at the top of each page, which should exactly match the legal name and and A-Number provided earlier in the application.
For each item that you are adding an explanation, be sure to list the page number (found in the bottom right-hand corner of each sheet), the part number, and the item (or line) number to which you are referring.
If you are including additional information for more than three items, you may make as many copies of this page as you need in order to write your answers. Just be sure to sign and date each page at the bottom.
Include Additional Evidence to Support Your Application
If this is your first DACA application, you must submit documents showing that you are eligible to receive deferred action. Examples of these documents are included in Nolo’s article, “Deferred Action for Young Immigrants: Application Process.” You should also submit copies of the documents referenced throughout the application (i.e., Border Crossing Card, advance parole document, travel documents evidencing departure/return dates, and so forth), if applicable.
If you are renewing your DACA application, you do not need to resubmit these documents, as USCIS still has your original submission on file. However, if you have any new documents – for example, if your name has changed or if you have new criminal arrests or convictions – mail these documents to USCIS with your application for renewal.
Make sure that you keep copies of each of the forms and documents you submit, just in case USCIS asks you for them again.
by: Brandi Iryshe