How to fill out Form I-821D for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

If you are applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for the first time or to renew, you must fill out form I-821D.  By signing this form you are requesting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to allow you to stay in the U.S. temporarily through its prosecutorial discretion.  It doesn’t matter if you already have an order of removal, are in removal proceedings, or USCIS has no knowledge of you.  If you qualify you won’t be removed for two year and will get work authorization.  That will allow you to apply for a social security number and a driver’s license.

To Apply for DACA you need Several Forms

Your application will be rejected unless you properly fill out.

  • Form I-821D.
  • Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization,
  • Form I-765WS (Worksheet), and all applicable fees.

For information on DACA read “What is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” “How do I Renew my DACA,” and “When to Renew my  DACA

If you have DACA, you MUST apply 120 to 150 days before DACA expires.  If you don’t you will lose your status, your work authorization, your driver’s license, and you will accrue unlawful presence.

How do I Fill out Form I-821D?

Form I-821D has eight separate sections. If you don’t presently have DACA, you must fill out all eight sections.  If you are renewing your DACA, don’t fill out section three.  Don’t leave any blanks.  Fill out each question completely and accurately.  If something doesn’t apply write “N/A” or “Not Applicable.” You don’t want USCIS rejecting the application for failure to answer a question.

Part 1. Information about You

Lines 1 and 2:  If this is your first application select line 1 if you are renewing select line 2 and write the date your DACA expires in (mm/dd/yyyy) fashion.  For example, October 10, 2014 would be 10/10/2014.

Lines 3a through 3c: Write your full legal name as it appears on your passport, birth certificate, or identification card. If your name has changed, i.e., marriage or divorce, you must submit documents proving the name change (Judge’s Order or Marriage Certificate).

Lines 4a through 4e: Enter your current mailing address. You must be able to receive USCIS’s notices so make sure this information is correct.  This doesn’t have to be your actual address where you now live.

Lines 5 through 5g: Check “No,” if you have never been ordered removed or placed in removal proceedings.  You don’t need to answer 5a through 5g.  However, check “Yes” if you entered the U.S. without permission and were turned away or if you were ever ordered removed.  You must answer 5a through 5g.  This allows USCIS to determine the status or outcome of any removal proceedings.  If you are in proceedings now, 5f asks for the last date you appeared in immigration court (check your documents) and the city and state where the court is located 5g.

Line 6: Alien Registration Number is the nine digit number that appears on every form issued by USCIS. If you applying to renew DACA, your “A-number” can be found on your approval notice. If this is your first DACA application, you have an A-number if you have ever been in been in removal proceedings, or received any communications from USCIS.  Otherwise put N/A.

Line 7: If you have a U.S. Social Security Number, put it here.  If you never received one write “N/A.” If you have ever used a Social Security Number not specifically assigned in your name, DON’T use it here.

Line 8: Fill in your date of birth in the appropriate format matching the date listed on your birth certificate, passport, or other official identification documents.

Line 9: This asks whether you are male or female.

Lines 10a – 10b: Write where you were born.

Line 11: In order to qualify for DACA you must be in the U.S. when you apply.  Any other response you will likely be denied.

Line 12: Write where you are currently a citizen or national. This is usually the country were you were born and issued you a passport.

Line 13: Write your marital status.  If you are separated, but not legally divorced, check “Married” but explain it in Part 8 – Additional Information.  If you are divorced or widowed it is always a good idea to include a copy of the divorce decree or death certificate.

Lines 14a-14c: If you have ever used or been known by other names, write these in here. If you need more room list and explain them in Part 8 – Additional Information.  It may have been because of marriage or divorce. If you have multiple Surnames (like those in Central and South America) a school or court may have used only one of those names but not both.  Include them and explain what happened.

Line 15: Check whether or not you are Hispanic or Latino.

Line 16: Check all the boxes that apply.  If you are mu multiracial you can check more than one box.

Lines 17-20: Write your height, weight, and eye and hair color.

Part 2. Residence and Travel Information.

Line 1: To be eligible for DACA you must prove (through documents) that you have continuously lived in the U.S. from June 15, 2007 until you apply. You can only have had brief trips abroad.

Lines 2a-2e: Fill in the address where you currently live and since when have you lived there.  In Part I, Line 4, you could use a mailing address.  Not here.  This must be where you actually live.

Lines 3-5: If this is the first time you are applying for DACA, you must list each address where you have lived since entering the U.S., starting with the most recent address first. Use Part 8 – Additional Information, for any addresses that don’t fit.  If you are renewing your DACA, list only the addresses since your last application.

Lines 6-7: If this is your first DACA application, you have to document and explain each departure from the U.S. since June 15, 2007 to when you apply.  You must prove when you left, when you returned, and the reason for your departure.  Too many trips or too long a trip can break the “continuous” requirement and you will be denied.  Use Part 8, if you need more room.  If you have ANY trips abroad during this period you should be speak to an immigration attorney before you apply.  If you haven’t left the U.S. since June 15, 2007, write “N/A” in each of these boxes.

If you are renewing DACA, and you left the U.S. since you last applied for DACA, list the departure/return dates and the reason for your trip, here. Use Part 8, if you need more room.  If not, then write “N/A” in each box.

Line 8: Indicate whether or not you have left the U.S. without advance parole since August 15, 2012.  Advance Parole is document issued by USCIS allowing you reentry into the U.S. after a brief departure. If you haven’t left the U.S. check “No.”  If you left with Advance Parole select “No.”  Only if you left the U.S. without first requesting and receiving advance parole should you select “Yes.”

Lines 9a-9c: Write the country that issued your last passport, the passport number, and expiration date.

Line 10: If you are a Mexican national and were legally admitted to the U.S. as a B1/B2 visitor – even if that status has since expired – you may have been issued a Border Crossing Card (BCC). If so, write that number here. If not, write “N/A.”

Part 3. For Initial Requests Only.

Line 1: To qualify for DACA you must have entered the U.S. before you turned 16.

Lines 2-3: Write Enter the date, City, and State where you entered the U.S. If you entered legally, your passport or any arrival/departure documents should indicate where and when you entered. If you have no documents, use your best guess.  Just remember that you must prove that you meet all the requirements in order to get DACA.  If you can’t show you were in the U.S. before you turned 16, you will be denied.

Line 4: Here are three options

  • No Lawful Status – If you didn’t enter the U.S. legally
  • Status Expired – legally admitted to the U.S., but overstayed that status
  • Parole Expired – granted admission into the U.S. for humanitarian or other emergency reasons, but overstayed your parole.

Lines 5a-5c: If you were issued a form I-94, I-94W, or I-95 when you entered the U.S., select “Yes” and enter the form number and the expiration date. If you’ve never the forms, check 5a write “No,” and write “N/A” on 5b and 5c.

Lines 6-8: In order to qualify for DACA, you must have graduated from High School, received a GED, or be in “school.” You must prove your status with documents.  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.  If you are not sure of your status speak to an immigration attorney before you apply.

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.

To qualify for DACA or DACA renewal, you can’t 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 to check “Yes” to any of these questions, you must consult with an immigration attorney with strong experience in criminal law matters before applying.

Line 1: If you have ever been arrested in the U.S. for any reason other than a minor traffic violation (usually defined as a fine of under $500), check “Yes.” You must submit all documents relating to that arrest.  Ex., police reports, investigative reports, certified disposition, photographs, and witness statements.  Consult with an immigration attorney first.

Line 2: This is the same as line 1 but concerns outside the U.S.  See line 1.

Lines 3-7: These also questions your past activities, associations, and conduct.  If you answer “Yes” to any of them you must explain it in in Part 8 and should consult with an immigration attorney experienced in criminal matters.  Even if it doesn’t automatically disqualify you, your conduct may result in a denial because of lack of good moral character.

Part 5. Statement, Certification, Signature, and Contact Information of the Requestor.

Lines 1a-1b: If you can read and understand English, select line 1a.  Do so even if an attorney helped you prepare the form.  If you don’t read and understand English, select lb and write the language you are most comfortable in.

Lines 2a-5: Sign and date Lines 2a-2b yourself, even if someone else helped you with this form.   Include 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 you have prepared this form by yourself, write “N/A” on each of the Lines in Part 6.  If an interpreter read the form for our or helped you prepare it, he or she must put their information and dated and sign the form here.

Part 7. Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature of the Person Preparing this Request, If Other than the Requestor.

If anyone other than you prepared Form I-821D, that person must place their information here.  This is where you attorney puts his or her information.  If you prepared the form yourself, write “N/A” on each line

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. If you use Part 8, list your full legal name and A-Number at the top of each page, this information should match what you indicated earlier in the application.

For each item that you are explaining, 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.  Sign and date the bottom of each page no matter how many pages you include.

Supporting Evidence

If this is your first time applying for DACA application, you must prove each of the requirement elements through evidence.  Also, if you reference a document include a copy.

If you are renewing your DACA application, you only need to submit new evidence.  That means the last two years, any changes in school, and any new interactions with law enforcement, updated criminal background, updated driver’s abstract, etc.

Make sure to keep copies of the application and any supporting documents you prepare.

If you have any questions, to speak to our knowledgeable staff call 888-695-6169

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