Frequently Asked Questions about DACA

Have a question that you don't see listed here? Contact our DACA Specialist Team:

DACA Team: (951) 293 4664 |Main Office: (951) 588 9838

What is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)?

DACA is an administrative temporary relief from deportation granted to certain undocumented youth who had arrived to the United States as children. DACA is NOT a visa. A grant of deferred action is temporary and does not provide a path to lawful permanent resident status or U.S. citizenship. However, a person granted deferred action is considered by the federal government to be lawfully present in the U.S. for as long as the grant of deferred action is valid.

Why should I apply for DACA?

DACA can grant you many benefits such as work authorization, a social security number, and a driver’s license or state ID*. DACA can increase educational and career opportunities*, and can help you to begin establishing credit with financial institutes.
*Depending on state regulations

What kind of evidence do I need to submit for DACA? For DACA Renewal?

To prove that you qualify for DACA, gather documents such as financial records (lease agreements, phone bills, credit card bills), medical records, school records (diplomas, GED certificates, report cards, school transcripts), employment records, and military records.

For DACA renewal, you must submit a copy of your current EAD Work Permit. Read more about the renewal requirements at our page, "I-821D, Renewal Process for DREAMer / Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)".

How long will it take for me to get approved? Should I be concerned?

USCIS has said it is taking, on average, 4 to 6 months to make a decision on each DACA application.
Here are some ways to check what’s happening with your application:
a. Use USCIS’s “My Case Status” webpage. Go to the page, enter your application receipt number in the box, and click the “Check Status” button.

b. Call USCIS at 1-800-375-5283. Be prepared to be on the phone for a few hours. Inform the agent who answers that you applied for DACA, then tell the agent why you are calling.

c. If your case goes outside the normal processing time, consider contacting your local congressional representative and asking him or her to inquire about your case.

d. As a last resort, you can submit a request for “case assistance” to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman. But do this only after you’ve done everything you can to learn the status of your case using USCIS’s customer service options.

What do I do after I gather all my materials and fill out all my forms?

Before you submit your application, make sure you make a copy of the complete application packet and keep it in a safe place. You will need this packet for reference when you apply to renew your DACA in two years. Being able to refer to the copy of your original application packet will help ensure that the information you provide is consistent.

What if some of my documents are in Spanish or another language?

All documents that you submit to USCIS that are not in English have to be translated into English. You can do the translation yourself if you speak both English and the language the document is written in. At the end of each document you translate from another language in English, you must submit a dated and signed statement certifying that you are competent to translate from that language into English.

Will USCIS conduct a background check as part of my DACA request?

Yes. These background checks involve checking the biographic and biometric information that you provide against a variety of databases kept by the federal government.

I have been paying taxes using an ITIN number. Do I list that on my application?

No. Only list a Social Security number that was properly issued to you by the Social Security Administration. Do not list an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number)—or any other Social Security number that you may have used—on your DACA or employment authorization application forms.

I received a Request for Evidence (RFE) from USCIS. What should I do?

When USCIS wants you to submit additional evidence to support your DACA application, it will send you an RFE. Make sure you respond quickly to any RFE you receive, since you must provide the additional evidence within three months. If you do not respond before the deadline, your DACA application will be denied. The RFE will tell you exactly what additional evidence you need to submit. If you are not sure how to respond, consult with an attorney or accredited representative.

If my DACA request is denied, will I be placed in deportation proceedings?

If you are denied DACA, USCIS will refer your case to ICE only if it involves a criminal offense, fraud, or a threat to national security or public safety.

I received a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) or a denial. What are my options?

If the USCIS sends you a NOID, it is informing you that USCIS doesn’t think you meet the requirements for DACA. If you don’t respond within 33 days, your DACA application will be denied. If your application is denied, you will receive a denial letter. This denial cannot be appealed.

If you think that you DO meet the requirements for being granted DACA and you want your case to be reconsidered, you will have to reapply and pay the application fees again. However, before you reapply for DACA after having received a denial, it would be best to consult with an attorney or accredited representative.

I was granted deferred action and received my work permit, but then I lost it. Can I get a replacement card?

Yes, but you will have apply for a replacement card by completing and submitting Form I-765. You will have to pay the work permit application fee and check the box, near the top of Form I-765, next to “Replacement (of lost employment authorization document).”

May I travel outside the United States?

If you travel outside of the U.S. before your DACA is approved, you won’t be eligible for deferred action.

However, if USCIS approves your request for deferred action, you may travel outside of the U.S. if you apply for and receive advance parole (I-131 form) from USCIS. Advance parole allows you to leave the U.S. for humanitarian, employment, or educational reasons. See I-131, Application for Travel Document for more information.

Will I be allowed to renew my DACA status?

Yes. DACA is valid for two years and can be renewed for an additional two years. The USCIS is both initial applications and renewal. See I-821D, Renewal Process for DREAMer / Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

How should I approach my current employer if I was using a made-up Social Security Number to work prior to DACA?

If your name is the same but you now have a different Social Security Number, you might tell your employer that you want to update your Form W-4, “Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate.” The Form W-4 itself says that you should consider filling out a new Form W-4 each year, so your employer should let you do so.

If your employer denies or questions your request, don’t volunteer that you worked with a Social Security Number that wasn’t issued to you, and contact an employment attorney for advice at that point.

Another form you might have filled out when you started working is the Form I-9, “Employment Eligibility Verification.” Consult an employment attorney before asking to update your Form I-9.

Do I need to register for Selective Service?

Yes. Regardless of your immigration status, or if you have been granted DACA or if your DACA is pending, if you are a man ages 18 through 25 and living in the U.S., then you must register with Selective Service. It’s the law.


Do I have to inform Immigration Services (USCIS) if I change my address? If so, how do I do that?

If you permanently move, immigration law requires that all non- citizens file Form AR-11 within 10 days of that move.