Do-It-Yourself DACA Guide

DACA Initial Application Step-by-Step Guide

How to apply for an initial application for DACA status:

To apply for DACA you will file the Form I-821D, Form I-765, and the Form I-765WS. Together these forms are to apply for DACA status and work authorization.

Need help applying? Learn how to prepare your application with SimpleCitizen here.


How long does it take?

Once your application is approved, you will receive your new documentation in the mail. The current processing timeline for initial DACA applications is 3 to 9 months.


Are you eligible to apply for DACA?

This article is going over the process of applying for initial DACA status. In order to apply for an initial application, you need to have not previously held DACA or your DACA has expired for more than a year.

If you currently have DACA or if your DACA has expired for less than a year, click here to see our step-by-step guide for DACA renewal.


What is the filing fee?

The filing fee for a DACA is currently $495. Use the USCIS Fee Calculator to verify the fee amount.


Where do you file for DACA?

Where you file your DACA application varies by your state of residence. Check here to see where you should mail in your application.


Step-by-Step Instructions

If you choose to complete the paperwork and file on your own, here is a step-by-step guide to accurately filling Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.


Form I-821D Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Part 1.

1-2. You are filing as an initial request so you should select #1 that this is an initial request. REMINDER: If your DACA period has expired for more than a year you should still select that you are filing for an initial request.

3.a.-3.c. This section is just asking for your legal name. Make sure to include your current full legal name. If you have two last names, you should include both.

4.a.-4.e. This is your current U.S. mailing address. If someone else is receiving your mail for you, their name will be included on 4.a.

5-5.g. You must indicate here if you have ever been in removal proceedings or have ever had a removal order issued. If you answer Yes in #5 then you must answer 5.a.-5.g.

6. Enter your Alien Number (Also known as a USCIS Number) in this field. Most people do not have an Alien Number. You can check previous receipt notices or EAD documents to see if you were assigned an Alien Number.

7. If you have one, enter your Social Security Number in this field.

8. This is your date of birth in MM/DD/YYYY format.

9. Here you will choose your gender.

10.a. Enter your city or town in this field. There is no need to include your full address, only include the city or town of your birth.

10.b. This is your country of birth.

11. This is your current country of residence. As a DACA applicant this will most likely be, “United States.”

12. This is your country of citizenship or nationality.

13. Here you will indicate your marital status.

14.a.-14.c. This section is asking for other names you have used in your life. This could include your maiden name, name with previous spouses, family name at birth, any nicknames, aliases, or assumed names. If you have more than one previous name make sure to add them in Part 8.

15. In this section, you will add some biographical information. This is so the USCIS can confirm your identity. First you will indicate if you are hispanic or not. Hispanic or latino is a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin.

16. In this question, you will put your race. This can be confusing because there are only a few categories. Here is a guide for the USCIS:

  • White is a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.
  • Asian is a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Black or African American is a person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
  • American Indian or Alaska Native is a person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment.
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander is a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.

NOTE: USCIS considers being Latino or Hispanic to be an ethnicity, not a race. Generally Latinos/Hispanics will choose either White or Black, whichever they identify more fully with.

17-20. For the remaining questions, you will put your height, weight, eye color, and hair color.


Part 2.

1. This is where you indicate if you have maintained a continuous residence in the U.S. since June 15, 2007.

2.a.-5.e. List any addresses where you have lived since you initially entered the U.S. You do not need to fill in all four addresses if you have lived in fewer than addresses. In addition, if you have had more than four addresses since entering the U.S. you should indicate those addresses in Part 8.

6.a.-7.c. Since this is an initial request then you should indicate all absences from the United States since June 15, 2007.

8. Indicate here if you have left the United States without advance parole since August 15, 2012.

9.a-9.c. This is where you should enter the information for your most recent passport.

10. If you have a Border Crossing Card include the card number here.


Part 3.

1. Indicate whether you arrived and established residence in the U.S. prior to being 16 years old. Note: You must have arrived prior to 16 in order to qualify for DACA.

2. To the best of your knowledge please enter the date of your last arrival into the U.S.

3. Indicate where you last arrived in the U.S. If you were inspected upon entry you should indicate the place where the inspection took place.

4. Enter your immigration status on June 15, 2012. Note: In order to qualify for DACA you must have no longer held a lawful status as of June 15, 2012.

5.a. Indicate if you were issued an Arrival-Departure Record upon arrival to the U.S. If you were paroled/inspected upon your entry until the US then you were most likely issued an Arrival-Departure Record upon arrival.

5.b. If you indicated Yes to 5.a and have a copy of your Arrival-Departure Record then you should add your record number here.

5.c. If you indicated Yes to 5.a and have a copy of your Arrival-Departure Record then you should provide the date of expiration of your authorized stay.

6. There are educational requirements that must be met in order to qualify for DACA. Please indicate how you have met these requirements.

7. Indicate the name, city, and state where you are currently attending school or where your education was received.

8. Indicate either your date or graduation or if you are still attending school indicate your date of last attendance.

9. Indicate whether or not you were a member of the U.S. Armed Forces or U.S. Coast Guard.

9.a.-9.d. If you indicated Yes to #9 please add information about your membership.


Part 4.

1-7. Most of these answers should be “no.” For any question you answer “Yes,” you can then explain the circumstances in Part 14. Additional Information.

You should also disclose all arrests. Even if it was a mistake or for a minor crime, you should include them. If you have any arrests, you should attach documentation with your Form I-821D.


Part 5.

Congratulations, you are about done with Form I-821D! Here is where you sign your form. You will also check that you can read and understand English so that they know you understand what you are signing. If you do not read and understand English make sure to select 1.b. You will also include your contact information.


Part 6.

If you don’t speak English and have relied on an interpreter to fill out Form I-821D, this is where they will sign.


Part 7.

This is where an attorney would include their credentials. You probably will leave this blank considering you’ve been using this step-by-step guide.


Required Supporting Documents

For an initial DACA request you do not need to resubmit documents submitted with your previous DACA application. Following the Form I-821D add a copy of the following documents:

  • Evidence that you are at least 15 years of age at the time of filing
  • Evidence that you were born after June 15, 1981
  • Evidence that you have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time - include detailed documentation of presence in the U.S. since June 2007
  • Evidence that you were present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS
  • Evidence that you had no lawful status on June 15, 2012
  • Any U.S. government immigration or other document bearing your name and photograph (e.g., EADs, visas, driver’s licenses, non-driver cards) (if you have any)
  • Any school-issued form of identification with photo (if you have any)
  • Military identification document with photo (if you have any)
  • State-issued photo ID showing date of birth (if you have any)
  • Requestor’s Birth Certificate
  • Passport
  • Form I-94 (if you have one)
  • School records
  • Documents pertaining to removal proceedings or criminal history

NOTE: Form I-765 and I-765WS must be submitted with Form I-821D or it will not be accepted by USCIS.


Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization

Part 1.

1.a.-1.c. This is where you select if you are applying for an initial, replacement, or renewal employment authorization document. Since you are currently filing for an initial DACA application you should select 1.a.


Part 2.

1.a.-1.c. This section is just asking for your legal name. Make sure to include your current full legal name. If you have two last names, you should include both.

2.a.-4.c. This section is asking for other names you have used in your life. This could include your maiden name, name with previous spouses, family name at birth, any nicknames, aliases, or assumed names.

5.a.-5.e. This is your current U.S. mailing address. If someone else is receiving your mail for you, their name will be included on 4.a. Make sure that this address matches the address that you provided on Form I-821D.

6. This is where you should indicate if your U.S. mailing address is the same as your physical address.

7.a.-7.d. If you said NO to Part 2, #6 then you should provide your current U.S. physical address here.

8. Enter your Alien Number (Also known as a USCIS Number) in this field. Most people do not have an Alien Number. You can check previous receipt notices or EAD documents to see if you were assigned an Alien Number.

9. If you have an online account with USCIS you will enter the account number here.

10. Here you will choose your gender.

11. Here you will indicate your marital status.

12. Indicate whether you have previously filed Form I-765. If you have an EAD then you will answer Yes to this question.

13.a. Indicate whether or not you have been issued a Social Security card.

13.b. If you answer Yes to 13.a., enter your Social Security Number in this field.

14. If you do not have a Social Security Card and would like the SSA to issue you one you will select Yes.

15. This question only needs to be answered if you answered Yes to Part 2, #14.

16.a.-17.b. These only need to be completed if you answered Yes to Part 2, #14.

18.a.-18.b. List any countries where you currently hold citizenship or nationality. If you have more than two you should provide information about it in Part. 6.

19.a. Enter your city or town in this field. There is no need to include your full address, only include the city or town of your birth.

19.b. This is your state of province of birth.

19.c. This is your country of birth.

20. This is your date of birth in MM/DD/YYYY format.

21.a. If you were issued a Form I-94 upon your last arrival in the U.S., provide that number here.

21.b. This should be your most recently issued passport number, even if you entered the U.S. using a previously issued passport.

21.c. If you entered using a travel document such as a border crossing card, provide that number here.

21.d. Enter the country that issued your passport. Please note that if your passport was issued at a consulate in the U.S., you should still indicate that it was issued by the country of the consulate.

21.e. Provide the expiration of the passport or travel document provided in 21.b or 21.c.

22. To the best of your knowledge please enter the date of your last arrival into the U.S.

23. Indicate where you last arrived in the U.S. If you were inspected upon entry you should indicate the place where the inspection took place.

24. Here you should enter your status from your last arrival. If you entered on a valid visa provide that visa type. If you had no status upon entry you can indicate “No Status.”

25. Since this is an application for DACA your current status should be “No Lawful Status.”

26. This field is not required for your application type.

27. The eligibility category for a DACA application is C33.

28- 31.b. These all do not apply to someone filing under C33 so you do not need to provide any information here.


Part 3.

Congratulations, you are about done with Form I-765! Here is where you sign your form. You will also check that you can read and understand English so that they know you understand what you are signing. If you do not read and understand English make sure to select 1.b. You will also include your contact information.


Part 4.

If you don’t speak English and have relied on an interpreter to fill out Form I-821D, this is where they will sign.


Part 5.

This is where an attorney would include their credentials. You probably will leave this blank considering you’ve been using this step-by-step guide.


Form I-765WS

Part 1.

1.a.-1.c. This section is just asking for your legal name. Make sure to include your current full legal name. If you have two last names, you should include both.


Part 2.

1. Enter your current annual income. This is your annual salary or if you are an hourly employee you can multiply your pay by your average hours worked. Make sure to enter the annual amount.

2. Calculate your annual expenses such as bills, debts, etc.

3. Enter the value of your assets such as bank accounts, properties, stocks, etc.


Part 3.

In this section provide an explanation of why you need to be issued work authorization. You can describe what financial needs you have.


Supporting Documents

Following the Form I-765 and I-765WS, add a copy of the following documents:

  • Form I-94 (If you have one)
  • EAD Card

NOTE: File the Form I-765 in conjunction with Form I-821D.

Back to Top

DACA Renewal Step-by-Step Guide

How to apply for renewal of your DACA status

To apply to renew your DACA you will file the Form I-821D, Form I-765, and the Form I-765WS. Together these forms will renew both your DACA and your work authorization.

Need help applying? Learn how to prepare your application with SimpleCitizen here.


How long does it take?

Once your application is approved, you will receive your new documentation in the mail. The current processing timeline for a DACA renewal is 2 to 10 months.


Are you eligible to apply for DACA?

This article is going over the process of applying for a renewal of your DACA. In order to apply for a renewal, you need to have previously approved DACA and it cannot have been expired for more than a year.

If you do not currently have DACA or if your status has been expired for more than a year, click here to see our step-by-step guide for initial requests.


What is the filing fee?

The filing fee for a DACA renewal is currently $495. Use the USCIS Fee Calculator to verify the fee amount.


Where do you file for DACA?

Where you file your DACA application varies by your state of residence. Check here to see where you should mail in your application.


Step-by-Step Instructions

If you choose to complete the paperwork and file on your own, here is a step-by-step guide to accurately filling Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.


Form I-821D Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Part 1.

1-2. You are filing as a renew so you should select #2 that this is a renewal request. In addition you should indicate the expiration date of your more recent DACA period. REMINDER: If your DACA period has been expired for more than a year you should instead be completing an initial DACA application.

3.a.-3.c. This section is just asking for your legal name. Make sure to include your current full legal name. If you have two last names, you should include both.

4.a.-4.e. This is your current U.S. mailing address. If someone else is receiving your mail for you, their name will be included on 4.a.

5-5.g. You must indicate here if you have ever been in removal proceedings or have ever had a removal order issued. If you answer Yes in #5 then you must answer 5.a.-5.g.

6. Enter your Alien Number (Also known as a USCIS Number) in this field. As a previous DACA recipient you should be able to find this on your Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

7. Enter your Social Security Number in this field.

8. This is your date of birth in MM/DD/YYYY format.

9. Here you will choose your gender.

10.a. Enter your city or town in this field. There is no need to include your full address, only include the city or town of your birth.

10.b. This is your country of birth.

11. This is your current country of residence. As a DACA recipient this will most likely be, “United States.”

12. This is your country of citizenship or nationality.

13. Here you will indicate your marital status.

14.a.-14.c. This section is asking for other names you have used in your life. This could include your maiden name, name with previous spouses, family name at birth, any nicknames, aliases, or assumed names. If you have more than one previous name make sure to add them in Part 8.

15. In this section, you will add some biographical information. This is so the USCIS can confirm your identity. First you will put if you are hispanic or not. Hispanic or latino is a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin.

16. In this question, you will put your race. This can be confusing because there are only a few categories. Here is a guide for the USCIS:

  • White is a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.
  • Asian is a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Black or African American is a person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
  • American Indian or Alaska Native is a person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America), and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment.
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander is a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.

NOTE: USCIS considers being Latino or Hispanic to be an ethnicity, not a race. Generally Latinos/Hispanics will choose either White or Black, whichever they identify more fully with.

17-20. For the remaining questions, you will put your height, weight, eye color, and hair color.


Part 2.

1. This is where you indicate if you have maintained a continuous residence in the U.S. since June 15, 2007.

2.a.-5.e. List any addresses where you have lived since you have last filed the Form I-821D. You do not need to fill in all four addresses if you have lived in fewer than addresses. In addition, if you have had more than four addresses since your last I-821D filing you should indicate those addresses in Part 8.

6.a.-7.c. Since this is a renewal request then you should indicate all absences from the United States since you last filed Form I-821D.

8. Indicate here if you have left the United States without advance parole since August 15, 2012.

9.a-9.c. This is where you should enter the information for your most recent passport.

10. If you have a Border Crossing Card include the card number here.


Part 3.

This step should not be completed because you are filing a renewal application, not an initial application.

Part 4.

1-7. Most of these answers should be “no”. For any question you answer Yes you can then explain the circumstances in Part 14. Additional Information.

You should also disclose all arrests. Even if it was a mistake or for a minor crime, you should include them. If you have any arrests, you should attach documentation with your Form I-821D.


Part 5.

Congratulations, you are about done with Form I-821D! Here is where you sign your form. You will also check that you can read and understand English so that they know you understand what you are signing. If you do not read and understand English make sure to select 1.b. You will also include your contact information.


Part 6.

If you don’t speak English and have relied on an interpreter to fill out Form I-821D, this is where they will sign.


Part 7.

This is where an attorney would include their credentials. You probably will leave this blank considering you’ve been using this step-by-step guide.


Required Supporting Documents

For a DACA renewal request you do not need to resubmit documents submitted with your previous DACA application. Following the Form I-821D add a copy of the following documents:

  • Requestor’s Birth Certificate
  • Passport
  • Form I-94 (If you have one)
  • Any new school records
  • Any new documents pertaining to removal proceedings or criminal history

NOTE: Form I-765 and I-765WS must be submitted with Form I-821D or it will not be accepted by USCIS.


Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization

Part 1.

1.a.-1.c. This is where you select if you are applying for an initial, replacement, or renewal employment authorization document. Since you are currently filing for a renewal of your DACA status you should select 1.c.


Part 2.

1.a.-1.c. This section is just asking for your legal name. Make sure to include your current full legal name. If you have two last names, you should include both.

2.a.-4.c. This section is asking for other names you have used in your life. This could include your maiden name, name with previous spouses, family name at birth, any nicknames, aliases, or assumed names.

5.a.-5.e. This is your current U.S. mailing address. If someone else is receiving your mail for you, their name will be included on 4.a. Make sure that this address matches the address that you provided on Form I-821D.

6. This is where you should indicate if your U.S. mailing address is the same as your physical address.

7.a.-7.d. If you said NO to Part 2, #6 then you should provide your current U.S. physical address here.

8. Enter your Alien Number (also known as a USCIS Number) in this field. As a previous DACA recipient you should be able to find this on your Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

9. If you have an online account with USCIS you will enter the account number here.

10. Here you will choose your gender.

11. Here you will indicate your marital status.

12. Since this is a renewal of your DACA status you will have filed Form I-765 with your initial application so your answer should be Yes.

13.a. Here you should indicate if you have been issued a Social Security card. Most likely you will have been issued this through your initial DACA approval.

13.b. Enter your Social Security Number in this field.

14. If you do not have a Social Security Card and would like the SSA to issue you one you will select Yes.

15. This question only needs to be answered if you answered Yes to Part 2, #14.

16.a.-17.b. These only need to be completed if you answered Yes to Part 2, #14.

18.a.-18.b. List any countries where you currently hold citizenship or nationality. If you have more than two you should provide information about it in Part. 6.

19.a. Enter your city or town in this field. There is no need to include your full address, only include the city or town of your birth.

19.b. This is your state of province of birth.

19.c. This is your country of birth.

20. This is your date of birth in MM/DD/YYYY format.

21.a. If you were issued a Form I-94 upon your last arrival in the U.S., provide that number here.

21.b. This should be your most recently issued passport number, even if you entered the U.S. using a previously issued passport.

21.c. If you entered using a travel document such as a border crossing card, provide that number here.

21.d. Enter the country that issued your passport. Please note that if your passport was issued at a consulate in the U.S. you should still indicate that it was issued by the country of the consulate.

21.e. Provide the expiration of the passport or travel document provided in 21.b or 21.c.

22. To the best of your knowledge please enter the date of your last arrival into the U.S.

23. Indicate where you last arrived in the U.S. If you were inspected upon entry you should indicate the place where the inspection took place.

24. Here you should enter you status from your last arrival. If you entered on a valid visa provide that visa type. If you had no status upon entry you can indicate “No Status.”

25. Since this is an application for DACA renewal your current status should be “Deferred Action”.

26. This field is not required for your application type.

27. The eligibility category for a DACA renewal is C33.

28- 31.b. These all do not apply to someone filing under C33 so you do not need to provide any information here.


Part 3.

Congratulations, you are about done with Form I-765! Here is where you sign your form. You will also check that you can read and understand English so that they know you understand what you are signing. If you do not read and understand English make sure to select 1.b. You will also include your contact information.


Part 4.

If you don’t speak English and have relied on an interpreter to fill out Form I-821D, this is where they will sign.


Part 5.

This is where an attorney would include their credentials. You probably will leave this blank considering you’ve been using this step-by-step guide.


Form I-765WS

Part 1.

1.a.-1.c. This section is just asking for your legal name. Make sure to include your current full legal name. If you have two last names, you should include both.


Part 2.

1. Enter your current annual income. This is your annual salary or if you are an hourly employee you can multiply your pay by your average hours worked. Make sure to enter the annual amount.

2. Calculate your annual expenses such as bills, debts, etc.

3. Enter the value of your assets such as bank accounts, properties, stocks, etc.


Part 3.

In this section provide an explanation of why you need to be issued work authorization. You can describe what financial needs you have.


Supporting Documents

Following the Form I-765 and I-765WS add a copy of the following documents:

  • Form I-94 (If you have one)
  • EAD Card

NOTE: File the Form I-765 in conjunction with Form I-821D.

Back to Top
Haga Clic Aquí para Español
Haga Clic Aquí para Español
Haga Clic Aquí para Español