DACA: Frequently Asked Questions

The process for obtaining Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) can be very complicated and confusing as each case is decided case-by-case and is a discretionary measure. Our Los Angeles immigration lawyers would hate for anyone to accidentally be placed into removal/deportation proceedings as a result of a filing error or other mistake. We encourage you to contact our U.S. immigration lawyers now for a FREE consultation.

What documentation is sufficient to demonstrate that I entered the United States before the age of 16 and have been present for at least 5 years and that I was present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012?

Sufficient documentation for you to demonstrate these requirements can include, but is not limited to:

  • Financial records

  • Medical records

  • School records

  • Employment records

  • Military records

What documentation is sufficient to demonstrate that I am currently enrolled in school, have graduated from high school or have obtained a GED?

Documentation that is sufficient for you to demonstrate current school enrollment, high school graduation or a GED certificate may include, but is not limited to:

  • High School diploma

  • GED certificate

  • College enrollment certification letters

  • School transcripts

I am no longer attending school and do not have a High School diploma or a GED, am I still eligible for DACA?

Under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals guideline criteria, to be considered “currently in school”, an applicant must be enrolled in school on the date that the request for Consideration of Deferred Action is submitted. However, this criteria includes vocational and trade classes as well as English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.

What constitutes a “brief, casual and innocent” absence from the United States?

An absence will be considered “brief, casual and innocent” if it occurred prior to August 15, 2012, and:

  • Was short and reasonably calculated to accomplish its purpose;

  • Was not because of an order of exclusion, deportation or removal;

  • Was not because of an order of voluntary departure or an administrative grant of voluntary departure prior to the initiation of exclusion, deportation or removal proceedings; and

  • The purpose of the absence and the requestor actions while outside the United States were not contrary to the law.

What evidence can I use to show my brief departure from the United States?

We encourage all of our clients to submit evidence that any absences from the United States prior to August 15, 2012 were brief, casual and innocent. This evidence may include, but is not limited to:

  • Passport entries

  • Transportation tickets

  • Hotel receipts

  • Evidence of the purpose of the requestor travel

  • An advance parole document

  • Any other relevant information

Will individuals who receive Deferred Action be permitted to travel outside of the country?

Yes, but only if they first apply for and receive a special travel document known as an “Advance Parole document”. Generally, Advance Parole is only granted for travel relating to humanitarian, educational, or employment purposes, and requires payment of a $360 Application fee.

To learn more about the process of requesting Advance Parole on DACA, read our section here.

My DACA is expiring soon, how can I apply to renew my DACA?

In order to renew your DACA you must simply file another Form I-821D request with USCIS. To learn more about this process, please visit our page on renewing DACA. When a DACA beneficiary applies to renew his or her DACA, he or she will receive DACA benefits for 3 years instead of the previous 2 years.