The twelve most commonly asked questions about DACA, answered.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a policy which allows certain children who were brought into the US and accrued unlawful presence to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation. Even the perfect candidate for DACA may struggle to jump through the many hoops this policy demands.
- Am I still eligible for DACA if I dropped out of high school?
No. In general, if you dropped out of school or left an educational program you will not be eligible for DACA or a DACA renewal. But you may sign up for a new educational program and apply.
- My primary school is no longer around to request transcripts from. Who do I contact?
Contact your school district to inquire about this information.
- Can I travel to more than one country on my Advance Parole?
You can but be certain that you return to the US before your travel document (Advance Parole) expires. The reason for your travel must also be employment, educational, or humanitarian related.
- I received a traffic ticket – do I include this in my application?
No. You don’t need to include minor traffic violations unless they’re alcohol or drug-related.
- How do I prove that I’ve been in the US since 2007 if I did not attend primary school or go to a doctor?
You may prove residency in a number of ways. You can use your Parents’ Federal Income Tax Returns or Tax Transcripts if you’re listed as a dependent, if that is applicable. You may also use your parents’ leases, rental receipts, bank statements, etcetera.
Religious records from a church, mosque, or any other place of worship may also be used. For example, documents related to baptism, presentation, naming ceremonies, or any other public even or rite of passage your family celebrated with you while you were in the US.
Any photographs placing you in the US since the age of 16 and since 2007.
- Can I travel to Puerto Rico or the Virgin Isles without Advanced Parole?
You may technically visit Puerto Rice and the US Virgin Islands without Advance Parole, but you should be aware that there are risks in doing so. Though they are US territories, flights can be rerouted through other countries, which may impact your ability to reenter the United States.
Additionally, entry back into the United States is always at the discretion of the Customs and Border Patrol officer inspecting your return. This means that even with an approved Advance Parole you’re not guaranteed to be allowed back in.
- Can I submit bills and utility letters from my parents as proof of residence if my name is not on the bill?
Yes, if there is no better evidence available you may submit your parents’ utility bills in conjunction with evidence that you lived in your parents’ home at the time.
- Can I purchase a home under DACA?
This depends on the lender. DACA status by itself does not stop someone from buying a home, that it can complicate the financing process since DACA status can make you ineligible from receiving certain types of loans. For example, the Federal Housing Authority loans from US Housing and Urban Development.
- Do DACA recipients get COVID stimulus checks?
No, DACA recipients are not eligible to receive COVID stimulus checks. These checks are only being sent to US citizens, lawful permanent residents, and “resident aliens” (defined as a non-citizen who resided in the US for 31 days in 2019 and a total of 183 days in 2018 and 2019).
- What kind of healthcare can I get under DACA?
DACA recipients are not considered an eligible immigration status for applying for health insurance through the Federal Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). The type of health insurance you may qualify for depends on the state in which you live, and whether the state has any programs or private providers who accept enrollment from DACA holders.
- Can I get a private loan under DACA?
It’s possible but it depends on the terms set by the lender. Some lenders accept enrollment from DACA holders who do not otherwise have status in the US.
- Do I need to update USCIS if I move?
Yes. If you are in the US under DACA you should update the United State Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within 10 days of a move. But if you’re out of status, it’s not recommended to contact the USCIS, because it may draw unwanted and negative attention.