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I-821 FORM FOR DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS (DACA)

The I-821 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a result of U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2012 executive order allowing for certain young individuals to enjoy discretionary relief by the Department of Homeland Security and receive work permits to legally work in the United States without the threat of deportation despite their lack of lawful status.  Thus, individuals who receive deferred action, or DREAMers, will not be placed into removal proceedings or be removed from the United States.  This relief program is intended for individuals who were brought into the United States before the age of 16 to stay in the United States. For example, an individual who was brought to the United States at the age of 10 who would want to stay in the United States would be applying for I-821.

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LEGAL FEE

Our fee structure is unique to us as we strive to tailor our services for each client individually. We adapt price standards that are capable of fluctuating for each client depending on their unique needs. Clients may retain us for one or all of the above steps/services.

Our typical fee for a standard I-821D case is $1,500, not including, a governmental fee and third-party extensions. We are happy to customize a proposal for you during a consultation and walk you through what a standard I-821D case looks like.  Note that we can also help you with the I-821D Renewal process even if we did not file your initial application. Please see below for more information.

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CASE PROCESSING OVERVIEW

Step 1: Strategy Session for the I-821D Application

This is the most crucial step for your entire I-821D Application. We will review all of the supporting documents to create a strategy, a customized checklist, and a timeline to serve as the guiding foundation for the entire case preparation.

Step 2: Prepare and Submit the I-821D to USCIS

Our attorneys will craft your I-821D arguments and complete all forms, organize supporting documents, and assemble the crafted arguments into the proper application formats. After a thorough review, we will then submit the application to USCIS.

Step 3: Biometrics Appointment

You will need to attend a biometrics appointment most commonly known as fingerprinting appointment. USCIS will conduct a mandatory criminal background check and verify your identity. The process itself does not take long and our office  will assist you during this process. 

Step 4: Responding to additional USCIS Requests / Administrative Processing / Status Checks / Fraud Alerts

If additional documents/evidence are needed upon the submission of the case, our office will ensure that all necessary documents are submitted to the USCIS office in a timely manner. We will assist the client to the best of our ability until the case gets approved or the client no longer wants to continue forward with the case. 

Step 5: Approval is Only The Beginning

Our services do not end when you receive your I-821D application approval, and this step is just the beginning.  We provide guidance over: 

  • Social Security Application
  • State ID/ DL Application
  • I-821D Renewal Process
  • and more!
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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Checklist of Required Evidence

If you submit any documents (copies or original documents, if requested) in a foreign language, you must include a full English translation along with a certification from the translator verifying that the translation is complete and accurate and that they are competent to translate from the foreign language to English.

Did you provide the following?

  • Evidence to prove your identity and nationality
  • Evidence to prove your date of entry into the United States
  • Evidence to prove your residence in the United States
  • Court disposition records (if you were ever arrested, charged, or convicted for a criminal offense)

Filing Fee

The following is a breakdown of the government fees typically associated with Form I-821:

Initial Temporary Protected Status:

  • USCIS filing fee
  • Biometrics fee: $85
  • Employment authorization fee: $410 (must submit Form I-765 with application)

Re-registration for Temporary Protected Status:

  • Biometrics fee: $85
  • Employment authorization fee: $410 (must submit Form I-765 with application)

Eligibility for I-821

According to the Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, the June 15th Memorandum on DACA was put in place so that the law enforcement resources of the U.S. were not expended on low-priority cases. Furthermore, the Obama Administration concluded that, since individuals eligible for this policy change were brought to the United States as children, they were too young to have any intent to violate U.S. immigration law and should not be set as targets for deportation as they are otherwise law-abiding individuals. The temporary nature of this memorandum, however, is particularly salient. The memorandum can easily be overturned by the next administration, as it was implemented via executive order, and not by Congressional law.

Requirements:

  1. Applicant must also file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization;
  2. Applicant must have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  3. Applicant must have arrived in the U.S. before reaching his/her 16th birthday;
  4. Applicant must have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  5. Applicant must have been present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making his/her request for deferred action with USCIS;
  6. Applicant must of had no lawful status on June 15, 2012, meaning that:
    1. Applicant never had lawful immigration status on or before June 15, 2012; or
    2. Any lawful immigration status or parole that applicant obtained prior to June 15, 2012 had expired as of June 15, 2012;
  7. Applicant must either currently be in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or U.S. Coast Guard; and
  8. Applicant has not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and does not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
  9. Applicant must be at least 15 years of age to apply.

Limitations:

  1. DACA status does not give applicants any sort of lawful status, and does not excuse the individual for previous periods of unlawful presence;
  2. It is not a path to getting permanent residence or citizenship;
  3. Individuals who receive DACA status will not be able to gain from federal benefits, such as financial aid for college;
  4. The benefits of deferred action are not transferred to immediate relatives;
  5. DACA recipients may not travel outside of the U.S. without an approved application for advance parole via Form I-131;
  6. Those who travel outside of the U.S. before USCIS has determined their status will not be considered for deferred action;
  7. Decisions on deferred action may not be appealed, reopened, or reconsidered;
  8. The deferral is good for a period of 2 years, and is subject to renewal.

Brief Departures

A brief, casual, and innocent absence from the U.S. will not interrupt continuous residence. If absent from the U.S. for any period of time, absence will be considered brief, casual, and innocent, if it was on or after June 15, 2007, and before August 15, 2012, and:

  1. The absence was short and reasonably calculated to accomplish the purpose for the absence;
  2. The absence was not because of an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal;
  3. The absence was not because of an order of voluntary departure or an administrative grant of voluntary departure before placed in exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings;
  4. The purpose of the absence and/or actions while outside of the U.S. were not contrary to law.

Renewal Requirements

A brief, casual, and innocent absence from the U.S. will not interrupt continuous residence. If absent from the U.S. for any period of time, absence will be considered brief, casual, and innocent, if it was on or after June 15, 2007, and before August 15, 2012, and:

  1. The absence was short and reasonably calculated to accomplish the purpose for the absence;
  2. The absence was not because of an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal;
  3. The absence was not because of an order of voluntary departure or an administrative grant of voluntary departure before placed in exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings;
  4. The purpose of the absence and/or actions while outside of the U.S. were not contrary to law.
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SAMPLE & TEMPLATES

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Attorney Brief:  [coming soon] We will provide an attorney brief sample for the I-821D petition.

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Cover Letter: [coming soon] We will also provide a cover letter sample for the I-821D petition.

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Sample Request for Evidence: [coming soon] Requests for evidence can be used to strengthen the case.

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Forms: Here is a list of the forms that are needed by USCIS

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Sample Checklist: [coming soon] We look at the client’s unique situation and create customized checklists to strengthen their cases.

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USCIS Fee Calculator: This is to help calculate how much the filing fee will be.

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USCIS Mailing Address: This address is where it is mailed to USCIS.

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USCIS Processing Timetable: This will help you figure out how long it will take to process.

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ASC Field Offices: Listed are the addresses of the field offices for the bio-metrics.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Does My Spouse, Child, or Parent Have to File a Form I-821?

Each person seeking TPS must apply for him or herself on a separate Form I-821. There is no derivative TPS status, meaning that your spouse, children or parents cannot obtain TPS as a result of your approval for TPS. They must each qualify for TPS individually.

However, USCIS may accept late initial TPS applications from certain individuals who had a qualifying relationship to a spouse or child during the initial registration period for the TPS-designated country and that relative is also currently eligible for TPS. Even where such a relationship exists, the applicant must still meet all other TPS eligibility requirements before USCIS may grant TPS. Please see the TPS page on the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov/tps or the latest Federal Register Notice regarding the TPS designation for your country for further information on late initial filing.

Do I Have to Request Employment Authorization with My Form I-821?

If you want to request an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), you must file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with your Form I-821.

You may wait to file a Form I-765 until after USCIS decides your TPS application. However, please note that if you wait to request an EAD until after USCIS grants TPS or approves re-registration, you will not receive your EAD (assuming you are eligible) until several weeks after you file the Form I-765.

If my case is deferred, am I in lawful status for the period of deferral?

No. Although action on your case has been deferred and you do not accrue unlawful presence (for admissibility purposes) during the period of deferred action, deferred action does not confer any lawful status.

The fact that you are not accruing unlawful presence does not change whether you are in lawful status while you remain in the United States. However, although deferred action does not confer a lawful immigration status, your period of stay is authorized by the Department of Homeland Security while your deferred action is in effect and, for admissibility purposes, you are considered to be lawfully present in the United States during that time. Individuals granted deferred action are not precluded by federal law from establishing domicile in the U.S.

Apart from the immigration laws, “lawful presence,” “lawful status” and similar terms are used in various other federal and state laws. For information on how those laws affect individuals who receive a favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion under DACA, please contact the appropriate federal, state or local authorities.

If individuals meet the guidelines for consideration of DACA and are encountered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), will they be placed into removal proceedings?

DACA is intended, in part, to allow CBP and ICE to focus on priority cases. Under the direction of the Secretary of Homeland Security, if an individual meets the guidelines for DACA, CBP or ICE should exercise their discretion on a case-by-case basis to prevent qualifying individuals from being apprehended, placed into removal proceedings, or removed. If individuals believe that, in light of this policy, they should not have been apprehended or placed into removal proceedings, contact the Law Enforcement Support Center’s hotline at 1-855-448-6903 (staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

Will the information I share in my request for consideration of DACA be used for immigration enforcement purposes?

Information provided in this request is protected from disclosure to ICE and CBP for the purpose of immigration enforcement proceedings unless the requestor meets the criteria for the issuance of a Notice To Appear or a referral to ICE under the criteria set forth in USCIS’ Notice to Appear guidance (www.uscis.gov/NTA). Individuals whose cases are deferred pursuant to DACA will not be referred to ICE. The information may be shared with national security and law enforcement agencies, including ICE and CBP, for purposes other than removal, including for assistance in the consideration of DACA, to identify or prevent fraudulent claims, for national security purposes, or for the investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense. The above information sharing policy covers family members and guardians, in addition to the requestor. This policy, which may be modified, superseded, or rescinded at any time without notice, is not intended to, does not, and may not be relied upon to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by law by any party in any administrative, civil, or criminal matter.

When should I file my renewal request with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)?

USCIS strongly encourages you to submit your Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal request between 150 days and 120 days before the expiration date located on your current Form I-797 DACA approval notice and Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Filing during this window will minimize the possibility that your current period of DACA will expire before you receive a decision on your renewal request.

USCIS’ current goal is to process DACA renewal requests within 120 days. You may submit an inquiry about the status of your renewal request after it has been pending more than 105 days. To submit an inquiry online, please visit egov.uscis.gov/e-request.

How will USCIS evaluate my request for renewal of DACA?

You may be considered for renewal of DACA if you met the guidelines for consideration of Initial DACA and you:

  • Did not depart the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, without advance parole;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since you submitted your most recent request for DACA that was approved up to the present time; and
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

These guidelines must be met for consideration of DACA renewal. USCIS retains the ultimate discretion to determine whether deferred action is appropriate in any given case even if the guidelines are met.

If I initially received DACA and was under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012, but have since become 31 or older, can I still request a DACA renewal?

Yes. You may request consideration for a renewal of DACA as long as you were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012.

May I travel outside of the United States before I submit an initial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) request or while my initial DACA request remains pending with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)?

Any unauthorized travel outside of the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, will interrupt your continuous residence and you will not be considered for deferred action under this process. Any travel outside of the United States that occurred on or after June 15, 2007, but before Aug. 15, 2012, will be assessed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to determine whether the travel qualifies as brief, casual and innocent. 

CAUTION: You should be aware that if you have been ordered deported or removed, and you then leave the United States, your departure will likely result in your being considered deported or removed, with potentially serious future immigration consequences.

Can I apply for DACA for the first time ever now?

No. USCIS is not accepting requests from individuals who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA. The injunction does not require that first-time requests be accepted.

If you would have been eligible to apply for DACA but now cannot apply, it may be a good idea to gather the relevant documents, in case of a change in policy. This includes evidence of physical presence in the United States, education or work history, community involvement and family relationships. As the fee for DACA application is $495, it might also be a good idea to put some money aside for this purpose.

Can I apply for advance parole?

**Currently, the U.S. government is NOT granting advance parole to DACA recipients**

Generally advance parole is only granted for humanitarian reasons, educational, or employment reasons. If a DACA recipient leaves the U.S. without advance parole being granted or before a decision has been made on their deferred action application, they will not be permitted back into the United States. Right now, USCIS will not accept any advance parole requests for DACA recipients.

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SCHEDULE A SESSION

Call or email us to set up your 1-hour consultation. Easily pay the $250 consultation fee over the phone or through our email link. If you would like to have a quick chat with our team before setting up the consultation, feel free to use the calendar on the right to book your 10 minute call.

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