DACA: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DREAMers)

For a great toolkit from USCIS on applying for DACA, click here.

*enlaces con info en español abajo

Dear Clients and Friends,

USCIS is still accepting INITIAL applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA and now will begin accepting DACA RENEWALS for those who qualify.

Applicants for RENEWAL should apply between 150 to 120 days prior to the expiration of their EAD cards (work authorization documents.)

Applications CANNOT be filed more than 150 days prior to EAD card expiration and, in order to be “covered” by a work authorization extension if necessary, SHOULD be filed at least 120 days before card expires.

BIC will begin helping file DACA renewals as of Monday 6/30/2014 for those who qualify.

All DACA clients- new or having been served by BIC in the past- will need to have a consultation with a counselor prior to having their renewal form prepared by us. At this appointment we will determine if you qualify for renewal and, if so, tell you how you can apply on your own or with our representation.

You can book a consult now by calling BIC or try coming to one of our Wednesday Walk-in Clinics. http://berkshireic.com/?page_id=213

For more information on this process, see the links below. To make an appointment to file with our help, please call 413-445-4881 or email secretary@berkshireic.com.

We look forward to continuing to assist you and hope you will help us spread the word to others who may benefit from this important opportunity!

The Berkshire Immigrant Center

The link below has a list of websites with DACA resources:


We also recommend that you join the DACA renewal network:

Official USCIS Information on DACA:

New I-821D form (Rev. 06/04/2014) and instructions


Updated FAQs


Updated Website


Information for initial applicants


Information about Renewals

USCIS en Español:



Education Department Releases Resource Guide on Supporting Undocumented Students in High School and College

OCTOBER 20, 2015
Contact: Press Office, (202) 401-1576, press@ed.gov

In an effort to ensure that all students have access to a world-class education that prepares them for college and careers, the U.S. Department of Education released a resource guide today to help educators, school leaders and community organizations better support undocumented youth, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.

“Our nation’s public schools should be welcoming, safe, and supportive places where all students, regardless of their zip code or where they were born, are given the opportunity to succeed. We know undocumented youth face unique challenges and we also know that educators and other caring adults in schools and colleges can play a major role in helping all students, including undocumented students, to achieve at the highest levels,” said John King, senior advisor delegated the duties of deputy secretary of education. “This guide provides actionable information and resources that educators and school and campus leaders can use to help improve outcomes for high school and college students.”

“It’s been three years since we unveiled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, or DACA, for those eligible young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children,” said U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Leon Rodriguez. “We strongly encourage those who might be eligible for DACA to use this resource guide. We applaud the Department of Education for providing these resources to the undocumented young people in this country who can benefit from DACA.”

  • The guide includes resources aimed at high school and college students and includes:
  • An overview of the rights of undocumented students;
  • Tips for educators on how to support undocumented youth in high school and college;
  • Key information on non-citizen access to federal financial aid;
  • A list of private scholarships for which undocumented youth might be eligible;
  • Information on federally-funded adult education programs at the local level; And
  • Guidance for migrant students in accessing their education records for DACA.

The aim of the guide is to help educators and school staff support the academic success of undocumented youth, to debunk misconceptions by clarifying the legal rights of undocumented students as well as sharing helpful information about financial aid options open to undocumented students, and to support youth in applying for DACA consideration or renewal.

King announced the guide during a roundtable with undocumented students at San Francisco State University, which is a leader in supporting the success of undocumented youth. The university has advisers to help undocumented students successfully navigate financial aid options and other university resources, as well as a task force of faculty, staff and students dedicated to supporting the academic, professional and personal success of undocumented students and prospective students.

As a nation of immigrants, America has benefited from the vitality and enthusiasm brought to its shores by those seeking a better life. Successful immigrant and refugee integration efforts build the capacity of schools and early learning programs, communities, organizations, and other stakeholders to support the civic, linguistic, and economic integration of immigrants.

Since 2012 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has allowed certain undocumented people who came to the U.S. as children and meet other criteria to request two year relief from removal. These requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. More than 680,000 young people have received DACA. Researchers estimate that nearly 1.5 million undocumented youth in the U.S. are currently eligible for DACA, and another 400,000 children will become eligible in coming years.

In coming months, the Department plans to release a resource guide for early learning and elementary school settings.

Protection for DREAM Youths
June 15, 2012

On June 15, 2012, the Obama Administration announced that it would offer many DREAM Act-eligible youths protection from deportation. These youths, whether or not they are currently in deportation proceedings, will be able to apply for “deferred action,” which would temporarily shield them from deportation and enable to live and work legally in the US.

The new program is called DACA: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Applications will be accepted after August 15, 2012.

Refer to www.uscis.gov for government issued information, instructions and forms.

Click below for more information:

DACA Requirements

DACA Application Process

How BIC can help you apply for DACA

Dreamer DACA links and resources page

DACA Requirements

You may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) if you:

  1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  5. Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
  6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

*NB: If you have never been in removal proceedings, or your proceedings have been terminated before your request for consideration of DACA, you must be at least 15 years of age or older at the time of filing your request and meet the other guidelines.

• If you are in removal proceedings, have a final removal order, or have a voluntary departure order, and are not in immigration detention, you can request consideration of DACA even if you are under the age of 15 at the time of filing your request and meet the other guidelines.


Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals DACA 2012
Application Process
More information about DACA, requirements, forms etc. can be found at www.uscis.gov 

Although USCIS began accepting DACA requests on August 15, 2012, there has been no deadline announced for this application process. BIC recommends that applicants take the time to get their cases evaluated and reviewed, as incorrect submissions can result in delays or more serious immigration consequences. We appreciate you patience with our small staff and are happy to provide you with additional resources to help you apply if necessary.

To prove that you qualify you are required to submit copies of documentation (ALL DOCUMENTS NOT IN ENGLISH WILL REQUIRE A TRANSLATION), which may include, but is not limited to:

  • birth certificates,
  • passports,
  • ID cards issued by a state or federal authority,
  • I-94/I-95/I-94W records,
  • travel records to US,
  • records from a religious entity proving your participation in a religious ceremony, rite or passage, (e.g. baptism, first communion, wedding),
  • financial records (bank statements, lease agreements, rent receipts, gas, electric or phone bills, credit card bills etc.),
  • receipts for money sent in or out of the country,
  • medical records,
  • school records (diplomas, GED certificates, report cards, school transcripts),
  • employment records, and
  • military records.

If you have ever been arrested or appeared in court, you will need a final disposition of all of those cases; IN THESE CASES PLEASE SEEK ADVICE BEFORE APPLYING.

In general applicants will need:

  1. Copies of proof/evidence that you qualify for DACA
  2. USCIS forms I-821D, I-765, and I-765WS (worksheet)
  3. A money order for $465.00 made payable to Department of Homeland Security
  4. If working with BIC to prepare: $50.00 (cash or check)
  5. BIC strongly recommends that you keep a copy of everything you send to USCIS. If you are working with us, we will give you copies of all documents we prepare. Due to staff time, it is unlikely we will be able to make copies of all of the supporting documents accompanying your application. However you are welcome to use our office copier free of charge following appointments.
  6. If you live in MA, CT, ME, NH, NY, & VT mail return receipt requested and certified to: USCIS Chicago Lockbox Facility USCIS, P.O. Box 5757, Chicago, IL 60680-5757. If living in another state visit: www.uscis.gov for address info.

How BIC can help you apply for DACA

BIC will be helping to evaluate and file DACA applications until further notice. You must make an appointment to see a counselor in order to be assisted in the preparation of your application. DACA APPLICATIONS CANNOT BE COMPLETED DURING WEDNESDAY WALK-IN CLINICS. DACA CASE EVALUATIONS CAN BE CONDUCTED DURING THESE BRIEF WEDNESDAY MORNING APPOINTMENTS.

There are two options for applying with us:

1. Make an initial appointment ($15.00 & ½ hr) where we can thoroughly evaluate your case, tell you whether we can represent you or not, and give you all the information you need to be ready to apply. Then you can make a follow up appointment for us to prepare and package your application knowing that we will have all the information necessary for you to leave to mail your application after that appointment.

2. Make an appointment for a DACA application preparation ($50.00 & 1 hour) and try to come as prepared as possible in the hopes that we will have all we need to finalize everything that day. If you are not evaluated by a counselor 1st you run the risk of having to come back for a second appointment to finish you application.

To make an appointment please see Becky Meier, the office manager (413-445-4881) or info@berkshireic.com for more information as APPOINTMENTS GO QUICKLY. You may have to wait as long as 2-3 weeks for an appointment, but we believe getting this process right makes it worth it!


There are also many organizations and immigration attorneys that assist in the preparation of these applications. In order to help you we have created several handouts with links to resources etc. For more information please call/see BIC’s secretary.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Resources :

Berkshire Immigrant Center :                        www.berkshireic.com

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services:            http://www.uscis.gov

The best source of information about DACA & Process etc.






Catholic Charities:            http://cliniclegal.org/resources/deferred-action-childhood-arrivals

Own the Dream Website:            www.weownthedream.org

Determine eligibility, find free or low-cost legal clinics and licensed, reputable attorneys in your area, review information about deferred action, & connect with other DREAMers.

Find Community Based Immigration Services (like BIC):   www.immigrationlawhelp.org

Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition: www.miracoalition.org

American Immigration Lawyers Association:            www.aila.org

Do you need a lawyer or not? Aila’s thoughts on this:           


How do I find a good immigration attorney?: