Need Help Applying for DACA? This Article Will Help You Get The Right Resources


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Chloe Chadwick, Staff

Denny Kasso, an attorney at the Immigration Institute of the Bay Area, helps his non-profit provide free legal immigration services to all students, staff and faculty at various community colleges in the region, including Diablo Valley College, Los Medanos College and Foothill College.  

Among the services that IIBA provides are free confidential immigration consultation, legal assistance in applying and renewing applications for DACA, naturalization applications, family-based petitions and applications for new visas.

What is DACA?

DACA refers to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an executive order signed in June 2012 by President Obama, which allows people who came to the U.S. as children to remain safe from deportation. People who qualify for DACA are eligible to work legally in the U.S. using a work permit; they can also get a drivers license, state ID and/or social security card.

Who is eligible for DACA?

People may apply for DACA if they:

○      Arrived in the U.S. before turning 16, and before June 15, 2007

○      Have resided in the U.S. continuously since June 15, 2007 – to present day

○      Were born after June 15, 1981 (aged 30 or under as of June 15, 2012) and are at least 15 years old

○      Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the U.S.

○      Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

What information do you need to give in order to apply?

○      Basic biographic date: name, date of birth, place of birth, etc.

○      All dates of entries into the U.S. and all dates of any exits.

○      Information about any arrests, citations, stops at the border, other contact with law enforcement or immigration.

○      Other information that might make you eligible to apply for something in addition to DACA, such as: have any family members ever petitioned for you or your parents? Have you ever been a victim of crime? Has anyone ever forced you to work in the U.S.? Are you under 21 and being raised by a single parent or non-parent?

Gathering documents:

○      Contact your school to get all the transcripts from 2007 until now.

○      If you’re not in school but working, you can submit check stubs and tax returns.

○      Contact your doctor and dentist to ask for a list of your prior office visits.

○      Ask your parents if they have your vaccination records or any other health and personal? documents.

Steps to submit your DACA initial application with IIBA:

○      1. Call to schedule an appointment to determine your eligibility

■      For Diablo Valley College students:

■      For Los Medanos College students or any other college:

■      For Foothill College students:

■      Or call at (925) 237-8581 ext. 20 or ext. 11

○      2. They will send a DACA packet #1 for you to start gathering documents.

○      3. After you have gathered all continuous presence documents and other requirements, they will email you DACA packet #2 for you to fill out and sign. You will then see instructions on how to scan your continuous presence documents.

○      4. Drop off your photos and money order at your closest office (Brentwood or Redwood City) in an envelope with your name so they can mail your completed application.

What happens after the DACA application is submitted?

○      Within 2-3 weeks: receipts arrive for I-821D and I-765

○      Within 4 weeks: biometrics appointment notice sent to client.

○      Within 3-6 months: request for evidence (if any) sent, or approval.

○      Within 6 months: If no response comes from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the client can use the receipt number found on the receipt notice to check “case status online” at, or call USCIS customer service for more information about processing time.

There are two ways to set up legal consultations. The first is by clicking on the link here:

Another way is to call 925-237-8581, where assistants are available – via both telephone and zoom – on Mondays and Tuesdays for DVC and LMC, and on Thursdays for Foothill College from 10am-3pm. If you call the number and they are busy, leave your name and a callback number and mention what community college you are attending so they can call you back and help you schedule an appointment.