USCIS Gives Tips for Those Petitioning for Deferred Action
by Brandon Gillin, Immigration Attorney at Genesis Law Firm
It’s not often that USCIS lends a helping hand to those seeking petitions for relief; sometimes petitioners have little other than USCIS’s “instructions” on which to rely and, needless to say, those instructions do not always answer all the questions petitioners may have.
That is why USCIS’s August 27, 2012 blog post from their official blog, “The Beacon,” which lays out tips for those seeking to petition for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”), is important. In the blog post, USCIS gave 11 tips to help petitioners avoid mistakes that could potentially lead to petitioners’ requests being rejected or delayed. The following tips were provided:
1. Mail all forms together (Referring to Forms I-821D – Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; Form I-765 – Application for Employment Authorization; and Form I-765WS –Worksheet). Also, make sure you read the mailing instructions so you mail the forms to the correct USCIS Service Center, which depends on the state in which you live.
2. Sign your forms – You must sign both your Form I-821D and Form I-765. If someone helps you fill out the forms, that person must also sign both Form I-812D and Form I-765 in the designated box below your signature.
3. Write your name and date of birth the same way on each form – Variations in the way information is written can cause delays. For example, you should not write Jane Doe on one form and Jane E. Doe on another form. It is important to read all instructions on the forms carefully.
4. Use the correct version of Form I-765 – Always make sure you have the most recent form when submitting your request with USCIS. Review our Forms page to download the most recent version. You can download all USCIS forms and instructions for free at www.uscis.gov.
5. Use Form I-821D NOT Form I-821 – Form I-821D is used to request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals. Form I-821 is a different form used to apply for Temporary Protected Status, an entirely different process.
6. Do NOT e-file Form I-765 – Requests for consideration of deferred action cannot be e-filed. You must mail your package (Forms I-821D, I-765, I-765WS, evidence and fees) to the appropriate USCIS Lockbox.
7. Submit correct fees –The fee to request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals is $465 and cannot be waived. There are fee exemptions available only in limited circumstances. You may submit separate checks of $380 and $85, or one single check of $465.
8. Answer all questions completely and accurately – If an item is not applicable or the answer is “none,” leave the space blank. To ensure your request is accepted for processing, be sure to complete these required form fields:
- Form I-821D: Name, Address, Date of Birth
- Form I-765: Name, Address, Date of Birth, Eligibility Category
9. Provide all required supporting documentation and evidence – You must submit all required evidence and supporting documentation. These documents are required for USCIS to make a decision on your request. Organize and label your evidence by the guideline it meets.
10. If you make an error on a form, start over with a clean form – USCIS prefers that you type your answers into the form and then print it. If you are filling out your form by hand, use black ink. If you make a mistake, please start over with a new form. Scanners will see through white out or correction tape and this could lead to the form being processed as incorrect, and lead to processing delays or denial.
11. Carefully review age guidelines before filing – If you have never been in removal proceedings, or your proceedings have been terminated, you must be at least 15 years of age or older at the time of filing. You cannot be the age of 31 or older as of June 15, 2012, to be considered for deferred action for childhood arrivals.
It is significant that USCIS reached out in this way to help petitioners with DACA. As a general rule, always follow the instructions that USCIS provides as supplements to its forms. In addition, look for help from USCIS on its blog; you may find helpful tips, such as these, regarding your petitioning process.