The expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will begin in a month. The expansion covers those undocumented immigrants who arrived before January 1, 2010 and who came to the United States before they turned 16. We expect several thousand Long Islanders to be eligible to apply for work permits under this part of the president’s administrative relief program.
In this article I want to help those interested in applying for this program get ready. It is a good idea to have all the documents you will need before the application process begins. I strongly recommend that DACA applicants file in February, March, and April before the DAPA program for the parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents gets under way in May.
School records are extremely important to satisfy several requirements for the DACA program. To qualify, you must have either a GED, a high school diploma, or be currently enrolled in school. So, obviously, the first school record you’ll need is your diploma or GED certificate, or proof of current enrollment. But, even if you get these, other records are going to be important for your case, as well.
To qualify for DACA, you have to show you were in the U.S. before you turned 16 years of age. One of the best ways to show this is with school records indicating you were enrolled in a U.S. school when you were 15 or younger. You will also need to prove you have been in this country since before January 1, 2010. School records like report cards will show the months you were enrolled in school on a year-by-year basis. If you were in school for the last five years, your school records may be sufficient to demonstrate your five years of physical presence here.
At CARECEN we find that school records are a trusted proof by the Department of Homeland Security.
To get your records, you should call your school or district administrative offices. Most school districts have a centralized records office with everything pertaining to you. Don’t wait for the last minute to try to get your school records. You may need them.