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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA)

Important information about DACA requests: Due to a federal court order, USCIS has resumed accepting both initial and renewal requests for deferred action under DACA, including initial requests from individuals who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA. Until further notice, and unless otherwise provided in this guidance, the DACA policy will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded on Sept. 5, 2017.

For more information, visit Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: Response to January 2018 Preliminary Injunction.


2017 Update: On September 5, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initiated the orderly phase out of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. For more information, read the 2017 DACA announcement on the USCIS website.

2017 Update: On June 15, 2017, former Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly, after consulting with the Attorney General, signed a memorandum rescinding the November 20, 2014 memorandum that created the program known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA”) because there is no credible path forward to litigate the currently enjoined policy. For more information, visit

2015 Update: On February 16, 2015, a federal district court temporarily enjoined the government from proceeding forward on the former Secretary’s policy of DAPA and expanded DACA. The injunction does not affect the existing 2012 DACA initiative.

On November 20, 2014, former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson issued new policies which allow certain aliens who arrived in the United States on or before January 1, 2010 to apply for deferred action, a form of prosecutorial discretion under which aliens are not removed from the United States and that authorizes them to seek permission to work lawfully in the United States. The former Secretary’s policies apply to certain individuals who came to the United States as children under the age of 16 of who are parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent resident children.

Does this process apply to me if I am currently in removal proceedings, have a final removal order, or have a voluntary departure order?

This process is open to any individual who can demonstrate he or she meets the guidelines for consideration, including those who are in removal proceedings, with a final order, or with a voluntary departure order. All deferred action decisions will be made by USCIS.

If you are currently in immigration detention

If you are currently in immigration detention and believe you meet the guidelines for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), you must:

  • Identify yourself to your case officer explaining you believe you are DACA/DAPA eligible. Your case officer will review your case along with the local Office of the Chief Counsel. If you appear to meet the DACA/DAPA requirements, you may be released on an alternative form of supervision to allow you to pursue your case with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
    • If your case officer is unavailable, you can contact the ICE Detention Reporting and Information Line at 1-888-351-4024 (staffed 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., Monday – Friday); or submit an email to and the appropriate action will be taken in a timely manner.

If you are not in immigration detention

If you are not in immigration detention and want to affirmatively request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals, you must submit your request to USCIS – not ICE – pursuant to these procedures established by USCIS.

Updated: 12/24/2020