What Happens After Filing I-821D, DACA Application
Putting your DACA application in the mail is a big moment, but then the waiting begins. You’re probably anxious to know what happens after filing I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, along with the other forms (I-765 and I-765WS) required for DACA. We explain the I-821D time line as well as how long it will take to receive a new DACA grant and employment authorization card. Although the steps are fairly consistent, the I-821D processing time can vary based on the USCIS case load, the USCIS office where you filed, and your ability to properly file an accurately prepared DACA package without errors or omissions.
The following list details the basic steps of the process for most people. There is an approximate amount of time provided. However, this time frame can vary.
Receipt of e-Notification
APPROXIMATELY 1 WEEK AFTER FILING
If you file the optional Form G-1145 with the DACA application, you’ll receive an e-notification when USCIS receives your application. Specifically, USCIS will send you an e-mail or text message to inform you that the application reached their office.
Tip: Filing Form G-1145 is optional and free. It’s a simple form you can prepare for free on CitizenPath. You will automatically receive a pre-filled G-1145 when you prepare the DACA application on CitizenPath. Start G-1145.
Receipt of Application
APPROXIMATELY 2 TO 3 WEEKS AFTER FILING
If your Form I-821D, DACA Application has been properly filed, USCIS will initially respond by mailing you a letter that confirms receipt of your application. The receipt letter is formally known as Form I-797C, Notice of Action (see example below) and arrives approximately 2-3 weeks after filing. If your Form I-821D has not been properly filed, USCIS may send a Notice of Action to reject the petition or may send a Request for Evidence that requests additional items. Either will significantly delay your request. Therefore, it’s important to prepare the I-821D, I-765 and I-765WS correctly and submit all required documents according to the filing instructions.
Appointment Notice for Biometrics
APPROXIMATELY 4 TO 6 WEEKS AFTER FILING
Next, you will receive an appointment notice that assigns your biometrics appointment date, time and location. (The location will generally be the USCIS Application Support Center nearest you.) USCIS requires applicants to be fingerprinted for the purpose of conducting a security clearance and criminal background check. Don’t be alarmed — All applicants must have background checks.
Tip: Generally it’s best to show up only on your scheduled appointment date and time. But if you need to travel abroad before a scheduled USCIS biometrics appointment (or before the appointment has been scheduled), it may be possible to attend your biometric screening early. Learn more in our biometrics appointment FAQs.
APPROXIMATELY 6 TO 8 WEEKS AFTER FILING
The biometrics appointment, also known as a biometrics screening, is generally a short appointment (approximately 30 minutes) so that USCIS can collect your fingerprints, photograph and signature. Your appointment notice will tell you what you need to take to the appointment. Expect to take some form of photo identification to enter the building. If you do not currently have an employment authorization card (work permit), USCIS can accept other ID documents such as:
- Passport or national photo identification issued by your country
- Driver’s license
- Military photo identification
- State-issued photo identification card
To learn more about the appointment, read USCIS biometrics appointment.
Tip: If you think you might have a criminal record, contact an immigration lawyer before going to a biometrics appointment. Some crimes will make you ineligible for immigration benefits. A lawyer can request a background check before USCIS does and deal with it as necessary.
Form I-821D Adjudication
APPROXIMATELY 5 TO 10 MONTHS AFTER FILING
If everything goes well, USCIS will approve your Form I-821D, and you will receive another I-797 letter to inform you in writing. USCIS does not begin processing Form I-765 until the I-821D is approved. If USCIS denies your application, they will mail you a notice explaining the reason.
Tip: You must notify USCIS if you change your address after filing your Form I-821D within 10 days of your relocation by filing Form AR-11, Alien’s Change of Address. You also must call USCIS at 1-800-375-5283 to change the address with your pending I-821D application.
Receive Your Employment Authorization Card
APPROXIMATELY 6 TO 12 MONTHS AFTER FILING
USCIS will not begin processing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, until your primary DACA application (Form I-821D) is approved. It generally takes at least 90 days to process the I-765 and produce your new employment authorization card (work permit).
Tip: If you did not receive your employment authorization card (work permit) in the mail, you can make a case inquiry.
After filing the DACA application, processing times can take anywhere from 6-12 months. This is an approximation. DACA processing times may be shorter for some and longer for others. In some cases, USCIS will make a request for additional information or schedule an interview. Don’t forget — you can check your case status online with your receipt number. The USCIS website also lists normal processing times. If you believe that your case is outside the normal processing times, you can make a case inquiry.