by Caroline Tang, VISANOW’s Senior Manager of Legal Services
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently released statistics indicating that approximately 200,000 applications under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program have been approved since August 2012. As more and more young people in the United States apply for deferred action, it becomes even more important to outline the steps that these young “dreamers face after DACA approval.
Applying for a Social Security Number
After a deferred action recipient receives an employment authorization document (EAD card or Form I-766), he or she can go to her nearest Social Security Administration office and apply for a social security number. The EAD card will prove both the individual’s identity and ability to work in the U.S., but the SSA also requires him or her to provide a second document proving her age and identity, such as a passport, school identification card, or birth certificate. Any documents submitted by the DACA recipient must be either the original document or a certified copy.
Applying for a Driver’s License
Increasingly, states are allowing DACA recipients to apply for driver’s licenses. Officials in at least 37 states (Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin) have confirmed that DACA recipients are eligible for driver’s licenses in their states.
Some states have not indicated whether they will specifically allow DACA recipients to obtain driver’s licenses, but their general DMV policies allow foreign nationals holding EAD cards or I-797 approval notices (both of which are given to DACA recipients) to obtain driver’s licenses.
So far, only two states “ Arizona and Nebraska “ have indicated their specific intent to prohibit DACA recipients from obtaining driver’s licenses.
DACA recipients can consult their state DMVs to determine what documentation they need to present to obtain driver’s licenses. VISANOW can help DACA recipients who need assistance in applying for driver’s licenses through their DMVs.
Updating Your Address with the USCIS
DACA applicants and recipients, like all other foreign nationals living in the U.S., are required to update their residence/address information with the USCIS within 10 days of moving. This can be done by filing Form AR-11 with the USCIS. VISANOW can also help DACA recipients who need assistance in filing their AR-11 change of address forms with the USCIS.