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I. General Information for All Requestors

A. What is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals?

Over the past several years, this Administration has undertaken an unprecedented effort to transform the immigration enforcement system into one that focuses on national security, public safety, border security and the integrity of the immigration system. As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues to focus its enforcement resources on the removal of individuals who pose a danger to national security or a risk to public safety, DHS will exercise prosecutorial discretion as appropriate to ensure that enforcement resources are not expended on low priority cases, such as individuals who came to the United States as children and meet other key guidelines. Individuals who demonstrate that they meet the guidelines below may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) for a period of two years, subject to renewal for a period of two years, and may be eligible for employment authorization..

You may request consideration of DACA if you:

You may request consideration of DACA if you:

1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;

2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;

3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;

4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;

5. Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012, meaning that: • You never had a lawful immigration status on or before June 15, 2012, or • Any lawful immigration status or parole that you obtained prior to June 15, 2012, had expired as of June 15, 2012;

6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and

7. Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Individuals can call U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at1-800-375-5283 with questions or to request more information on DACA.

Those with pending requests can also use a number of online self-help tools which include the ability to check case status and processing times, change your address, and send an inquiry about a case pending longer than posted processing times or non-delivery of a card or document.

Q1: What is deferred action?

A1: Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer a removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. For purposes of future inadmissibility based upon unlawful presence, an individual whose case has been deferred is not considered to be unlawfully present during the period in which deferred action is in effect. An individual who has received deferred action is authorized by DHS to be present in the United States, and is therefore considered by DHS to be lawfully present during the period deferred action is in effect. However, deferred action does not confer lawful status upon an individual, nor does it excuse any previous or subsequent periods of unlawful presence. Under existing regulations, an individual whose case has been deferred is eligible to receive employment authorization for the period of deferred action, provided he or she can demonstrate “an economic necessity for employment.” DHS can terminate or renew deferred action at any time, at the agency’s discretion.

Q2: What is DACA?

A2: On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several key guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization. Individuals who can demonstrate through verifiable documentation that they meet these guidelines will be considered for deferred action. Determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis under the DACA guidelines.

Q3: Is there any difference between “deferred action” and DACA under this process?

A3: DACA is one form of deferred action. The relief an individual receives under DACA is identical for immigration purposes to the relief obtained by any person who receives deferred action as an act of prosecutorial discretion.

Q4: If my removal is deferred under the consideration of DACA, am I eligible for employment authorization?

A4: Yes. Under existing regulations, if your case is deferred, you may obtain employment authorization from USCIS provided you can demonstrate an economic necessity for employment.

Q5: If my case is deferred, am I in lawful status for the period of deferral?

A5: No. Although action on your case has been deferred and you do not accrue unlawful presence (for admissibility purposes) during the period of deferred action, deferred action does not confer any lawful status. The fact that you are not accruing unlawful presence does not change whether you are in lawful status while you remain in the United States. However, although deferred action does not confer a lawful immigration status, your period of stay is authorized by the Department of Homeland Security while your deferred action is in effect and, for admissibility purposes, you are considered to be lawfully present in the United States during that time. Individuals granted deferred action are not precluded by federal law from establishing domicile in the U.S. Apart from the immigration laws, “lawful presence,” “lawful status” and similar terms are used in various other federal and state laws. For information on how those laws affect individuals who receive a favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion under DACA, please contact the appropriate federal, state or local authorities.

Q6: Can I renew my period of deferred action and employment authorization under DACA?

A6: Yes. You may request consideration for a renewal of your DACA. Your request for a renewal will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If USCIS renews its exercise of discretion under DACA for your case, you will receive deferred action for another two years, and if you demonstrate an economic necessity for employment, you may receive employment authorization throughout that period.

B. DACA Process

Q7: How do I request consideration of DACA?

A7: To request consideration of DACA (either as an initial request or to request a renewal), you must submit Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to USCIS. Please visit www.uscis.gov/i-821d before you begin the process to make sure you are using the most current version of the form available. This form must be completed, properly signed and accompanied by a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and a Form I-765WS, Worksheet, establishing your economic need for employment. If you fail to submit a completed Form I-765 (along with the accompanying filing fees for that form, totaling $465), USCIS will not consider your request for deferred action. Please read the form instructions to ensure that you answer the appropriate questions (determined by whether you are submitting an initial or renewal request) and that you submit all the required documentation to support your initial request.

You must file your request for consideration of DACA at the USCIS Lockbox. You can find the mailing address and instructions at www.uscis.gov/i-821d. As of June 5, 2014,requestors must use the new version of the form. After your Form I-821D, Form I-765, and Form I-765 Worksheet have been received, USCIS will review them for completeness, including submission of the required fee, initial evidence and supporting documents (for initial filings).

If it is determined that the request is complete, USCIS will send you a receipt notice. USCIS will then send you an appointment notice to visit an Application Support Center (ASC) for biometric services, if an appointment is required. Please make sure you read and follow the directions in the notice. Failure to attend your biometrics appointment may delay processing of your request for consideration of deferred action, or may result in a denial of your request. You may also choose to receive an email and/or text message notifying you that your form has been accepted by completing a Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance.

Each request for consideration of DACA will be reviewed on an individual, case-by-case basis. USCIS may request more information or evidence from you, or request that you appear at a USCIS office. USCIS will notify you of its determination in writing.

Note: All individuals who believe they meet the guidelines, including those in removal proceedings, with a final removal order, or with a voluntary departure order (and not in immigration detention), may affirmatively request consideration of DACA from USCIS through this process. Individuals who are currently in immigration detention and believe they meet the guidelines may not request consideration of deferred action from USCIS but may identify themselves to their deportation officer or Jail Liaison. You may also contact the ICE Field Office Director. For more information visit ICE's website at www.ice.gov/daca.

Q8: Can I obtain a fee waiver or fee exemption for this process?

A8: There are no fee waivers available for employment authorization applications connected to DACA. There are very limited fee exemptions available. Requests for fee exemptions must be filed and favorably adjudicated before an individual files his/her request for consideration of DACA without a fee. In order to be considered for a fee exemption, you must submit a letter and supporting documentation to USCIS demonstrating that you meet one of the following conditions:

• You are under 18 years of age, have an income that is less than 150 percent of the U.S. poverty level, and are in foster care or otherwise lacking any parental or other familial support; or

• You are under 18 years of age and homeless; or

• You cannot care for yourself because you suffer from a serious, chronic disability and your income is less than 150 percent of the U.S. poverty level; or,

• You have, at the time of the request, accumulated $10,000 or more in debt in the past 12 months as a result of unreimbursed medical expenses for yourself or an immediate family member, and your income is less than 150 percent of the U.S. poverty level. You can find additional information on our Fee Exemption Guidance Web page. Your request must be submitted and decided before you submit a request for consideration of DACA without a fee. In order to be considered for a fee exemption, you must provide documentary evidence to demonstrate that you meet any of the above conditions at the time that you make the request. For evidence, USCIS will:

• Accept affidavits from community-based or religious organizations to establish a requestor’s homelessness or lack of parental or other familial financial support.

• Accept copies of tax returns, bank statement, pay stubs, or other reliable evidence of income level. Evidence can also include an affidavit from the applicant or a responsible third party attesting that the applicant does not file tax returns, has no bank accounts, and/or has no income to prove income level.

• Accept copies of medical records, insurance records, bank statements, or other reliable evidence of unreimbursed medical expenses of at least $10,000.

• Address factual questions through Requests for Evidence (RFEs).

Q9: If individuals meet the guidelines for consideration of DACA and are encountered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), will they be placed into removal proceedings?

A9: DACA is intended, in part, to allow CBP and ICE to focus on priority cases. Under the direction of the Secretary of Homeland Security, if an individual meets the guidelines for DACA, CBP or ICE should exercise their discretion on a case-by-case basis to prevent qualifying individuals from being apprehended, placed into removal proceedings, or removed. If individuals believe that, in light of this policy, they should not have been apprehended or placed into removal proceedings, contact the Law Enforcement Support Center’s hotline at 1-855-448-6903 (staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

Q10: Does this process apply to me if I am currently in removal proceedings, have a final removal order, or have a voluntary departure order?

A10: This process is open to any individual who can demonstrate he or she meets the guidelines for consideration, including those who have never been in removal proceedings as well as those in removal proceedings, with a final order, or with a voluntary departure order (as long as they are not in immigration detention).

Q11: If I am not in removal proceedings but believe I meet the guidelines for consideration of DACA, should I seek to place myself into removal proceedings through encounters with CBP or ICE?

A11: No. If you are not in removal proceedings but believe that you meet the guidelines, you should submit your DACA request to USCIS under the process outlined below.

Q12: Can I request consideration of DACA from USCIS if I am in immigration detention under the custody of ICE?

A12: No. If you are currently in immigration detention, you may not request consideration of DACA from USCIS. If you think you may meet the guidelines of this process, you should identify yourself to your deportation officer or Jail Liaison. You may also contact the ICE Field Office Director. For more information, visit ICE’s website at www.ice.gov/daca.

Q13: If I am about to be removed by ICE and believe that I meet the guidelines for consideration of DACA, what steps should I take to seek review of my case before removal?

A13: If you believe you can demonstrate that you meet the guidelines and are about to be removed, you should immediately contact the Law Enforcement Support Center’s hotline at1-855-448-6903 (staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

Q14: What should I do if I meet the guidelines of this process and have been issued an ICE detainer following an arrest by a state or local law enforcement officer?

A14: If you meet the guidelines and have been served a detainer, you should immediately contact the Law Enforcement Support Center’s hotline at 1-855-448-6903 (staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

Q15: If I accepted an offer of administrative closure under the case-by-case review process or my case was terminated as part of the case-by-case review process, can I be considered for deferred action under this process?

A15: Yes. If you can demonstrate that you meet the guidelines, you will be able to request consideration of DACA even if you have accepted an offer of administrative closure or termination under the case-by-case review process.

Q16: If I declined an offer of administrative closure under the case-by-case review process, can I be considered for deferred action under this process?

A16: Yes. If you can demonstrate that you meet the guidelines, you will be able to request consideration of DACA even if you declined an offer of administrative closure under the case-by-case review process.

Q17: If my case was reviewed as part of the case-by-case review process but I was not offered administrative closure, can I be considered for deferred action under this process?

A17: Yes. If you can demonstrate that you meet the guidelines, you will be able to request consideration of DACA even if you were not offered administrative closure following review of your case as part of the case-by-case review process.

Q18: Can I request consideration of DACA under this process if I am currently in a nonimmigrant status (e.g. F-1, E-2, H-4) or have Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

A18: No. You can only request consideration of DACA under this process if you currently have no immigration status and were not in any lawful status on June 15, 2012.

Q19: Will the information I share in my request for consideration of DACA be used for immigration enforcement purposes?

A19: Information provided in this request is protected from disclosure to ICE and CBP for the purpose of immigration enforcement proceedings unless the requestor meets the criteria for the issuance of a Notice To Appear or a referral to ICE under the criteria set forth in USCIS’ Notice to Appear guidance (www.uscis.gov/NTA). Individuals whose cases are deferred pursuant to DACA will not be referred to ICE. The information may be shared with national security and law enforcement agencies, including ICE and CBP, for purposes other than removal, including for assistance in the consideration of DACA, to identify or prevent fraudulent claims, for national security purposes, or for the investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense. The above information sharing policy covers family members and guardians, in addition to the requestor. This policy, which may be modified, superseded, or rescinded at any time without notice, is not intended to, does not, and may not be relied upon to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by law by any party in any administrative, civil, or criminal matter.

Q20: If my case is referred to ICE for immigration enforcement purposes or if I receive an NTA, will information related to my family members and guardians also be referred to ICE for immigration enforcement purposes?

A20: If your case is referred to ICE for purposes of immigration enforcement or you receive an NTA, information related to your family members or guardians that is contained in your request will not be referred to ICE for purposes of immigration enforcement against family members or guardians. However, that information may be shared with national security and law enforcement agencies, including ICE and CBP, for purposes other than removal, including for assistance in the consideration of DACA, to identify or prevent fraudulent claims, for national security purposes, or for the investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense.

This policy, which may be modified, superseded, or rescinded at any time without notice, is not intended to, does not, and may not be relied upon to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any party in any administrative, civil, or criminal matter.

Q21: Will USCIS verify documents or statements that I provide in support of a request for DACA?

A21: USCIS has the authority to verify documents, facts, and statements that are provided in support of requests for DACA. USCIS may contact education institutions, other government agencies, employers, or other entities in order to verify information.

D. After USCIS Makes a Decision

Q25: Can I appeal USCIS’ determination?

A25: No. You cannot file a motion to reopen or reconsider, and cannot appeal the decision if USCIS denies your request for consideration of DACA.

You may request a review of your I-821D denial by contacting USCIS’ Call Centers at1-800-375-5283 to have a service request created if you believe that you actually did meet all of the DACA guidelines and you believe that your request was denied due to one of the following errors:

• Denied the request based on abandonment, when you actually responded to an RFE or NOID within the prescribed time;

• Mailed the RFE or NOID to the wrong address although you had submitted a Form AR-11, Change of Address, or changed your address online at www.uscis.gov before USCIS issued the RFE or NOID;

• Denied the request on the grounds that you did not come to the United States prior to your 16th birthday, but the evidence submitted at the time of filing shows that you did arrive before reaching that age;

• Denied the request on the grounds that you were under age 15 at the time of filingbut not in removal proceedings, while the evidence submitted at the time of filingshow that you indeed were in removal proceedings when the request was filed;

• Denied the request on the grounds that you were 31 or older as of June 15, 2012, but the evidence submitted at the time of filing shows that you were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;

• Denied the request on the grounds that you had lawful status on June 15, 2012, but the evidence submitted at the time of filing shows that you indeed were in anunlawful immigration status on that date;

• Denied the request on the grounds that you were not physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and up through the date of filing, but the evidence submittedat the time of filing shows that you were, in fact, present;

• Denied the request due to your failure to appear at a USCIS ASC to have your biometrics collected, when you in fact either did appear at a USCIS ASC to have this done or requested prior to the scheduled date of your biometrics appointment to have the appointment rescheduled; or

• Denied the request because you did not pay the filing fees for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, when you actually did pay these fees.

If you believe your request was denied due to any of these administrative errors, you may contact our National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 or 1-800-767-1833 (TDD for the hearing impaired). Customer service officers are available Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. in each U.S. time zone.

Q26: If USCIS does not exercise deferred action in my case, will I be placed in removal proceedings?

A26: If you have submitted a request for consideration of DACA and USCIS decides not to defer action in your case, USCIS will apply its policy guidance governing the referral of cases to ICE and the issuance of Notices to Appear (NTA). If your case does not involve a criminal offense, fraud, or a threat to national security or public safety, your case will not be referred to ICE for purposes of removal proceedings except where DHS determines there are exceptional circumstances. For more detailed information on the applicable NTA policy, visit www.uscis.gov/NTA. If after a review of the totality of circumstances USCIS determines to defer action in your case, USCIS will likewise exercise its discretion and will not issue you an NTA.

Q27: Can my deferred action under the DACA process be terminated before it expires?

A27: Yes.

DACA is an exercise of prosecutorial discretion and deferred action may be terminated at any time, with or without a Notice of Intent to Terminate, at DHS’s discretion.

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II. Initial Requests for DACA

Q28: What guidelines must I meet to be considered for deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA)?

A28: Under the Secretary of Homeland Security’s June 15, 2012 memorandum, in order to be considered for DACA, you must submit evidence, including supporting documents, showing that you:

1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;

2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;

3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;

4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;

5. Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;

6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and

7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

These guidelines must be met for consideration of DACA. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) retains the ultimate discretion to determine whether deferred action is appropriate in any given case even if the guidelines are met.

Q29: How old must I be in order to be considered for deferred action under this process?

A29:

• If you have never been in removal proceedings, or your proceedings have been terminated before your request for consideration of DACA, you must be at least 15 years of age or older at the time of filing and meet the other guidelines.

• If you are in removal proceedings, have a final removal order, or have a voluntary departure order, and are not in immigration detention, you can request consideration of DACA even if you are under the age of 15 at the time of filing and meet the other guidelines.

• In all instances, you must have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, to be considered for DACA.

Q30: I first came to the United States before I turned 16 years old and have been continuously residing in the United States since at least June 15, 2007. Before I turned 16 years old, however, I left the United States for some period of time before returning and beginning my current period of continuous residence. May I be considered for deferred action under this process?

A30: Yes, but only if you established residence in the United States during the period before you turned 16 years old, as evidenced, for example, by records showing you attended school or worked in the United States during that time, or that you lived in the United States for multiple years during that time. In addition to establishing that you initially resided in the United States before you turned 16 years old, you must also have maintained continuous residence in the United States from June 15, 2007, until the present time to be considered for deferred action under this process.

Q31: To prove my continuous residence in the United States since June 15, 2007, must I provide evidence documenting my presence for every day, or every month, of that period?

A31: To meet the continuous residence guideline, you must submit documentation that shows you have been living in the United States from June 15, 2007, up until the time of your request. You should provide documentation to account for as much of the period as reasonably possible, but there is no requirement that every day or month of that period be specifically accounted for through direct evidence.

It is helpful to USCIS if you can submit evidence of your residence during at least each year of the period. USCIS will review the documentation in its totality to determine whether it is more likely than not that you were continuously residing in the United States for the period since June 15, 2007. Gaps in the documentation as to certain periods may raise doubts as to your continued residence if, for example, the gaps are lengthy or the record otherwise indicates that you may have been outside the United States for a period of time that was not brief, casual or innocent.

If gaps in your documentation raise questions, USCIS may issue a Request for Evidence to allow you to submit additional documentation that supports your claimed continuous residence.

Affidavits may be submitted to explain a gap in the documentation demonstrating that you meet the five-year continuous residence requirement. If you submit affidavits related to the continuous residence requirement, you must submit two or more affidavits, sworn to or affirmed by people other than yourself who have direct personal knowledge of the events and circumstances during the period as to which there is a gap in the documentation. Affidavits may only be used to explain gaps in your continuous residence; they cannot be used as evidence that you meet the entire five-year continuous residence requirement.

Q32: Does “currently in school” refer to the date on which the request for consideration of deferred action is filed?

A32: To be considered “currently in school” under the guidelines, you must be enrolled in school on the date you submit a request for consideration of deferred action under this process.

Q33: Who is considered to be “currently in school” under the guidelines?

A33: To be considered “currently in school” under the guidelines, you must be enrolled in:

• a public, private, or charter elementary school, junior high or middle school, high school, secondary school, alternative program, or homeschool program that meets state requirements;

• an education, literacy, or career training program (including vocational training) that has a purpose of improving literacy, mathematics, or English or is designed to lead to placement in postsecondary education, job training, or employment and where you are working toward such placement; or

• an education program assisting students either in obtaining a regular high school diploma or its recognized equivalent under state law (including a certificate of completion, certificate of attendance, or alternate award), or in passing a GED exam or other state-authorized exam (e.g., HiSet or TASC) in the United States.

Such education, literacy, career training programs (including vocational training), or education programs assisting students in obtaining a regular high school diploma or its recognized equivalent under state law, or in passing a GED exam or other state-authorized exam in the United States, include, but are not limited to, programs funded, in whole or in part, by federal, state, county or municipal grants or administered by non-profit organizations. Programs funded by other sources may qualify if they are programs of demonstrated effectiveness.

In assessing whether such programs not funded in whole or in part by federal, state, county or municipal grants or administered by non-profit organizations are of demonstrated effectiveness, USCIS will consider the duration of the program’s existence; the program’s track record in assisting students in obtaining a regular high school diploma or its recognized equivalent, in passing a GED or other state-authorized exam (e.g., HiSet or TASC), or in placing students in postsecondary education, job training, or employment; and other indicators of the program’s overall quality. For individuals seeking to demonstrate that they are “currently in school” through enrollment in such a program, the burden is on the requestor to show the program’s demonstrated effectiveness.

Q34: How do I establish that I am currently in school?

A34: Documentation sufficient for you to demonstrate that you are currently in school may include, but is not limited to:

• evidence that you are enrolled in a public, private, or charter elementary school, junior high or middle school, high school or secondary school; alternative program, or homeschool program that meets state requirements; or

• evidence that you are enrolled in an education, literacy, or career training program (including vocational training) that:

o has a purpose of improving literacy, mathematics, or English, or is designed to lead to placement in postsecondary education, job training, or employment and where you are working toward such placement; and

o is funded, in whole or in part, by federal, state, county or municipal grants or is administered by non-profit organizations, or if funded by other sources, is a program of demonstrated effectiveness; or

• evidence that you are enrolled in an education program assisting students in obtaining a high school equivalency diploma or certificate recognized under state law (such as by passing a GED exam or other such state-authorized exam [for example, HiSet or TASC]), and that the program is funded in whole or in part by federal, state, county or municipal grants or is administered by non-profit organizations or if funded by other sources, is of demonstrated effectiveness.

Such evidence of enrollment may include: acceptance letters, school registration cards, letters from a school or program, transcripts, report cards, or progress reports which may show the name of the school or program, date of enrollment, and current educational or grade level, if relevant.

Q35: What documentation may be sufficient to demonstrate that I have graduated from high school?

A35: Documentation sufficient for you to demonstrate that you have graduated from high school may include, but is not limited to, a high school diploma from a public or private high school or secondary school, a certificate of completion, a certificate of attendance, or an alternate award from a public or private high school or secondary school, or a recognized equivalent of a high school diploma under state law, or a GED certificate or certificate from passing another such state authorized exam (e.g., HiSet or TASC) in the United States.

Q36: What documentation may be sufficient to demonstrate that I have obtained a GED certificate or certificate from passing another such state authorized exam (e.g., HiSet or TASC)?

A36: Documentation may include, but is not limited to, evidence that you have passed a GED exam, or other state-authorized exam (e.g., HiSet or TASC), and, as a result, have received the recognized equivalent of a regular high school diploma under state law.

Q37: If I am enrolled in a literacy or career training program, can I meet the guidelines?

A37: Yes, in certain circumstances. You may meet the guidelines if you are enrolled in an education, literacy, or career training program that has a purpose of improving literacy, mathematics, or English or is designed to lead to placement in postsecondary education, job training, or employment and where you are working toward such placement. Such programs include, but are not limited to, programs funded, in whole or in part, by federal, state, county or municipal grants or administered by non-profit organizations, or if funded by other sources, are programs of demonstrated effectiveness.

Q38: If I am enrolled in an English as a Second Language (ESL) program, can I meet the guidelines?

A38: Yes, in certain circumstances. Enrollment in an ESL program may be used to meet the guidelines if the ESL program is funded in whole or in part by federal, state, county or municipal grants, or administered by non-profit organizations, or if funded by other sources is a program of demonstrated effectiveness. You must submit direct documentary evidence that the program is funded in whole or part by federal, state, county or municipal grants, administered by a non-profit organization, or of demonstrated effectiveness.

Q39: Will USCIS consider evidence other than that listed in Chart #1 to show that I have met the education guidelines?

A39: No. Evidence not listed in Chart #1 will not be accepted to establish that you are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, or have obtained a GED or passed another state-authorized exam (e.g., HiSet or TASC). You must submit any of the documentary evidence listed in Chart #1 to show that you meet the education guidelines.

Q40: Will USCIS consider evidence other than that listed in Chart #1 to show that I have met certain initial guidelines?

A40: Evidence other than those documents listed in Chart #1 may be used to establish the following guidelines and factual showings if available documentary evidence is insufficient or lacking and shows that:

• You were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012;

• You came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;

• You satisfy the continuous residence requirement, as long as you present direct evidence of your continued residence in the United States for a portion of the required period and the circumstantial evidence is used only to fill in gaps in the length of continuous residence demonstrated by the direct evidence; and

• Any travel outside the United States during the period of required continuous presence was brief, casual, and innocent.

However, USCIS will not accept evidence other than the documents listed in Chart #1 as proof of any of the following guidelines to demonstrate that you:

• Were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012; and

• Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a GED certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States.

For example, even if you do not have documentary proof of your presence in the United States on June 15, 2012, you may still be able to satisfy the guideline. You may do so by submitting credible documentary evidence that you were present in the United States shortly before and shortly after June 15, 2012, which, under the facts presented, may give rise to an inference of your presence on June 15, 2012 as well. However, evidence other than that listed in Chart #1 will not be accepted to establish that you have graduated high school. You must submit the designated documentary evidence to satisfy that you meet this guideline.