Understanding the Law

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)

On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that immigrants who arrive 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, who would then be eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is discretionary and determined to prevent removal.

Effective July 2015, you may qualify to pay resident tuition if you have DACA status. You will be asked to provide a copy of your work authorization card, an INS notice of action receipt and proof that you have lived in Washington for at least 12 continuous months prior to the first day of the quarter.


  • Safeguards from deportation
  • Allows you to attain a work permit for 2 years
  • Stops unlawful status for underage (under 18 years) 3 to 10 year bars
  • Does not equal citizenship
  • Does not allow you to obtain a driver's license or in–state tuition if your state does not allow it

To be eligible for DACA, you must:

  • Be under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
  • Have entered the U.S. under the age of 16
  • Have continued residence in U.S. since June 15, 2007
  • Present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 when making the request
  • Currently enrolled in school or graduated

DACA Resources

United We Dream – Learn more about the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the U.S.

Immigration Equality – Questions and answers for those that qualify for DACA.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services – Run by the Department of Homeland Security. Access description, guidelines, eligibility criteria and all of the required forms to apply for DACA.

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project – Connect with Dreamer resources, workshops, community presentations and legal clinics for individuals interested in DACA.

Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – A pdf that visually demonstrates the process of Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

HB 1079

In 2003, the Washington State Legislature approved HB (House Bill) 1079, an historic action that makes a college education much more affordable for certain undocumented students by allowing them to pay in–state tuition at state colleges and universities.

To qualify for resident tuition status and be eligible for HB 1079 benefits, students must meet the following conditions:

  • Resided in Washington State for three (3) years immediately prior to receiving a high school diploma, and completed the full senior year at a Washington high school, or
  • Completed the equivalent of a high school diploma and resided in Washington State for the three (3) years immediately before receiving the equivalent diploma (GED®) and
  • Continuously lived in Washington State after earning their high school diploma or its equivalent (GED®)
  • Been accepted into a Washington State college or university

Students must also complete an HB 1709 affidavit. This is a written statement verifying that the student qualifies for state resident tuition rates, and that they promise to seek legal permanent residency once they meet the requirements.

How do I apply?

1. Complete the Washington Higher Education Residency, or HB 1079, affidavit
2. Submit the following supporting documents along with the affidavit form to the Admissions Office in BE1104B1:

  • Official high school transcript or equivalency of a high school diploma
  • Copy of your Washington driver's license or identification card
  • Copy of your immigration document or visa (only if you have this documentation)
  • Copy of your (Green Card) I–485 Form (only if you have filed this form)

Note: Washington law determines whether students can be considered residents of Washington eligible to pay in–state resident tuition rates at public institutions (RCW 28B.15.012). This law was revised in 2003 to allow certain students attending public colleges and universities to be eligible for resident student tuition rates.

In 2014, House Bill 6523 – the Real Hope Act was passed. The state's financial aid law was amended so that these students are eligible to be considered for need-based state aid (State Need Grant) if they are attending either public or participating private colleges in Washington (RCW28B.92.101). The student's legal status does not change.

The Real Hope Act

On February 26, 2014, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law the REAL Hope Act (SB 6523), also known as the Washington Dream Act. Beginning with the 2014–15 academic year, this new law expands eligibility for the Washington State Need Grant to non–citizens who meet the program's eligibility requirements in addition to all three residency criteria listed below:

  • Have graduated from a Washington high school or obtained a GED® in Washington
  • Have lived in Washington for three years prior to, and continuously since, earning the high school diploma or equivalent
  • Sign a HB 1079 affidavit (written promise) to file an application to become a permanent resident of the United States when eligible to apply

If you are granted DACA status, you must also complete and sign the HB 1079 affidavit – a written promise that you will apply to become a permanent U.S. resident when you are eligible.

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