Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) allows eligible immigrants under the age of 18 to get two-year renewable work permits as well as protection from deportation. DACA must be renewed every two years. It’s important to note that even if your DACA has already expired, it may still be possible to apply for renewal.
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What Is DACA?
DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It’s a policy that protects about 800,000 young people, called DREAMers, who entered the U.S. unlawfully as children. DACA does not grant DREAMers official legal status or a pathway to citizenship. But, it does let them apply for drivers’ licenses, social security numbers, and work permits.
President Biden’s Plan For DACA
President Joe Biden pledged to uphold DACA — a policy that President Trump’s administration repeatedly tried to dismantle. Biden has also pledged to make DACA recipients eligible for student loans and Pell Grants while also proposing two free years of community college for all DREAMers.
Is It Still Possible To Apply For DACA?
Unfortunately, all DACA applications are currently on hold after a federal judge in Texas declared DACA unconstitutional. This ruling immediately paused the processing of all new applications that had not been approved prior to the judge’s decision. Even though the USCIS will not process new DACA requests, they will still receive them and hold onto them. Even better, renewals for active DACA beneficiaries are still being accepted.
Who Can Renew DACA?
In order to be eligible for DACA renewal, you must:
- Have not left the U.S. on or after August 15, 2012, without advance parole
- Have continuously lived in the U.S. since your most recently approved DACA request submission
- Not have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and otherwise pose no threat to national security or public safety.
It’s important to note that if you file after your most recent DACA period expires, but within one year of the expiration day, you can submit a request for DACA renewal. If you file beyond one year after the most recent period of DACA’s expiration, you can still request DACA via a new initial request.
When To Renew Your DACA
According to the USCIS, they have a current goal to process DACA renewal requests within 120 days of receiving them. If your renewal request has been pending for longer than 105 days and you haven’t heard from the USCIS, it’s a good idea to contact them directly.
How To Renew Your DACA
Take the following steps to renew your DACA:
- Complete & Sign —Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Don’t forget to use the most recent version of the form directly on the USCIS website. If an outdated form is used, the USCIS will reject your form.
- Form I-765 — Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
- Form I-765W — Form I-765W Worksheet (PDF, 238.54 KB)
- Submit Completed Forms To USCIS — Make sure you follow the instructions on all three forms and submit them along with their correct fees to the USCIS.
DACA Renewal Costs & Fees
When you submit your DACA renewal package, you will have to enclose two fees that total $495:
- $410 for employment authorization
- $85 for biometrics testing (photo and fingerprinting)
DACA Renewal Processing Time
Although USCIS has a goal to process DACA renewals within 120 days, in reality, it takes much longer. After filing your DACA renewal package, it can take as long as seven to ten months to process your I-821 D — the form that must be approved before USCIS begins to process your renewal application.
What Happens If My DACA Renewal Is Denied?
If your DACA renewal application is denied by USCIS, you might be able to reapply, depending on what the reasons for denial were. For example, if USCIS denied your application because you did not submit the required supporting documentation, but you know you actually did submit it, you can appeal the denial or reapply.
What Happens If My DACA Is Expired?
USCIS suggests that people submit their DACA renewal applications at least 150 days, but no later than 120 days before their current DACA and employer authorization document (EAD) expires. But, even if you don’t submit your renewal package at least 120 days before your DACA expiration date, USCIS will still accept and process the application. What’s more, even if you don’t submit your documents and application until after the expiration date, you can still apply for DACA renewal in some cases. This is where working with an expert immigration attorney really pays off because they will fight for your renewal and improve the odds your application is accepted and approved — no matter when it’s sent in.
If your DACA expires soon, you are strongly encouraged to submit your renewal application as soon as possible. If you are thinking about renewing early, an immigration attorney can help ensure you have all of the required documentation to get your renewal accepted ASAP.
Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!
If DACA — or any other immigration legislation — is impacting you or a loved one, attorney Eric Price can help. He has spent years addressing immigrants’ concerns and has dedicated a long, successful career to the needs of those looking to remain in the United States. Call 855-662-2772 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today to schedule a free case evaluation.