Renewal Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
On June 15, 2012, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would not deport certain undocumented youth who had come to the United States as children. These individuals may be granted a type of temporary permission to stay in the U.S. called “deferred action.” The Obama administration called this program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.
USCIS considers granting or renewing deferred action on a case-by-case basis. Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. Individuals who receive deferred action will not be placed into removal proceedings or removed from the United States for a specified period of time.
How long is my Deferred Action valid for?
On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced changes to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), read his entire announcement here. The President extended the validity period of DACA grants from 2 years to 3 years. Any applicant who applies to renew his or her DACA grant after November 20, 2014 will receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and Deferred Action status for 3 years.
Can I submit an application to renew DACA? What are the eligibility requirements?
If you were granted DACA and continue to meet the guidelines for DACA, you may submit an application to renew your DACA. For more information on the eligibility requirements for DACA, please read more here. You must also meet the following requirements in order to qualify for DACA renewal:
- You must not have departed the U.S. on or after August 15, 2012, without first having been granted advance parole.
- You must have resided continuously in the U.S. from the time you submitted the initial request for DACA up until the present time.
- You must not have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and must not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
When should I apply for DACA renewal with USCIS?
You may apply to renew your DACA any time before the date your current DACA and employment authorization document (EAD) expire. However, we recommend that you not submit your renewal application more than 150 days (or 5 months) before your DACA expiration date. USCIS may reject and return any DACA renewal application submitted more than 150 days (5 months) before the applicant’s DACA and EAD expire.
USCIS expects that if you submit your renewal application approximately 120 days before your DACA expiration date, it will be able to review your application and either grant or deny it before your DACA expires. However, if you file a renewal application at least 120 days before the expiration date and USCIS doesn’t grant or deny the renewal before the expiration date, USCIS may extend your DACA and work authorization for a short period of time until your renewal request is adjudicated. Therefore, it is very important that you submit your renewal application no later than 120 days before your DACA and EAD expire. An application received too early will likely be rejected and those applications received too late might mean that the youth in question is no longer protected from deportation.
There are a very small number of people who were granted DACA by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) before August 15, 2012, while they were in detention or removal proceedings. These people are allowed to apply to renew their DACA right away.
If you need help in determining when you should file your renewal, or assistance in completing the DACA renewal application, please call our experienced Los Angeles immigration attorneys at (213) 738-8700 to receive a free consultation today.
How do I apply to renew my DACA with USCIS?
Both the initial application for DACA and the renewal application are made by filling out and submitting some USCIS applications. Note that you must use the latest version of the forms that USCIS provides. If you don’t use the latest version, your application will be rejected. Depending on how your application was initially accepted, how you complete the application for renewal will be different. USCIS does not want information that is already on your previous application for DACA, but if your application was accepted by ICE, then you will have to provide USCIS with more information on the application. You must also submit any new documents relevant to your removal proceedings or criminal history that you have not submitted previously.
USCIS asks that no additional documents be sent, not even proof that you have resided continuously in the U.S. since you first received DACA. USCIS advises that you keep all documents that provide evidence that you meet all the guidelines. USCIS reserves the right to ask you for additional information, documents, and statements to verify information on your DACA renewal application. USCIS also reserves the right to contact government agencies and others to verify the information provided in the application.
What does USCIS suggest that I should do to prepare for DACA renewal?
To prepare to apply for DACA renewal:
- It’s important that the information in the renewal request be consistent with the information provided in the initial request. Therefore, we recommend that you make sure to have a copy of your initial application for DACA to double check all of your information. If you don’t already have a copy, our office can help you obtain your previous application and ensure that your renewal is completed correctly.
- If you have received citations, been arrested, or been criminally charged or convicted since initially receiving DACA, you must gather your law enforcement or court records.
- If you are currently in exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings, you must submit any new documents related to your case, unless you already submitted them to USCIS when you first applied for DACA or unless your case was administratively closed.
For assistance in completing your DACA renewal application correctly, or if you have any questions about how your immigration status may be affected by citations, criminal history, or other immigration problems, do not hesitate to call or email our experienced immigration attorneys.