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How to renew DACA eligibility

| Nov 25, 2019 | DACA

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program provided a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as minor children. Under the Trump administration, however, the Supreme Court may move to end DACA for nearly 700,000 who now live in the U.S. under the program as adults.

Although the court will not deliver a final ruling until Spring 2020, to take effect with the new presidential administration in 2021, individuals who received DACA approval have concerns about their future in the U.S. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will not currently accept new DACA applications, but will process renewals for those who received approval in the past.

Eligibility for DACA renewal

Renewal is available for those who:

  • Do not pose a threat to public safety or national security
  • Have no criminal history (a significant misdemeanor, a felony or three or more misdemeanors)
  • Have lived in the U.S. since their initial DACA application
  • Have not left the U.S. without advance parole since August 15, 2012

When to apply for renewal

Refer to your I-797 Notice of Action or your employment authorization document to determine your filing window. You should apply for DADA renewal at least 120 days but not more than 150 days before your authorization expires. For example, if your DACA expiration date is December 30, 2020, you should apply in July or August of 2020.

The application process

Submit the most recent available versions of USCIS Form I-821D, Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization and Form I-765WS Worksheet. Complete all sections except those with the label “For Initial Requests Only.” Although you should not submit documentation with these forms, you should have available proof of residency and identity in case the USCIS requests these items. The application fee for renewal is currently $495.

Although the future of DACA is in jeopardy, a renewal preserves your status for the next two years. If you receive a denial, you may seek legal action to appeal your standing in the U.S.