USCIS Announces DACA Renewal Procedures

On June 5, 2014, USCIS issued long awaited procedures for renewal of DACA (Deferred Action for Certain Childhood Arrivals) While the requirements and procedures are on their face simple, those reapplying need to be aware of potential pit falls in the process.

Specifically, those applying for renewal must show that they have

  1. Not have left the US without permission from CIS (called Advance Parole) since August 15, 2012,

  2. Have resided continuously in the US since DACA was granted and

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

In order to renew, individuals must submit the revised I-821D (DACA application ) and I-765 ( work permit renewal) and I-765W together with the $465 filing fee required by the Department of Homeland Security. Applications cannot be submitted earlier than 150 days prior to expiration of DACA and should not be submitted later than 120 days before the expiration of the work permit. In short, if one submits an application 151 days prior to expiration, it could be rejected, but if an application is submitted 119 days before the expiration of the work permit, the applicant may not qualify for any temporary extension of work permission and DACA in the event CIS is unable to adjudicate the renewal prior to the DACA expiration date.

While CIS is allowing people to renew their DACA up to a year after the expiration date, so, for example, if your DACA expires on 9/15/2014, you have one year from that date to apply for renewal, once your DACA expires, you will be accruing unlawful presence if you are over age 18 and will not be authorized to work unless you have a valid work document. If someone applies more than one year after the initial DACA expiration, they will have to submit all of the documentation required for a new application and will be treated as a new applicant.

At this time, CIS has stated no additional documents need be submitted to prove continuous residence or to prove continued attendance in a GED course, a Request for Evidence may be issued. Furthermore, CIS  may contact other government agencies, education institutions, employers, or other entities in order to verify information. 

It is important to see competent legal advice before renewing your DACA, particularly if you have left the US since August 15, 2012, or have had any contact with the police or other law enforcement authorities.