On June 6, 2014, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, released guidance instructing recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals how to renew their status and employment authorization. The process will not require DACA recipients to submit complete application packages with evidence demonstrating their eligibility for the program. Instead, for most cases USCIS will simply require newly completed forms and a new filing fee.
As explained in the USCIS guidance, the eligibility requirements for DACA renewal are: (1) the applicant must not have departed the U.S. after August 15, 2012 without advance parole, (2) the applicant has continuously resided in the United States since they submitted their most recent DACA request that was approved; and (3) the applicant must not have been convicted of a felony or more than two significant misdemeanors, and does not otherwise pose a threat to the national security or public safety. Interestingly, the guidance does not require individuals who received DACA based on their enrollment in a qualified high school or GED program to demonstrate they have completed or made significant progress in that program. However, in some cases USCIS may ask renewal applicants for additional documents, including school records, to show how they meet the DACA guidelines.
For most DACA renewal applicants, timing will be key in order to avoid any lapses in deferred status. As the USCIS guidelines explain, DACA renewal requests should be filed at least 120 days (i.e., four months) before the applicant’s expiration of their current DACA status, but applications filed more than 150 days (i.e., five months) in advance may be rejected. Applicants for DACA renewal must submit the updated form I-821D with I-765 and I-765WS and pay a $465 filing fee.
If your DACA status expiration date is on the near horizon, consider contacting an immigration attorney to review your case and ensure your renewal goes smoothly. At Charlotte Immigration Law Firm we offer free initial consultations and will review what other options you might have to obtain permanent immigration status. So call today!
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