Disclaimer: while United We Dream is one of the most trusted organizations when it comes to DACA, we are not attorneys and the information provided here is simply for informational purposes not legal advice. No attorney-client or confidential relationship is or will be formed by use of the information.
Renewing your Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) by yourself can seem like a daunting task. The truth, however, is that in most cases you can easily renew your DACA from the comfort of your own home.
Below are step-by-step instructions put together by United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led network in the country, that will help you get started on renewing your DACA application.
This page is a how-to on DACA renewals only (no matter whether your DACA has already expired or not) because unfortunately USCIS is no longer accepting first time DACA applications, please see our FAQ page for more information.
Step 1) Find your previous DACA Renewal application.
Having a copy of your previous DACA Renewal application will help you tremendously when starting to renew your DACA. This will give you a starting point and allow you to make sure that all the information you put on your new application remains consistent with your previous application.
Step 2) Download the correct application forms from USCIS.
This is important. USCIS will not accept any DACA Renewal applications that are on outdated forms. Visit USCIS’ website DACA Renewal landing page to download the most current DACA Renewal forms.
You will need to download the following forms:
- Form I-821D
- Form I-765
- Form I-765WS
- Form G-1145
Step 3) Accurately fill out all your forms.
Use the copy of your previous DACA Renewal application to guide you on how to fill out all fields on the forms. If you do not have a copy of your previous application, thoroughly read the instructions that come with the applications and fill it out to the best of your knowledge.
If at the time you apply for renewal your DACA is current, meaning it has not expired, then you can request to renew your DACA by filling out the application as a renewal application.
If at the time you apply for renewal your DACA has been expired for one year or less, then you can request to renew your DACA by filling out the application as a renewal application.
If at the time you apply for renewal your DACA has been expired for more than one year, you may request to renew your DACA, but you must fill out the application as if you were applying for the first time. And you must submit evidence showing that you meet each DACA eligibility guideline.
If you had DACA and your period with DACA was cut short by DHS (that is, if DHS terminated your DACA), you can apply again for DACA by filling out your DACA application as if you were applying for the first time. In this case, too, you will be required to submit evidence showing that you meet each DACA eligibility guideline.
Tip: Fill out the form digitally on your computer to ensure legibility. If you cannot fill it out on your computer, make sure use a black ink pen and write legibly.
Step 4) Create a cover letter.
A cover letter helps the USCIS agent reviewing your application to easily see what they are about to review right at a glance. Check out our cover letter template to give you a starting point.
The key feature of the cover letter is the checklist of items that you need to include. Aim to include copies of all the things on our template with the exception of the copy of the Advance Parole stamp. Only include a copy of the Advance Parole stamp if you traveled outside of the U.S. with Advance Parole.
To help you even more, check out this great resource from our friends at ILRC: Annotated DACA Application Guide
Step 5) Purchase your Money Order
In your application packet, you must include a money order of $495 made out to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” (not “USDHS” or “DHS”). This will cover your biometric and processing fees.
Note: Do not send cash or personal checks. You can purchase money orders at your local U.S. Post Office, convenience store, grocery store, or bank.
Like we said United We Dream has your back. If you or someone you know needs financial help in order to renew your DACA, check out United We Dream’s DACA Renewal Fund. On the other hand, if you want to help DACA Applicants renew their application, donate to the DACA Renewal Fund here.
Step 6) Package and Send Your Application.
It’s almost time to send your application! We recommend that your application packet be in the following order to make it easier for review:
- $495 Money Order
- Cover Letter
- Completed Form G-1145
- Completed Form I-821D
- Completed Form I-765
- Completed Form I-765WS
- Copies of any supporting evidence. Do not send any original documents.
Where should you send your application? This depends on your location. USCIS has a quick reference guide on where to send your application based on your location.
Tip: Do not staple your application together. This makes it harder for the review process and your application could even be rejected by USCIS. Instead use paper clips.
Tip: We also advise that you mail using priority shipping that includes a tracking number so you know exactly when the application is received. The USPS’ Priority Mail flat-rate envelopes are perfect for this.
Make a copy of your entire application before submitting to keep in your records.
After reviewing and double-checking your application for accuracy, you are ready to send.
Step 7) Let us know how it went.
Congrats on sending your application! Let us know how it went! United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led network that advocates to provide permanent relief for immigrants. By letting us know how your renewal process went, we will be able to better advocate for DACA recipients and our immigrant community.
Provide your feedback here: https://unitedwedream.org/renew-my-daca/already-renewed-daca-let-us-know-went/