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DACA Renewal – All The Information You Need To Know if You Are Looking to Renew

[Disclaimer: In these uncertain times, knowledge is power. Here find tools below to help you make an informed decision about renewing your DACA. Please note that we are not lawyers, and therefore we cannot provide legal advice.]

UPDATE (as of April 24, 2018):

After the recent D.C. court decision ruling that the decision to end DACA was unlawful, USCIS policy on DACA applications has not changed. If you have never applied for DACA before, you cannot apply now. See below for more information about DACA renewals.

Right now, DACA recipients can apply to renew their DACA. However, we do not know how long young immigrants will be able to continue to renew their DACA. Trump decided to end DACA during the first year of his presidency, and although courts have made it possible for renewals to be open again, we do not have sufficient information to affirmatively say that they will remain open. The White House, the Courts, or Congress could have opportunities to close them at some point in the future. There is also uncertainty about what Trump’s administration would do with the information submitted to USCIS when renewing DACA.

This blog is for you to use as a tool to keep yourself informed and to help you make your own decision on renewing your DACA.

Here’s a quick checklist to know if you can apply for renewal now:

  • You have applied AND received DACA before.
  • 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. If you do not have felonies. If you do, please consult with a lawyer.

Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions:

1) Does it matter when my DACA expires/expired?

USCIS will handle the processing of DACA cases with more than 150 days left before expiration. USCIS encourages DACA recipients to complete their renewal application during the 120-150 day window before expiration to provide enough time for processing and to avoid a lapse in their DACA. However, requests received earlier than 150 days will be accepted. Remember, that if you apply earlier than 150 days before expiration, there may be an overlap between your current DACA and your renewal.

2) When should I apply to renew my DACA?

You should assess whether it makes sense for you to apply as soon as possible. There is no deadline by when applications are due. However, the government has already made public that they plan on appealing the court decision. The renewal program may be available indefinitely or may be stopped by another court depending on how the case proceeds in the courts.

3) How do I apply to renew my DACA?

If your DACA expired before September 5, 2016, you can request to renew your DACA but you must fill out an initial application. If you had DACA and your DACA issuance was cut short by DHS (meaning DHS terminated your DACA), you can renew your DACA, but you have to fill out an initial DACA application. Information about the requirements and process for an initial application is available at www.nilc.org/faqdeferredactionyouth/ Be sure to include the date your DACA expired on Part 1 of the Form I-821D.

4) What are the fees for the DACA renewal application?

The renewal request costs $495. In very limited circumstances, applicants may be exempted from having to pay the fees.

5) Where should I send my DACA renewal application?

Regardless of whether your initial DACA was adjudicated by ICE or by USCIS, you must submit your application for renewal to USCIS. Where, specifically, you must send your application depends on where you live. Check USCIS’s “Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” for the correct mailing address.

If you are looking to renew your DACA, but need financial support, please visit our following blogs for more information:

If you are an ally who wants to support DACA recipients apply for their renewal, consider DONATING HERE.

If you have any questions or want to get in touch with us, contact us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram @UNITEDWEDREAM or send us an email to info@unitedwedream.org 

Here are some more frequently asked questions:

6) Can I submit a first-time application for DACA?

NO. If you have never had DACA before, you cannot submit an application. Only people who have had DACA at some point can submit a renewal application.

7) I have DACA, can I apply for Advance Parole?

NO. USCIS will not accept advance parole applications from DACA recipients.

8) Can I submit an application to renew DACA?

YES. If you were granted DACA, you may submit an application to renew your DACA. 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.

9) Do I need to live in California to be eligible?

NO. The case is in California but the order and process for renewal applies nationwide.

10) What should I do to prepare for renewal?

To prepare to apply for DACA renewal:

  • It’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons of applying at this time. You must consider the possibility that the order requiring USCIS to accept applications gets appealed before or even while your application is pending and you may risk losing the $495 fee.
  • 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. You should also make a copy of your renewal application.
  • You must have put aside $495 to pay the renewal application fees [but see footnote 6].
  • If you have received citations, been arrested, or been criminally charged or convicted since initially receiving DACA, you must gather evidence of these contacts with law enforcement or the courts. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney or BIA (Board of Immigration Appeals)-accredited representative prior to applying because given the change in who is considered an “enforcement priority,” the risks associated with applying may be different if you have had interactions with law enforcement.
  • If you have a deportation order, voluntary departure order, or an administratively closed immigration case we highly recommend speaking to an attorney or BIA (Board of Immigration Appeals)-accredited representative prior to applying. Given the change in who is now considered an “enforcement priority,” the risks associated with applying may have changed.
  • 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. We recommend speaking to an attorney or BIA-accredited representative prior to applying to assess how applying for DACA will affect your case.

11) If I have been arrested or convicted of an offense, or have had other interactions with law enforcement since receiving DACA, what should I do?

It is a risk to apply. Speak to an attorney or a BIA–accredited representative about your case. Due to the enforcement priorities changing in January of 2017 and the renewal process being available only for a limited time, it is best to speak to an immigration expert before applying. Even if the incident happened before you applied and received DACA in the past and you revealed them in previous applications for DACA, the enforcement priorities have changed and you are at risk of being referred to ICE by applying.

12) Can someone with a deportation order, voluntary departure, or an administratively closed case apply for DACA renewal?

It is a risk to apply. Speak to an attorney or a BIA–accredited representative about your case. Due to the enforcement priorities changing in January of 2017, if you had any interaction with an immigration judge or immigration court, you want to speak to an immigration expert. Even if these events happened before you applied and received DACA in the past and you revealed them in previous applications for DACA, the enforcement priorities have changed and you are at risk of being referred to ICE by applying.

13) My last renewal application was rejected because I did not meet the October 5, 2017 deadline, can I still apply to renew?

YES. You can apply for renewal even if your last application was rejected specifically due to not meeting the October 5, 2017 deadline.

14) How long will it take USCIS to process my DACA renewal application?

We do not know. USCIS’s goal for processing DACA renewal applications used to be 120 days.

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