FAQ about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Renewals

Friday, Jul 11, 2014

On June 15, 2012, the Obama Administration announced that it would grant "deferred action" status to young people who qualify as DREAM Act students and provide them with, among other things, relief from deportation.

The basic fact sheet about DACA applications and renewals can be downloaded here. Here's the DACA fact sheet in Chinese and Korean.

The FAQ below is specifically about how to renew your DACA status. You can download the FAQ here.

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DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS (DACA) RENEWALS FAQ

(1) Am I eligible to renew my DACA status?

If you have already been approved for DACA and your initial two-year grant is expiring, you may apply for a renewal if you met the initial eligibility guidelines and you:

* did not leave the U.S. on or after Aug. 15, 2012 (unless you were granted advance parole);

* have continuously lived in the U.S. since you submitted your most recent DACA request that was approved; and 

* have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not pose a threat to the national security or public safety.

(2) When should I renew my DACA status?

You should submit your renewal request about 4 months, or 120 days, before your current period of deferred action runs out. If you submit at least 4 months beforehand and USCIS has not finished processing your application before your deferred action period expires, USCIS may extend your DACA and work authorization for that short period of time until it grants or denies your renewal request.

But also do not submit your renewal request too soon before your current deferred action period expires! If you submit your renewal more than 5 months before your current period expires, USCIS may temporarily deny your application, with instructions to resubmit.

(3) What forms do I need to submit my DACA renewal?

You can find the following forms to renew your DACA on www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals. The types of forms are the same ones you submitted for your initial request for DACA, but some of them have been updated since you were approved for DACA and require new information. You must use the new versions to apply for renewal.

*Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals 

*Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization 

*I-765WS, Worksheet

Also, don't forget that you also need to submit 2 passport-sized photos and fees (see below) payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security again.

(4) Are there significant changes between the new form and the old form?

USCIS introduced a new I-821D form for the DACA renewal process that is now used both for initial DACA applications and renewals. The new form asks for height, weight, and other personal information. It also asks for the country that last issued your passport, your passport number, and your passport expiration date.

(5) Do I have to send in supporting documents again?

If you have new documents involving immigration proceedings or criminal history that you did not already submit to USCIS when you previously applied for DACA, you should submit them. Otherwise you DO NOT need to send in supporting documents.

(6) Do I have to pay $465 again?

Yes. You must pay a $465 fee to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for the work authorization application and biometrics.

(7) Do I need my old DACA application to submit my renewal application?

You do not need to resubmit the application that you originally submitted. But the information on your old application should be consistent with the information on your renewal application. So we recommend having a copy of your old application and Approval Notices on hand when renewing your DACA.

(8) What if my current period of DACA expires before I receive a renewal?

You will not be authorized to work in the US until USCIS issues you a new work permit. Additionally, unless you are under 18 when you submit your renewal request, you will accrue "unlawful presence" during any lapse between deferred action periods.

So long as you apply for your renewal at least 120 days before your current period of deferred action and employment authorization expires, USCIS may provide you deferred action and employment authorization for a short period of time after your current period expires while they process your request.

(9) Can I still renew if I am no longer in school?

Yes, the renewal application and the instructions do not ask you for graduation or school enrollment information.

(10) What if I never applied for DACA? Can I still apply now?

Yes. Even though the renewal process for people who have previously been approved for DACA has started, if you never applied for DACA and meet the eligibility guidelines, you may still apply. But that application requires more material than the renewal process.

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