Earlier this month USCIS published rules for the renewal of enrollment in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. As of April 2014, over 500,000 individuals have already benefited from the DACA program.
Individuals may request DACA renewal if they continue to meet the initial criteria and these additional guidelines:
- Did not depart the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, without advance parole;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since they submitted their 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 otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
The renewal process begins by filing the new version of Form I-821D “Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” Form I-765 “Application for Employment Authorization,” and the I-765 Worksheet. There is a filing and biometrics (fingerprints and photo) fee associated with Form I-765 totaling $465. As with an initial request, USCIS will conduct a background check when processing DACA renewals.
It is best to begin the DACA renewal process at least 120 days in advance of the expiration date to avoid a gap in employment authorization. Considering that the first DACA approvals will expire in September 2014, we encourage individuals to file their DACA renewals as soon as possible. First-time DACA applicants may still apply for the program, as long as they meet all other requirements and are able to prove continuous presence in the U.S. since June 15, 2007.
If you have questions about the renewal process, please contact our office and will be glad to help.
 At the earliest, individuals can submit their applications for renewal 150 days before the expiration of their current DACA status.
Niko Druzhinin is a legal assistant at Lipman & Wolf, LLP and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Global Policy Studies at the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs in the University of Texas at Austin. Niko received his Bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara in Global and International Studies with an emphasis in the Latin America region. Niko is fluent in Spanish and Russian. If you have questions or comments about the article, please contact us.