DACA Renewal Advice

Overview

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was established in 2012 and granted eligible individuals who arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16 with a temporary, renewable two-year work permit and protection from deportation.

Unfortunately, on September 5th, 2017 the Trump administration announced that it was ending DACA and immediately stopped accepting new applications, and several lawsuits were filed against the administration for terminating the program unlawfully. In February of 2018, thanks to 2 nationwide court injunctions people who have previously had DACA were allowed to renew their DACA status again. However, there are still active legal threats to the program, and court dates and rulings in the next few months will determine the program’s future.

It is important to know that with or without DACA, you have rights in the United States. This guide will specifically focus on what to do if you qualify for DACA renewals because you deserve to stay empowered by staying informed.

Should I submit my DACA renewal application now? New!

If you are eligible to renew your DACA, you should strongly consider gathering your paperwork, talking to an attorney, and submitting your renewal application as soon as possible. USCIS is currently accepting renewal applications but it is uncertain how long they will continue doing so, as there is an active lawsuit trying to end the program as soon as possible.

View the guide below for a step-by-step guide to renew your DACA. If you’ve had contact with any law or immigration enforcement or have had more than 3 misdemeanors, 1 significant misdemeanor, a felony, or a deportation case since your last renewal, you should consult an immigration attorney before applying.

Unfortunately, at this time, no first-time DACA applications are being accepted, so if you were never approved for DACA you cannot apply now. If you received DACA but your DACA has been expired for more than a year, you can still renew but will need to file the renewal as if it were an initial application. And remember that no matter your immigration status, you deserve to feel supported and empowered.

Renewal Step-by-Step Guide New!

Provided by United We Dream (How To Easily Renew Your DACA)

1. Find your previous renewal application and use it as a guide as you complete your new renewal application. You can check them to make sure that the information on your new application is consistent with the information you submitted in your previous application.

2. Make sure to download the correct forms directly from USCIS. You can download them here. If a form is out of date or old, USCIS will not accept it and your application will be rejected.

You will need to download and complete the following forms:

3. Accurately fill out all forms. Remember to read all instructions on the forms thoroughly, and to double check your responses with the responses you included in your previous renewal application so that the information is consistent. It is recommended that you fill out the forms digitally to make sure all information is readable. If you are filling them out by hand, make sure you write clearly with a black pen.

4. Create a cover letter. A cover letter includes a checklist of the items in the submission to help the USCIS agent easily see what they are about to review. Check out UWD’s cover letter template to give you a starting point.

5. Purchase your money order. You can purchase one at your local U.S. Post Office. USCIS does not accept cash or personal checks. The money order should be for $495 and made out to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” (do not use abbreviations like “DHS”).

The $495 covers biometric and processing fees. If you need financial assistance, visit https://unitedwedream.org/renew-my-daca/find-local-help-near-you/ for organizations near you that may be able to assist or you can set up a gofundme to crowd fund through your personal network.

6. Package and 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.

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. The USPS’ Priority Mail flat-rate envelopes are perfect for this.

 

After reviewing and double-checking your application for accuracy, you are ready to send.

 

For a more in-depth look at the potential trajectories of pending court rulings, please visit NILC’s DACA Litigation Timeline.