If you were one of the first recipients to receive Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in the fall of 2012, then your renewal date is rapidly approaching.
DACA recipients, also known as “Dreamers,” have temporary relief from removal and qualify for work authorization for a two-year period. At the end of the two-year period, DACA and work authorization will expire unless the recipient applies for renewal. If you are not sure when your DACA expires, check your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and your Form I-821D Approval Notice for the expiration date.
USCIS has announced it will release a renewal application form by the end of May 2014. You cannot renew your DACA until USCIS releases the new form. Those who received DACA in September, October, or November of 2012 should apply to renew their status as soon as possible in June or July of 2014.
To ensure your DACA and work authorization do not expire, you should file your renewal application 120 to 150 days (four to five months) before your expiration date. As of now, USCIS will not grant automatic extensions of deferred action or work authorization to those who have applications pending as their expiration date passes. If your status expires, you will lose employment authorization and begin accruing unlawful presence. Therefore, you should file your application four to five months before your expiration date to ensure USCIS adjudicates it prior to your status expiring.
How do I renew my DACA?
If you worked with WLG to obtain DACA, then we already have your original application on file. To renew, schedule a meeting with a WLG attorney and bring the following:
- If you were in school when you originally applied for DACA, bring documentation showing that you completed high school, obtained your GED, or are still enrolled in school.
- If you have had any contact with police, immigration officers, or the immigration court since your original DACA application was filed, then bring your citations, court records, and police reports.
If you did not work with WLG to obtain DACA but would like WLG’s help renewing, then please also bring your original DACA application and approval notice.
USCIS has announced that the renewal application fee will be the same as the original application fee: $465. Be prepared to provide a check or money order in this amount prior to filing your renewal application.
If you have been arrested or charged with a crime since obtaining DACA, you should consult with an experienced immigration attorney before applying to renew. Additionally, if your circumstances have changed and you think you might be eligible for immigration relief, you should consult with an experienced immigration attorney to discuss options for obtaining lawful status in the U.S.
 USCIS stated that it will only provide automatic extensions of status to those renewal applicants who submitted their applications at least 120 days prior to the expiration date. This is another great reason to apply for renewal as soon as you are eligible.