Looking Ahead to the DACA Renewal Process

USCIS has issued a draft of the new Form I-821D to be used to renew Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status and has invited comments and proposals from the legal community.  Once USCIS  issues the final version of the  form, current DACA grantees may use the form to renew DACA status.  Requests for renewal may not be made on the current form that is available on the USCIS website.

Until USCIS releases the final renewal form, it is impossible to state with certainty what the DACA renewal process will exactly entail.  However, here is what we do know so far:

  • Applications to renew DACA and employment authorization may be filed up to 4 months (120 days) before the date of expiration of current DACA status (that is–4 months prior to the expiration of your employment authorization document).  Applications filed before the 4 months will be rejected.
  • The application fee will remain the same – that is, $465.00.
  • You must provide evidence that you have maintained continuous residence in the United States since you applied for DACA status.
  • You will not need to re-submit documents you already submitted with your previous DACA request that was approved.  You will need to submit any new records pertaining to a criminal record or removal proceedings.

  • You must not have left the United States since your DACA approval unless you applied for and were granted permission to travel (“advance parole”).
  • If at the time that you applied for DACA you were “still in school,” you must now provide evidence that you either still remain in school or that you have completed the course of study.  If you are currently enrolled in a GED or some equivalent program, you will need to provide evidence that the program is publicly funded.
  • If you have been arrested and/or charged with a crime since you obtained DACA status, your ability to renew DACA status may be jeopardized.  If you have a new arrest, you should consult an immigration attorney as soon as possible to determine your eligibility to renew DACA status.  You will need to provide certified records of your arrest or conviction.  If you do not have the certified records, you should take immediate steps to obtain them.

Since USCIS will not be accepting renewal application prior to the 120 days before your current employment authorization expires, one can only hope that USCIS will adjudicate the renewal application within that time period.  They have not announced whether they will issue an interim employment authorization if it takes them longer to adjudicate the application.  Therefore, every person who has been granted DACA should renew their  DACA status as soon as they become eligible to do so.