Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process
Update for DACA Renewals June 8, 2014
Because USCIS anticipates adjudicating renewal requests within 120 days, it recommends DACA recipients file for renewal approximately 120 days before the expiration date of their initial DACA grant, but no earlier than 150 days (five months) prior to expiration. In fact, USCIS states that it will not accept DACA applications filed more than 150 days in advance of a DACA expiration date. In the event of an unexpected delay in processing a renewal, USCIS states that it “may” provide an automatic extension of the original DACA grant, but appears to limit the automatic extension to individuals who file between 150 and 120 days before their DACA expiration date.
I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
- I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (3.07 MB PDF)
- Instructions for I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (2.01 MB PDF)
- Form I-765 (MUST be filed with your Form I-821D) (62 KB PDF)
- Instructions for Form I-765 (257 KB PDF)
- Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance (239 KB PDF)
06/04/14. No previous editions accepted.
What happens if my DACA and EAD expire before my DACA renewal application has been approved?
If you submitted your renewal application at least 120 days before your DACA and EAD expiration date, USCIS may provide you with temporary DACA and an EAD while it processes your application, if your DACA and EAD expire before your application is approved.
However, if you submitted your renewal application fewer than 120 days before the DACA and EAD expiration date, and they expire while USCIS is still processing the application, then you will likely lose your DACA status and employment authorization until USCIS makes a decision about the renewal application. If this happens, you will no longer be lawfully present in the U.S. and will begin accruing unlawful presence, unless you were under age 18 at the time you submitted the renewal application. You will also be at risk of losing your employment, since you will no longer have legal authorization to work. Therefore, it is very important that you apply for renewal no later than 120 days before the expiration of your DACA and EAD.
How do I apply to renew my DACA?
Both the initial application for DACA and the renewal application are made by filling out and submitting the same forms: Form I-821D, Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization, and Form I-765WS Worksheet. Note that you must use the latest version of Form I-821D. In the bottom left corner of each page of the latest version of Form I-821D, the following is printed:
Form I-821D 06/04/14 N
If you don’t use the latest version of Form I-821D, your application will be rejected.
When you’re submitting a renewal application, you must fill out all sections of the forms and answer all the questions except those designated “For Initial Requests Only.” You must also submit any new documents relevant to your removal proceedings or criminal history that you have not submitted previously (see USCIS’s Instructions for Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, page 10, items 11 and 12, and also the section on pages 10–11 of the instructions titled “Evidence for Renewal Requests Only”). The completed forms must be submitted to USCIS (see p. 12 of the instructions under “Where to File?”).
USCIS asks that no additional documents be sent, not even proof that you have resided continuously in the U.S. since you first received DACA. USCIS advises that you keep all documents that provide evidence that you meet all the guidelines. USCIS reserves the right to ask you for additional information, documents, and statements to verify information on your DACA renewal application. USCIS also reserves the right to contact government agencies and others to verify the information provided in the application.
NOTE: If your DACA was granted initially by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and not USCIS, you must fill out all the sections and answer all the questions on the forms and submit all supporting documentation as if you were filing an initial request. The completed forms and supporting documentation must then be submitted to USCIS.
What are the fees for the DACA renewal application?
The renewal request costs the same as the initial request: $465. The cost includes a $380 application fee for Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) and an $85 fee for biometrics (fingerprints and photo). DACA renewal applicants are required to submit new biometrics. In very limited circumstances, applicants may be exempted from having to pay the fees.
Where should I send my DACA renewal application?
Regardless of whether your initial DACA was adjudicated by ICE or by USCIS, you must submit your application for renewal to USCIS. Where, specifically, you must send your application depends on where you live. Check USCIS’s “Filing Addresses for Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” for the correct mailing address.
What should I do to prepare for renewal?
To prepare to apply for DACA renewal:
- It’s important that the information in the renewal request be consistent with the information provided in the initial request. Therefore, we recommend that you make sure to have a copy of your initial application for DACA. If you don’t already have a copy and you initially applied for DACA with the help of an attorney, the attorney’s office is likely to have a copy of your application. Another option is to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with USCIS to get a copy of the initial application.
- You must have put aside $465 to pay the renewal application fees.
- If you have received citations, been arrested, or been criminally charged or convicted since initially receiving DACA, you must gather evidence of these contacts with law enforcement or the courts.
- If you are currently in exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings, you must submit any new documents related to your case, unless you already submitted them to USCIS when you first applied for DACA or unless your case was administratively closed.
What if I no longer meet the DACA guidelines (for example, I dropped out of high school with no intent to get a GED or state equivalent certification). Can I still apply and not disclose that information, since the renewal application does not ask for it?
Yes. Neither the DACA application form nor the instructions ask for information about continued school enrollment or graduation. The instructions for renewal applications specify that a person may be considered for DACA renewal if he or she met the guidelines for consideration of initial DACA and
1. did not depart the U.S. on or after August 15, 2012, without advance parole;
2. has continuously resided in the United States since submitting the prior DACA application; and
3. has not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or three or more misdemeanors, and is not a threat to national security or public safety.
However, as mentioned above, USCIS may ask you for additional information as well as for documents to verify the information on your DACA renewal application.
If I initially received DACA and was under age 31 on June 15, 2012, but have since become older than age 31, can I still apply to renew?
Yes. Eligibility for DACA renewal is not limited to people who currently are under age 31. You cannot “age out” of eligibility for DACA if you were born after June 15, 1981.
Do I have to submit updated information and evidence about how I meet the educational guideline?
No. You do not need to include evidence or information related to the educational requirement with your renewal application. Note, though, that USCIS may ask you for additional documents, including school records, that show how you meet the DACA guidelines.
Do I have to be in college in order to be eligible for DACA renewal?
No. You do not have to be enrolled in college to be eligible for DACA renewal. As a reminder, DACA is not the same as the proposed federal “DREAM Act,” whose eligibility criteria would include college enrollment or military service.
Do I have to be currently working in order to be eligible for DACA renewal?
No. You do not need to have a job in order to be eligible for DACA renewal. Therefore, you do not need to submit evidence of employment as part of your renewal application.
If I have been arrested or convicted of an offense, or have had other interactions with law enforcement since receiving DACA, what should I do?
Here are some suggestions for what you can do before applying for renewal if you have had interactions with law enforcement since first receiving DACA:
- Get a background check. USCIS requires that applicants for DACA renewal submit proof of the disposition of (what has happened with respect to) any criminal arrests, charges or convictions.
- Complete a “live scan” (electronic fingerprinting), if it’s available in your state. For example, if you have lived only in California and are sure that you have not had any arrests or contact with law enforcement in any state other than California, you can complete the California “live scan.” Visit http://oag.ca.gov/fingerprints to find locations and information about the California process. Other states may have similar processes.
- Request an FBI criminal background check. The instructions for requesting an FBI criminal background check are at www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/criminal-history-summary-checks.
- Request your file from the court, if you have had to appear in criminal court. WARNING: If you have an outstanding warrant, you may be arrested if you go to court in person to request your file.
- Speak to an attorney or a BIA accredited representative about your case.
Keep in mind that the guidelines regarding a criminal record have not changed, so crimes that would disqualify you from obtaining DACA initially will also disqualify you from renewing your DACA.
If my DACA renewal request is denied, what will happen? Will I be placed in deportation proceedings?
USCIS says that if your DACA renewal request is denied, generally they will not refer your case to ICE (the immigration enforcement authorities), unless your case involves a criminal offense, fraud, or a threat to national security or public safety.
If I have or had DACA and am in the process of adjusting to legal immigration status through another process (for example, through my U.S. citizen spouse), should I still apply to renew DACA?
You may apply for DACA renewal while simultaneously applying for another type of immigration relief. Whether it is worth applying for both is a determination you should make, preferably with the help of an experienced attorney or accredited representative.
To request that USCIS consider granting or renewing deferred action, on a case-by-case basis, based on guidelines described in the Secretary of Homeland Security’s memorandum issued June 15, 2012. Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. Individuals who receive deferred action will not be placed into removal proceedings or removed from the United States for a specified period of time. Individuals filing Form I-821D must also file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and Form I-765WS, Form I-765 Worksheet.
In September 2012, USCIS started deferring action for certain childhood arrivals and issuing employment authorization for a period of two years. Beginning in September 2014, the initial two-year grants of deferred action for early recipients of DACA from USCIS are due to expire under their own terms, and USCIS is actively preparing for the DACA renewal process so that eligible individuals can request and receive an extension of their deferred action without experiencing any lapse in their lawful presence or work authorization.
In late May 2014, USCIS anticipates publishing a new dual-use Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, to allow for both initial and renewal requests, and updating Frequently Asked Questions with additional information. If you received DACA from USCIS and will seek to renew, you must wait until USCIS publishes the new form before filing your renewal request. If you are filing for initial DACA, you may continue to file using the current form until the new version is available (See below for additional information).
To help prepare the public for the anticipated process to request a renewal of DACA from USCIS, USCIS created an outline found below. This outline is subject to change until USCIS announces the details of the final process in late May 2014.
Outline to request renewal of DACA from USCIS:
- File the revised version of Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, together with Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization and I-765WS, Worksheet, as in the initial filing. The forthcoming version of Form I-821D will be dual-use for both initial and renewal filers and will contain modified questions pertaining to each situation. The draft form is currently going through the Federal Register public comment process and is not yet available for use.
- Do not file the current version of Form I-821D to renew. USCIS will not accept renewal filings until the new version of the form is published. However, if you received DACA from ICE instead of USCIS, please read the ICE-Granted DACA Renewal Guidance.
- Submit your DACA renewal request package approximately 120 days (or 4 months) before your current period of DACA expires. This is also the date that your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) expires. While USCIS will continue to accept filings after this date, it will not accept requests made earlier than 150 days (or 5 months) before that expiration date. The expiration date is printed on the front of the EAD, Form I-766 . Complete renewal requests include signed Forms I-821D, I-765, and I-765WS with fee and evidence, if applicable.
- If you file your renewal request package approximately 120 days before the expiration date of your current period of DACA, USCIS anticipates making a decision on your deferred action request and adjudicating your employment authorization application well before your current period of DACA and employment authorization expires. If you have filed at least 120 days before your deferred action and EAD expire and USCIS is unexpectedly delayed in processing your renewal request, USCIS may provide deferred action and employment authorization for a short period of time until your renewal is adjudicated.
- You only need to submit new documents pertaining to removal proceedings or criminal history that you have not already submitted to USCIS. You do not need to re-submit documents you already submitted with your previous DACA request that was approved. However, you should keep copies of all documents that support how you meet the DACA guidelines so you can provide them if they are requested by USCIS.
NOTE: If you received DACA from USCIS, do not file the current version (edition date 6/25/13) of Form I-821D to renew. USCIS will not accept renewal filings until the new version of the form is published in late May 2014. However, if you are among those few individuals who received deferred action for childhood arrivals from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) between June 15, 2012 and August 15, 2012, please read the ICE-Granted DACA Renewal Guidance.
You may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if you:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
- Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.