Many readers may be confused about whether or not DACA is still available. On September 5, 2017, the Trump administration cancelled the DACA program, but almost immediately various parties sued in Federal Court and USCIS was ordered to resume accepting DACA renewals. As a result, the current status of the DACA program is as follows: Anyone who has or has had DACA can continue to renew their DACA. Those who have never had DACA are not eligible for DACA now.
President Barack Obama launched Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in June 2012, to provide a reprieve from deportation to young people who came to the United States as children. Though DACA does not provide official legal status or a pathway to citizenship, it does allow them to be “lawfully present” without the threat of deportation. Recipients receive work authorization and may also apply for driver’s licenses.
The fate of the DACA program will probably be decided by the Supreme Court, but in the meantime current DACA recipients are eligible to renew their DACA work authorization. The following provides helpful guidance for DACA recipients wondering whether or not to apply to renew and when:
- If your DACA expires within the next 150 days, you should apply to renew ASAP.
- If your DACA expires between 151-365 days from now, you can apply to renew, but keep in mind that USCIS may not accept your application, since it is more than 150 days in advance. Experts have indicated that these applicants are likely to have their applications adjudicated despite having an expiration date that far into the future.
- If your DACA expires more than a year from now, we do not advise submitting a renewal application, since it is likely that USCIS will reject your application.
- If your DACA expired more than a year ago, you will need to submit your renewal as an initial DACA application with all the documents needed to prove initial eligibility for DACA. You should apply to renew ASAP.
Contact the Law Office of Gregory J. Eck for help with DACA renewal applications or any other immigration matter.