September 27, 2016 Iris Castro

DACA Renewal Process

If you were previously granted deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA), you can request a renewal when your current period of deferred action is close to expiring. Renewing DACA is a bit less daunting than requesting DACA for the first time.

To renew DACA, you must meet certain requirements before you can apply for a renewal of DACA:

  • You must have met the initial 2012 DACA guidelines
    • (Although you will not be required to submit the evidence that you met these guidelines as your initial DACA approval is essentially evidence of this).
  • You have not departed from the United States on or after August 15, 2012, WITHOUT advance parole.
  • You have continuously resided in the United States since submission of the most recent DACA request that was approved
  • You have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors and do not pose a national security or public safety threat.

When to Apply

USCIS recommends you to apply within 5 to 4 months of the expiration of your DACA approval and your Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

This time frame is meant to give applicants the best chances to have their DACA renewal requests approved before their current period of DACA and work authorization expires. USCIS will accept applications earlier than 5 months from the expiration of your current period of DACA, although this may result in you receiving less than 2 years of deferred action as you may be approved for a new period of DACA before your current one expires.

USCIS will begin your new period of DACA upon approval of your renewal request as opposed to beginning it after your most current DACA approval expires, thereby losing whatever time you may have had left on your current period.

You can also apply after the ideal time frame, within 5 to 4 months from the expiration of your DACA approval and your EAD, although that means it is more likely you will lose your work authorization while your application is pending and accrue unlawful presence.

In fact if your current period of DACA and work authorization expires before you have received a renewal of DACA and a new EAD, even if you filed within the ideal time frame, you will accrue unlawful presence after expiration AND will not be able to work until you are approved for a renewal of DACA and a new EAD.

(Individuals who at the time of submission were under the age of 18 whose current period of DACA expires before receiving an approval of their renewal request, will not accrue unlawful presence during this gap, however, they will still NOT be able to work until they receive a new EAD.)

Lastly, you can file a DACA renewal request after your current DACA period has already expired as long as it is within a year of its expiration.

After a year of its expiration you can still apply for DACA but you must request it as a request for a new initial request of DACA.

Evidence/Forms Needed

The evidence of a renewal consists of the same forms completed the first time and slightly less supporting documents. Please see below for detailed breakdown of the forms and documents you will need to provide:

  • Form I-821D
  • Form I-765
  • Form I-765W Worksheet
  • 2 Passport Photos
  • Identity Document
  • All prior DACA approval notices and copies of all employment authorization documents
  • Any NEW documents involving criminal history or removal proceedings that have NOT been provided in prior DACA requests.

Although new evidence is not required, USCIS may request additional documents in support of the renewal of DACA which can include evidence that you meet the renewal guidelines discussed earlier.

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Iris Castro

Iris Castro is a recent college graduate, earning a degree in Political Science from Rutgers University, New Brunswick. Ms. Castro is a green card holder (a permanent resident) immigrating to the United States with her family from Ecuador in 2001. Ms. Castro is fluent in Spanish and English. Prior to joining Lightman Law firm, Ms. Castro was in IT, providing tech support for executive departments in Rutgers University, but her interests have always lain with law and upon graduation has chosen to pursue her career in law. To discuss your case with Ms. Castro or another representative of Lightman Law Firm LLC, call (212) 643-0985 or fill out the consultation request form on your right. A representative of our firm will contact you shortly upon review of your request.