Contributed by Kim Tremblay, Associate Attorney
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) accepted and approved the first applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in August 2012. As DACA is granted for two years, many early DACA grantees are starting to think about renewing their status in the fall. On April 9, 2014, USCIS announced that a new form for renewal would be available sometime in late May and issued some tentative guidelines for renewal.
Current DACA recipients should file their renewal applications 120 days before their current DACA expires. They will have to use the updated form I-821D that USCIS will post in May to renew their DACA and file a form I-765 and I-765W as well. USCIS will not accept renewals that are filed using the current I-821D form. Applicants will have to submit documents pertaining to new removal proceedings or criminal incidents.
What can DACA grantees do to prepare in the meantime? First, they should check the USCIS website in May for renewal information. They should put money aside for the $465 filing fee, and start gathering the supporting documents needed for renewal of the I-765 Employment Authorization Document. They should also obtain paperwork regarding any new educational achievements or arrests, and consult an attorney if they have been arrested since obtaining DACA to confirm continued eligibility. In addition, DACA applicants should contact their attorneys about six months before their status is set to expire. This preparatory list is tentative, not exhaustive, but should provide applicants with a bit of guidance on how to start getting ready.
Finally, individuals who think they qualify for DACA and have not applied still can do so and should consult and immigration attorney or accredited representative.
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