USCIS Announces Renewal Process for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)02 Jul 2014
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has provided instructions regarding the process for renewing enrollment in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA provides temporary immigration relief to eligible undocumented foreign nationals who entered the United States as children. Beneficiaries of the program must reapply before the current benefits expire in order to avoid a lapse in the period of deferral and in employment authorization.
DACA Created in 2012 for “Dreamers”
DACA was created in 2012 as a discretionary form of temporary immigration relief designed to help foreign nationals who entered the United States as children, and who are now living in the U.S. without lawful status. An individual approved for DACA benefits is granted a two-year deferral (i.e. postponement) of removal proceedings and becomes eligible for employment authorization and advance parole. As of April 2014, more than 560,000 individuals are enrolled in the DACA program, and the USCIS is still processing some 10,000 new DACA applications per month. More information about the DACA program and the eligibility requirements can be found in the MurthyDotCom NewsBriefs, Foreign Nationals Brought to U.S. as Children Given Temporary Relief (22.Jun.2012), and USCIS Moving Forward With Deferred Action for “DREAMers” (31.Jul.2012).
Eligibility for Renewal
A person cannot “age out” from the DACA program, but the benefits do expire after two years unless s/he timely files a renewal application. In order to renew the benefits, the applicant must meet the initial eligibility requirements, as well as several additional criteria.
- The renewal applicant must not have departed the United States on or after August 15, 2012 without advance parole.
- The applicant must have continuously resided in the U.S. since the submission of the approved DACA request.
- The applicant must not have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and must not pose a threat to public safety or national security.
Ideally, a renewal application should be submitted four months before one’s benefits are scheduled to expire. An applicant must file for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals (form I-821D), along with the application for employment authorization (form I-765), and the form worksheet (I-765WS). The I-765 must be accompanied by the requisite filing and biometrics fees, which total $465 at the time of this writing. Per the USCIS, no additional supporting documents should be included in a renewal application unless the applicant has documentation related to any criminal history and/or removal proceedings not included in the previously approved DACA application. The USCIS will conduct a background check on each applicant.
Although the DACA program does not provide a stable, long-term solution for individuals who lack lawful status, it does provide some important benefits to qualifying foreign nationals, most of whom have spent the majority of their lives in the United States. The Murthy Law Firm continues to encourage Congress to pass legislation that provides a more permanent and humane resolution to this problem. But, in the meantime, MurthyDotCom will continue to post updates on this important program as new information becomes available.
Copyright © 2014, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved