The U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, recently announced that there will be a process for individuals to renew enrollment in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. USCIS has released the updated Form I-821D, which allows DACA recipients to renew their deferral for a two-year period. At the direction of the secretary, USCIS will begin accepting renewal requests immediately.
The DACA program was first introduced in June 2012. It allows certain people who came to the United States as children and met certain guidelines to request deferred action for two years, now subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization under DACA. Deferred action is the use of prosecutorial discretion to postpone removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status.
The first DACA approvals will begin to expire in September 2014. To avoid a lapse in the period of deferral, individuals must file renewal requests before the expiration of their current period of DACA. USCIS recommends individuals submit their requests for renewal approximately 120 days before their current period of deferred action expires.
Individuals may request DACA renewal if they meet the following guidelines:
• Have not departed the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, without advanced parole;
• Have continuously resided in the United States since they have submitted their most recent approved DACA request; and
• Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to public safety or national security.
Individuals who have not previously requested DACA may also request DACA for the first time so long as they meet the following criteria:
• Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
• Came to the United States before their 16th birthday;
• Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, through the present time;
• Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making the request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
• Had no lawful status on 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, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
If you have questions about the DACA program, please schedule a consultation with one of our immigration attorneys today!