Initial DACA applicants
On September 5, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security issued a memorandum rescinding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals “DACA.” Effective immediately USCIS will no longer accept initial DACA applications. Renewal applications will be accepted until October 5.
If you have never previously held DACA status, you can no longer apply under this program. If you have previously held DACA status then you can apply to renew your status if your current Employment Authorization Document (EAD) will expire between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018.
Applicants whose DACA status has already expired or will expire after March 5, 2018 should contact an experienced immigration attorney to discuss alternate pathways to legal residence.
I-821D Deferred Action
DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a process where undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children can ask to be overlooked for deportation and for work authorization. Immigrants looking to use this program file Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals. If you are granted deferred action, you won't be removed from the U.S. for a two years and you may legally work during that time, as well.
What forms are involved?
To apply for DACA, applicants file Form I-821D along with an application for a work permit, Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) and Form I-765WS (Form I-765 Worksheet). One fee includes the cost of filing the three required forms.
What are the eligibility requirements?
You might be eligible to apply for DACA if all of the following apply to you:
- You arrived in the U.S. prior to your 16th birthday,
- You've continuously resided in the U.S. (lived inside the U.S. without leaving, or took only brief trips away from the U.S.) from January 1, 2010 to the present,
- You were physically present inside the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and are physically present in the U.S. when you file the DACA application,
- You had no immigration status on June 15, 2012,
- You presently attend 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 U.S. Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces, and
- You haven't been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and don't otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
DACA benefits automatically stop if you leave the U.S. without first getting an advance parole document (travel papers), which USCIS sometimes gives for education, employment or humanitarian purposes.
What are the processing times?
Form I-821D may take several months to be reviewed and decided on by the USCIS, so it is important for applicants to take care in filing correctly to avoid further delays.