Last year, on June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security publicized that some individuals, who arrived in the United States as children and can qualify under specific rules, may apply for President Obama’s version of the “Dream Act” for a two-year period for work authorization and deferred action. Deferred action is a discretionary decision by the government to defer deportation action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. The granting of deferred action does not grant an individual with lawful status. The official name for this program is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Individuals who fail receive a renewal before the expiration of their original DACA period will be out of status and lose work authorization.
The following is the official Homeland Security Statement:*
To help prepare the public for the anticipated process to request a renewal of DACA from USCIS, we have created an outline found below. This outline is subject to change until USCIS announces the details of the final process in late May 2014.
Outline to request renewal of DACA from USCIS:
- File the revised version of Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, together with Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization and I-765WS, Worksheet, as in the initial filing. The forthcoming version of Form I-821D will be dual-use for both initial and renewal filers and will contain modified questions pertaining to each situation. The draft form is currently going through the Federal Register public comment process and is not yet available for use.
- Do not file the current version of Form I-821D to renew. USCIS will not accept renewal filings until the new version of the form is published. However, if you received DACA from ICE instead of USCIS, please read the ICE-Granted DACA Renewal Guidance.
- Submit your DACA renewal request package approximately 120 days (or 4 months) before your current period of DACA expires. This is also the date that your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) expires. While USCIS will continue to accept filings after this date, it will not accept requests made earlier than 150 days (or 5 months) before that expiration date. The expiration date is printed on the front of the EAD, Form I-766 . Complete renewal requests include signed Forms I-821D, I-765, and I-765WS with fee and evidence, if applicable.
- If you file your renewal request package approximately 120 days before the expiration date of your current period of DACA, USCIS anticipates making a decision on your deferred action request and adjudicating your employment authorization application well before your current period of DACA and employment authorization expires. If you have filed at least 120 days before your deferred action and EAD expire and USCIS is unexpectedly delayed in processing your renewal request, USCIS may provide deferred action and employment authorization for a short period of time until your renewal is adjudicated.
- You only need to submit new documents pertaining to removal proceedings or criminal history that you have not already submitted to USCIS. You do not need to re-submit documents you already submitted with your previous DACA request that was approved. However, you should keep copies of all documents that support how you meet the DACA guidelines so you can provide them if they are requested by USCIS.
NOTE: If you received DACA from USCIS, do not file the current version (edition date 6/25/13) of Form I-821D to renew. USCIS will not accept renewal filings until the new version of the form is published in late May 2014. However, if you are among those few individuals who received deferred action for childhood arrivals from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) between June 15, 2012 and August 15, 2012, please read the ICE-Granted DACA Renewal Guidance.