USCIS to Resume Accepting DACA Renewals and DACA Requests for Previous DACA Holders
UPDATE: On Monday, February 26th, the Supreme Court denied a request by the Trump Administration to review an earlier decision by a federal court to keep DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) intact. The decision means that an earlier ruling by a federal court, which ordered the U.S. government to largely keep the DACA program in place, will remain in effect until several lawsuits challenging the Trump administration's decision to rescind the program are resolved.
On Saturday, January 13, 2018, USCIS announced that it is now accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) based on the DACA policy that existed before the Trump administration rescinded DACA on September 5, 2017. USCIS’s announcement was a result of the January 9, 2018 preliminary injunction issued by Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California ordering the U.S. government to keep the DACA program in place until the lawsuits over DACA’s legality are resolved.
What this means:
- DACA Renewal Requests: If your DACA expired on or after September 5, 2016, you may still file your DACA request as a DACA renewal request.
- New DACA Requests for People Who Previously Had DACA: If you previously had DACA and your DACA expired before September 5, 2016, or your DACA was previously terminated at any time, you may file a new initial DACA request. You cannot file a DACA renewal because USCIS generally requires DACA renewals to be submitted within one year of the expiration date of the last period of approved deferred action under DACA.
- People who have never had DACA, or who have never submitted a DACA request, still cannot request DACA.
- USCIS has stated that it will still not accept or approve requests for Advance Parole from DACA recipients.
- The October 5, 2017 DACA renewal filing deadline previously announced by USCIS in September 2017 (for DACA holders whose DACA expires between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018) no longer applies.
- For current DACA holders, we recommend filing your DACA extension request as early as possible, which is between 120 days and 150 days before expiration of your DACA Employment Authorization Document (EAD). For people whose DACA expired before September 5, 2016 or was terminated at any time, we recommend filing a new DACA request as soon as possible, before any potential changes by USCIS.
- USCIS has requested that DACA renewals and requests clearly indicate the expiration or termination date of the individual’s DACA status on the Form I-821D in order to facilitate processing. We also recommend clearly writing the date of your DACA expiration or termination on a cover letter attached to the DACA request.
- The judge’s decision is only a temporary measure, and the ability to renew or apply for DACA benefits may change again as the U.S. Department of Justice has indicated that it may appeal the judge’s decision and Congress is debating options for the DACA program ahead of a potential January 19, 2018 government funding shutdown. Therefore, it is important to stay updated on the latest developments regarding DACA.
Please visit Margaret W. Wong & Associates LLC at www.imwong.com or call (216) 566-9908 if you have any questions about renewing your DACA.
Margaret W. Wong, Esq., is an adjunct professor of law at Case Western Reserve University Law School and has been recognized as a National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) Trailblazer. She enjoys a “Preeminent AV” rating by Martindale Hubbell. Margaret W. Wong & Associates LLC is a national, full-service immigration and criminal law firm with offices in Cleveland, Ohio, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Nashville, Minneapolis, Columbus, Detroit, and Raleigh.