To renew your Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), you need to file a form and pay a fee. This process is pretty straightforward. However, if anything important has changed since you originally received DACA, you need to update Immigration and provide evidence. Examples include, contact with police or a change in marital status.
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Immigration law is always changing. We will do our best to keep our website as up-to-date as possible, but the latest information might be more readily available at USCIS.gov. These pages were written to help you better understand your legal options, however, none of the information published by Catholic Charities Milwaukee should be considered legal advice. If you plan to open your own immigration case, hire an immigration attorney to consult you personally.
How to Renew DACA
When Should I Renew My DACA?
USCIS recommends submitting renewal requests about five months before your current DACA will expire. In the past, USCIS would send letters reminding recipients when they need to renew their DACA. But this is no longer the case. So you need to know when your DACA and work permit will expire.
Renew Your DACA and Work Permit Together
One common mistake people make is renewing their work permit but not their DACA. You need to renew your DACA and your work permit at the same time. If you don’t renew your DACA along with your work permit, your work permit will be denied.
Please note: if you received a one-year work permit prior to December 7, 2020, it has automatically been extended to two years.
To renew your DACA, you will complete and submit Form I-821D. This is the same form you used to originally apply.
At the same time, you will also submit Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. However, unlike most work permits, DACA recipients must explain why they need to work. The reasons you need to work may include: paying rent or a mortgage; feeding your children; saving for your children’s college fund; and other basic needs. You will list your economic necessities in Form I-765WS. If you have any questions, your immigration attorney can help.
Report Any Changes
To renew DACA, you do not need to resend all of the evidence from your original application. In fact, if nothing has changed, you do not need to include any evidence when you submit your new I-821D. However, if something significant has changed since you originally applied, you need to tell Immigration.
For example, if your marital status has changed, you need to send a copy of your marriage or divorce certificate. If your name changes for a different reason, you need to submit proof that you are allowed to do so. This will also ensure that the name on your work permit is up to date.
Also, if you have a new type of economic necessity, include proof of it in your work permit application. For example, if you now need to pay for your child’s education, you may include a copy of your child’s tuition statement. Or maybe your need to work is based on insurance for a new medical problem. Then you might include evidence such as a doctor’s note.
Lastly, you need to let Immigration know if you have had any contact with law enforcement since you first got DACA. In this case, you need to provide copies of certified court dispositions. Do not try to lie about contact with police because it won’t work. Immigration will take your fingerprints at your biometrics appointment, which will show them any criminal activity from your past.
After you submit your DACA renewal application, Immigration will send you a receipt notice in the mail. Then, you will receive a notice to go to your biometrics appointment. Also known as your ASC appointment, this is when Immigration will take a digital photo of your face and a digital fingerprint.
If you cannot make it to your appointment, you must tell Immigration in writing. Make sure that you send that letter from the post office with “return receipt requested”. This way, you can prove that Immigration received your request.
Seek the Help of a Good Lawyer
We Can't Stress This Enough
These pages are intended to help you understand what you are looking for – not to help you complete any of these applications alone. Immigration law is detailed and complicated, and we urge you to rely on a well-trained lawyer for help. A lawyer can help you prepare for every step along the way.
Frequently Asked Questions
DACA Renewal FAQ
If you have advance parole with your DACA, you can travel outside of the United States and return lawfully. However, you cannot apply for advance parole until after you already have an approved DACA.
As of December 7, 2020, Immigration has resumed processing advance parole applications for those who have an approved DACA.
No, you must pay the fees to cover the cost of processing your work permit and biometrics appointment. Please check the fee page at USCIS.gov for the latest information.
No, deferred action is strictly temporary, and you must renew it as it expires.
Any immigrant can lose deferred action for criminal behavior, or for leaving the country without permission to return.
No, DACA is not one of the Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) that comes with automatic renewal. If your work permit expires before it is extended, you will not be allowed to work.
Family based immigration helps unite families who want to be together. However, not all relatives are able to apply for one another. Before you attempt to petition for a family member, it is important to understand if you can petition through the Immediate Family Member of a U.S. Citizen or if you must use the Priority System.
When you have to depend on your lawyer to help you navigate and understand your options, it is especially important to find someone trustworthy and competent.
U nonimmigrant status allows victims of certain crimes to stay in the United States if they cooperate with the police in any criminal investigation and prosecution. Fortunately, when you apply for U nonimmigrant status you can ask Immigration to waive problems that prevent most people from getting lawful status.