U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the process for renewing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status today, June 5, 2014. DACA is a grant of prosecutorial discretion—essentially a promise not to deport an individual during the period authorized. DACA has allowed hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the United States as children before the age of 16, who satisfied all requirements, to earn work authorization and the accompanying benefits of a social security number and driver’s licenses (in most states).
The renewal process is designed to be straightforward, only requiring the submission of the new I-821D dated 6/4/2014, the employment authorization application and worksheet and new evidence related to criminal incidents and new removal or deportation proceedings since the applicant’s initial application. Although the instructions do not request evidence of education status, it may be advisable to file any new evidence available, like a diploma reflecting a graduation since the initial filing. Applicants may apply to renew their DACA, at the earliest, 150 days prior to expiration. USCIS has advised renewal applications be submitted between 120 and 150 days of expiration to avoid a lapse in employment authorization and possible accumulation of unlawful presence in the United States.