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Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

On September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced the cancellation of the DACA program.  Below are answers to some of the questions you may have about what will happen now:

 

What if I already have DACA?

Almost 800,000 individuals have been granted DACA.  If you are a current DACA recipient, your deferred action grant will remain valid until it expires.  Your expiration date is located on your current Form I-797 DACA approval notice.

 

I have work authorization based on DACA, can I still work?

Yes.  Any individual with a currently valid Employment Authorization Document can continue to work lawfully.  The Department of Homeland Security stated that it would not terminate or revoke previous grants of DACA or work authorization solely based on its decision to rescind the DACA program.

 

What if I submitted an initial DACA application before September 5, 2017?

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will adjudicate properly filed initial DACA requests and accompanying work authorization applications that were accepted by USCIS as of September 5, 2017.

 

Can I still file for DACA?

If you have never been granted DACA in the past, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will reject any initial DACA requests received after September 5, 2017.

 

Can I renew my DACA and work authorization?

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will adjudicate DACA renewal applications and work authorization requests that have been accepted by USCIS as of September 5, 2017.

Until October 5, 2017, USCIS will also continue to accept renewal applications filed by DACA recipients whose benefits expire on or before March 5, 2018.  USCIS will reject all DACA renewal requests that do not fit these parameters, including all applications received after October 5, 2017.

See below for more information about renewing your DACA.

 

Can I apply for Advance Parole (travel authorization)?

Effective September 5, 2017, USCIS will not approve any DACA-based applications for Advance Parole (Forms I-131).

 

What if I already filed or was granted Advance Parole (travel authorization)?

Any pending applications for advance parole will be administratively closed, and USCIS will refund the filing fees.

Although the Department of Homeland Security stated that it will generally honor the validity period for previously approved applications for advance parole, U.S. Customs and Border Protection retains the right to refuse admission to a person who presents themselves at a port of entry as a matter of discretion.  Therefore, traveling is not recommended.

We highly recommend that you speak with an immigration attorney regarding traveling with Advance Parole as a DACA recipient.

 

What if I am a DACA recipient who is currently outside the U.S. with Advance Parole?

If you are already abroad, it is highly advisable that you return to the United States as quickly as possible.  The Department of Homeland Security has stated that they will generally honor the validity period for any previously approved advance paroles.  That means that DACA recipients who are currently outside the U.S. with a valid advance parole document should be able to reenter the country as long as they seek to reenter before the expiration of the advance parole.  However, it is important to keep in mind that U.S. Customs and Border Protection maintains the position that advance parole does not guarantee admission to the United States.

 

What if my work authorization card was lost, stolen, or destroyed?

You can still apply to replace a valid employment authorization card that has been lost, stolen, or destroyed.

 

Renewing your DACA?

Until October 5, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will continue to accept renewal applications filed by DACA recipients whose benefits expire on or before March 5, 2018.  USCIS will reject all DACA renewal requests that do not fit these parameters, including all applications received after October 5, 2017.

It is important to renew your Work Authorization within this short time frame so that so that you do not risk accumulating unlawful presence. Your expiration date is located on your current Form I-797 DACA approval notice and your Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

 

Who Can Renew

You may request a renewal if you continue to meet the 2012 DACA guidelines and you:

  • Did not depart the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, without advance parole;
  • Have continuously resided in the United States since you submitted your most recent DACA request that was approved; and
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.