DACA, a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, started as an executive order to protect the immigrants who didn’t have the necessary documents, especially the children raised in the United States. The program allows children residing in the United States to remain there even without the necessary documents. Although it acts as a relief to many people, it is a temporary program that meets the eligibility criteria for application. As an immigrant, some program recipients granted to you by DACA include work permits and deportation protection, all depending on the circumstances. The DACA program goes for two years, after which it expires, and you will have to renew it to continue living in California. At that time, you have all the legal rights as a citizen, and you can benefit from different resources like any other person.
After the federal policy was changed, the program only allowed eligible people to apply for citizenship, and no new applicant would be accepted. Therefore, it has been a challenge for many people who want citizenship as new applicants to stay and live in the USA as citizens. Suppose you have experienced challenges in your application. In that case, you have a right to hire an attorney to represent you and ensure that your program is renewed and that you enjoy the full benefits like the other citizens. At California Immigration Attorney, we have experienced attorneys who can help you apply for the DACA program. We can also help prevent your deportation if you have been charged with a crime that results in deportation.
Am I Eligible to Renew My DACA Status?
If you are current recipients, you can renew your status as long as you meet the Federal policy's eligibility criteria. Therefore, you are eligible for renewal if:
- You have stayed in the U.S. continuously and for long after the last submission of the program renewal
- You have not been charged with any form of a crime classified as a significant misdemeanor, felony, or multiple smaller misdemeanors
- You didn’t leave the U.S. without getting advance parole
- You were below the age of 31 by June 15, 2012. You can do so by presenting the bank card receipts or even bank statements
- You reported and stayed in the United States before the age of 16
- At the time of the DACA application, you are present in the United States
- You came to the U.S. without the necessary documents
- You are a student in the United States universities, have graduated, or yet to graduate. Documents that will prove the same are the school transcripts, discharge papers from military school and diploma, or GED certificates.
- You are not convicted of multiple misdemeanor, felony, or significant misdemeanor
Therefore, as long as you have lived in the U.S. for long, and there are no threats you pose to public safety, you are eligible for your status renewal. If you reside in the United States and the thing that you have messed up somewhere, consult your attorney to help the renewal process go through. The reason being, if you have been charged with a crime, the USCIS will reject your renewal and become a subject to deportation.
What Crimes Counts as Significant Misdemeanor
Regardless of the sentence that you have served, significant misdemeanor crimes include:
- Domestic violence
- Sexual exploitation and abuse
- During under the influence
- Unlawful purchase or possession of firearms
- Drug trafficking and distribution
There are other crimes that are considered a significant misdemeanor. For example, you were charged with a crime and stayed in custody for more than 90 days.
How to Apply for DACA Status
Meeting the criteria requirement does not mean your application status will be approved. To have your application approved, you must:
- Pay $465 as a filing fee
- Provide proof of your date of birth and identity. You can do so by presenting a passport, school I.D., California ID, national I.D., or a birth certificate
- Provide any copies of school records, GED certificates, and diplomas, if any
- Include any copy of the military record, if any
- Provide proof that when you entered the United States, you were below the age of 16.you should resent school records, expired visas, or even medical records
- Submit a Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood, Form I-821-D
- Submit the forms that will help you get a work permit, Forms I-765, and I-765WS. It is necessary that you also provide proof of your economic needs
- Provide copies of visas and foreign passports, in any
- Prove that you have resided in the United States for more than five years continuously. You can do that by providing school records, financial records, employment records, medical records, and any other relevant record that proves the same
- Disclose your criminal records, if any, including that of a traffic violation. You should involve your attorney to guide you in proving that criminal conviction doesn’t affect your application for the program
- Provide two passport photos
After you have the complete checklist for the initial application, you should follow steps to ensure that you are successfully applying for the DACA program.
Get help from an attorney. By hiring an attorney, you should be confident that you have an attorney to help you get the application's requirement.
Calculate the best time to do the renewal. DACA renewal is best done one year before the current one's expiry. When you have made the initial DAA application, it is good to put in mind that your DACA status will expire at one time, and you do not want to have any issues, especially those of deportation.
Complete the application. You need to fill all the forms required by the USCIS for your application to go through. The information should be up-to-date to avoid any issues that may arise, especially if you have to travel out of the country.
Applying. After you are done filling the documents, submit all to the agent to process the application. The application should be accompanied by a fee that is paid to the Department of Homeland Services.
Schedule an appointment. Your fingerprints need to be taken for proper documentation. Therefore, the agents will send you a mail with a notice of when to appear for fingerprinting.
After all that is done, you can get two responses, that your application has been approved, or you should provide additional information to add up to what you have provided.
DACA Status Requirements
The most important thing to ensure when renewing your DACA status is providing information and doing the right documentation. Let’s have a brief explanation of the two requirements.
Your Full Information
It’s important to remember that your DACA status renewal means you are updating the initial application you made for the first time. Therefore, you provide an update for any criminal charges or arrests that have taken place since you applied for your DACA status, any travel done while under advanced parole, an update of your address if you did, or any contact with the immigration court or authorities since you first applied for DACA if any. It’s essential to provide consistent information to the initial application. You will only have to change the few details that may have changed if any.
When applying for renewal status, you do not have to resubmit the documentation. A copy of the work permit and any other update is the necessary information that should be documented. You will need to document if only some changes have happened and have affected your immigration record or criminal record. If there is a change in any of the two records, it is wise to contact your attorney to help you apply for the renewal and ensure that they provide proof that will convince the agents that you are still eligible for the DACA status renewal.
How to Renew the DACA Program
DACA is not a permanent program, meaning that it has to be renewed after expiry. The renewal should happen before the due date because approvals sometimes may take longer than expected. You are recommended to renew your license a year before the program expires because the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) process the data within 120 days. Suppose you did the renewal of the program, and you fail to receive a response. It is a wise decision to communicate with the USCIS to get an update on the same. Considering that DACA is uncertain in the future, you will want to have proof that will have your status renewed. For example, if you have a loan, you can use the documents that show you have a loan to prove that you still have a reason to remain in the country. In that way, it may be easier for you to have your DACA status renewed.
Renewal may be an overwhelming activity considering the deadlines, uncertainties, and timeline associated with it. However, if you have the renewal requirements, it will be easy for you to do it by following the right procedures. To make the process a bit easier, you can contact your attorney to help you because they have vast experience in immigration laws and know how well to go through the process.
The steps that you are to follow are:
Locating Your Previous Application for DACA Renewal
Before your DACA renewal is approved, there has to be proof that you already had a DACA. If you present the previous application, it might be easy for you to have their status renewed. The previous and the new application are sent to the USCIS to grant you permission for the renewal. It is essential to ensure that you need to have copies of the documents with you if any issue arises. The copies will help you in the next application if need be.
Downloading the Renewal Forms
After your DACA status renewal has been made, the renewal documents are put on the website where you can access and download. Therefore, you will have the updated forms from the website page dedicated to having the status renewed. The renewal forms included many forms with terms and conditions that are necessary. They include I-821D, I-765WS, I-765, and G-1145.
Completion of Your DACA Renewal
After you download the renewal forms from the USCIS, you must fill in the necessary information required for the renewal to be effected. To have your forms filled as expected, you should use the previous forms to help you fill correctly to avoid issues that may lengthen the process. If you do not have access to the previous documents, you should fill the forms carefully and then revise the filled information carefully. You may want to ask your attorney to assist you in doing a better job filling the forms because each form comes with different instructions from the other, and there is some information that you have to fill from your general knowledge. Therefore, you should have an attorney to guide you in filling the forms.
The best way to have your forms filled is by doing it online to avoid confusion while writing and do any necessary editing required. If you feel comfortable writing using a pen, you should do so using a black ink pen and ensure that the writing is legible.
Writing a Cover Letter for DACA Renewal
The USCIS always wants an easy time to have your status renewed. With that, you must write a cover letter to help them understand what your application is all about. You can use the previous letter to write the recent one and add any item you want to be included in your renewal. The additional items requested can help in different ways, especially if you want to move out of the U.S. after the renewal.
Money Order Purchase
When you send the application to the USCIS, you should include a money order worth $495 written for the Department of Homeland Security. The money order is meant to cover the biometric and processing fees. The money orders are best purchased from the post office and sent from the same place.
Mailing the Application
After putting together all the necessary documents for the renewal, the last thing is sending the application. There is an order that you want to put your documents for easy review by the agents.
- $495 money order
- Cover letter
- A completed Form G-2245
- A completed form I-821D
- A completed form I-765
- A completed form I-765WS
- Any other supportive document that you think is necessary
You can send your applications through different addresses because they all depend on your location. You should choose the state that you live in and the address that is close to you.
DACA Renewal Checklist
When you want to renew your DACA status, you should have a checklist that you should have with you.
- Form G-2245 which is an optional E-Notification document
- Form I-821D which is a consideration for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
- Form I-765 which is an application to get a work permit
- Form I-765WS, a document that explains your need for work
- A copy of the current work permit
- A renewal cover letter
- Filled application forms
- Money order worth $495 for the Department of Homeland Security Copy of the renewal packet
- A packet that is addressed to the USCIS
- Two passport photos
- A delivery service contact
After the application is filed and sent, it will take approximately 90 before receiving a response. USCIS will confirm that they have received your application by sending a Notice of action form. If you do not fill the forms correctly or do not fill in the necessary parts, your application will be rejected to add the information required.
What Happens if My Application is Denied?
If your application to enroll as a DACA is denied, you cannot appeal the decision made by the USCIS. However, you can file another application and pay the application fee again. Therefore it is crucial to ensure that you involve your attorney in the application. The attorney will ensure that there is no mandatory information left out during the application.
The Benefits of Renewing your DACA Status
There are some benefits you will enjoy after your DACA status is renewed. The reason being, you become a citizen like any other person residing there. When the USCIS renew your status, you can:
- Receive employment benefits and legally work in the United States
- Open a bank account and apply for a credit card
- Benefit from health insurance policies
- Attain higher education
- Apply for a driving license
- Reside in the United States legally
- Engage in different community programs
There are few times when you will not be eligible for the DACA application. Some special considerations may make you eligible for the DACA program application. The USCIS may consider the following:
DACA application requires that you attain at least the age of 15 to apply. You will receive an exemption if you are in a removal proceeding or have made an order of departure at your will.
Suppose you want to enroll in a school, and you have not made an application for DACA. The USCIS may consider you eligible for applying for the sake of your education. If you are already enrolled in a school program, it may be easy for you to apply for DACA with some specific conditions:
- That you enroll in a private or public elementary school, middle or junior high school, or a secondary school.
- That you enroll in a literacy, career, or an education training program, designed to lead you to placement in job training, employment for post-secondary education.
An Interrupted Stay in the United States
If you had a brief interruption to reside in the United States continuously for a specified period, you would still be eligible for renewing your DACA status. Your absence will be considered as innocent, casual, and brief if:
- The purpose of your absence outside the United States wants, contrary to the law
- Your absence was meant to accomplish a purpose
- Your absence wasn't due to deportation, removal, or exclusion
- Your absence wasn't because of a voluntary departure
Authorization for Employment
When granted deferred action, you are legally permitted to seek employment and work just like any other citizen in the United States. However, you will be required to attach a document that shows you have authorization for employment in the country. Therefore, you should include an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) in your application for a usually valid job for two years and can be renewed upon expiry. It means that you cannot seek employment if the document has not been issued to you.
Advance Parole Application for DACA Recipients
If you have been convicted for a crime as an immigrant, you can apply for advance parole, although it doesn’t go through easily. The reason being, advance parole is only granted in rare circumstances and for exceptional cases. You will be eligible for advance parole if:
- You are making a trip to go and support the national interest of the United States
- You are traveling to support interests for law enforcement
- Your need for travel is meant for the safety purposes, care, or well-being of a relative
When moving out of the country after parole, a thorough inspection is done to confirm the advance parole's basis. It can happen that after you are granted advance parole and traveled outside the country, you can be denied entry when returning. Therefore, it is wise that after you are granted parole, you shouldn’t leave the country due to the border patrol and the presence of customs at the airport.
Contact An Immigration Attorney Near Me
There are times when your application for DACA may fail due to several issues, like criminal charges, or you are about to face deportation due to other issues. The charges can make the USCIS reluctant in approving your status due to the threats you pose to society. That will make you not eligible to have your DACA status renewed. If you need assistance in staying in the country, do not hesitate to contact an immigration attorney. If you are in California, contact the California Immigration Attorney at 424-789-8809 for help with all immigration issues.