Form I-821D Processing Time

What Happens After Filing a DACA Renewal Application

Putting your DACA application in the mail is a big moment, but then the waiting begins. You’re probably anxious to know what happens after filing Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, (and Forms I-765 and I-765WS), as well as how long it will take to receive your employment authorization card. We’ve provided an outline of the I-821D processing time and the different steps along the way.

Although the steps that take place are fairly consistent, the Form I-821D processing time will vary based on the USCIS case load and your ability to properly file an accurately prepared DACA application package. The following outline describes the basic steps of the I-821D time line for most people.

Form I-821D processing time line, what happens after filing daca

Receipt of Application

If you properly file Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, USCIS will initially respond by mailing you a receipt notice that confirms receipt of your application. Formally known as Form I-797C, Notice of Action (see example below), the receipt notice typically arrives 2 to 3 weeks after filing. If you did not properly file your Form I-821D, USCIS will send a Notice of Action to reject the application or may send a Request for Evidence that requests additional items. Either will significantly delay your request. Thus, it is vital to prepare the DACA application package correctly and submit all required supporting documents.
I-797c receipt notice during I-821D DACA time line

Tip: Save this important letter. It contains your 10-digit receipt number. You can use this receipt number to check your case status. If you didn’t receive a Notice of Action, you can make a case inquiry.

Nearly 9% of DACA renewal applications are rejected, and thousands more are denied. A poorly prepared application can also delay the approval process and even create significant immigration problems. When you prepare your DACA package (I-821D, I-765, and I-765WS) on CitizenPath, we provide simple, step-by-step instructions and alerts to help you avoid costly delays. We even guarantee USCIS will approve your application. No credit card is required to try it.

approval guarantee for Form I-821d

Appointment Notice for Biometrics

Next, you will receive an appointment notice that assigns your biometrics appointment date, time and location. (The location will generally be the USCIS Application Support Center nearest you.) USCIS requires applicants to be fingerprinted for the purpose of conducting a security clearance and criminal background check. Don’t be alarmed — All applicants must have background checks.
Tip: Generally it’s best to show up only on your scheduled appointment date and time. But it is possible to re-schedule a USCIS biometrics appointment if necessary. Learn more in our biometrics appointment FAQs.

Biometrics Appointment


The biometrics appointment, also known as a biometrics screening, is generally a short appointment (approximately 30 minutes) so that USCIS can collect your fingerprints, photograph and signature. Your appointment notice will tell you what you need to take to the appointment. Expect to take some form of government-issued photo identification to enter the building. USCIS can accept ID documents such as:

  • Passport or national photo identification issued by your country
  • Driver’s license
  • Military photo identification
  • State-issued photo identification card
biometrics appointment during daca renewal time line
This is not an interview. The appointment’s purpose is to collect your biometrics information only. Try to attend the appointment as scheduled. Rescheduling the biometrics will affect the I-821D processing time. To learn more about the appointment, read USCIS biometrics appointment.
Tip: If you think you might have a criminal record (even a DUI), contact an immigration lawyer before going to a biometrics appointment. Some crimes will make you ineligible for immigration benefits. A lawyer can request a background check before USCIS does and deal with it as necessary.

Form I-821D Adjudication


Next in the I-821D processing time line, USCIS will review your case and make a decision. If everything goes well, USCIS will approve your Form I-821D, and you will receive another I-797 letter to inform you in writing. USCIS does not begin processing Form I-765 until the I-821D is approved. If USCIS denies your application, they will mail you a notice explaining the reason.

Tip: If you change your address after filing your Form I-821D, notify USCIS within 10 days of your relocation by filing Form AR-11, Alien’s Change of Address. You also must call USCIS at 1-800-375-5283 to change the address with your pending I-821D application.

Receive Your Employment Authorization Card


USCIS will not begin processing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, until they approve your primary DACA application (Form I-821D). It generally takes at least 90 days to process the I-765 and produce your new employment authorization card (work permit). Make sure USCIS has a current and safe address where you can receive mail.

Currently, USCIS is granting DACA and producing EAD cards that are valid for a period of one year only.

employment authorization card is issued after DACA approval
Tip: Make a photocopy of both sides of your new EAD card. It may come in handy in the future. If you did not receive your employment authorization card (work permit) in the mail, you can make a case inquiry.

Form I-821D Processing Time Summary

USCIS has a stated goal to processing DACA applications within 120 days. Real processing times have been much longer, the Biden administration appears to be making some improvements. After filing your DACA application package, your I-821D processing time can take anywhere from 4 to 8 months. This is an approximation. It may be shorter for some and longer for others. In some cases, USCIS will make a request for additional information that could lengthen the DACA renewal processing time. Don’t forget — you can check your case status online with your receipt number. The USCIS website also lists normal processing times. If you believe that your case is outside the normal processing times, you can make a case inquiry.