The initial application for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was an exhaustive and challenging process for many. But you should be pleasantly surprised to know that the DACA renewal application is significantly less complicated.
In fact, many DACA applicants are now able to prepare the DACA renewal application on their own.
Eligibility for DACA Renewal
An individual may be considered for renewal of DACA if he or she met the guidelines for consideration of initial DACA and meets all the following guidelines:
- Did not depart the United States on or after August 15, 2012 without advance parole;
- Has continuously resided in the United States since he or she submitted his or her most recent request for DACA that was approved up to the present time; and
- Has not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and does not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
Which Forms to File for a DACA Renewal Application
You will use the identical forms for a DACA renewal application as you did for the initial application. There are three mandatory forms for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals renewals that must be prepared and filed with USCIS. You can download all three from the USCIS website:
- Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
- Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
- Form I-765WS, Worksheet
As a candidate for DACA renewal, you should take extra care when reviewing your application to ensure that the answers and information are consistent with everything you submitted in your previously approved Form I-821D and I-765. However, you do not need to re-submit documents you already submitted with your previous DACA requests.
If a lawyer helped you prepare the original DACA packet, contact the lawyer’s office. They should be willing to give you a copy. In this way, you can ensure that you provide consistent answers. You could easily raise red flags by providing different answers, such as a slightly different initial date of entry.
What to Send with the DACA Renewal Application
The DACA renewal application is significantly easier to prepare that the initial application. Documents to prove entry, residence and education are not required again.
There is a similar renewal fee. Although there is no cost to the I-821D, there is a $380 fee for I-765 and an $85 biometrics fee for fingerprints.
Supporting documents can vary based on your specific situation. However, DACA renewal applicants will generally need to submit:
- $465 check or money order to Department of Homeland Security
- Two identical passport-style color photographs of yourself taken within 30 days of filing this application. The photos should:
- Be 2” x 2” in size
- Have head height of 1” to 1 3/8” from top of hair to bottom of chin
- Have eye height between 1 1/8” to 1 3/8” from bottom of photo
- Have bare head unless you are wearing a headdress as required by a religious order of which you are a member (face must be visible)
- Have a white to off-white background
- Be printed on thin paper with a glossy finish
- Not be mounted or retouched
- Have your name and Alien Registration Number (A-Number) written lightly in pencil on the back of each photo. If you do not have an A-Number, write your birthday.
- A photocopy of your last Employment Authorization Card (front and back).
When You Can Renew DACA
CitizenPath recommends that our clients begin preparing the DACA renewal application 6 months before the expiration date so that there is time to collect any necessary documents, prepare the application and get the photos for a new employment card. We recommend that clients mail the DACA application package (all three forms) to USCIS 5 months (but no less than 4 months) before the expiration date.
It will take approximately 3-6 months for USCIS to process your DACA renewal application and mail a new card. Prepare early. If your current period of DACA expires before you receive a renewal, you may accrue unlawful presence for any time between the periods of deferred action (unless you were under 18 years old when submitting request), and you will not be authorized to work in the United States (regardless of your age at the time of filing).
For more information, read When to Renew DACA.
Designed by attorneys, CitizenPath is the online service that makes immigration forms simple. The website provides simple, step-by-step guidance through USCIS applications and petitions. The low-cost service helps to simplify the process by explaining each question and providing alerts if your answer to a question could be a problem. CitizenPath even guarantees that USCIS will accept your application. There’s online self-help for the Application for a Work Permit (Form I-765), DACA Renewal (Form I-821D), and several other popular forms.