EAD in the mail

When to Renew DACA

When to Renew DACA

The timing for filing your DACA renewal application takes some planning

There are tradeoffs for when to renew DACA. Based on USCIS guidelines, processing times, and recent court rulings, CitizenPath recommends that our customers prepare and file the DACA renewal application five months (150 days) before the expiration date. DACA renewals continue to have long processing times. Therefore, we suggest that customers mail the DACA application package (Forms I-821D, I-765, I-765 worksheet and all supporting documents) to USCIS five months (but no less than four months) well before the expiration date. Here’s why:
Woman wonders when to renew DACA benefits

Why You Should File Early

USCIS processing times can be very lengthy. If a person’s DACA status expires, that individual could be without a valid work permit for a short time. What’s more, the time spent in an unlawful status accrues. That could create a problem in the future. If your current period of DACA expires before you receive a renewal, you will:

  • Accrue unlawful presence for any time between the periods of deferred action (unless you were under 18 years old when submitting request)
  • Not be authorized to work in the United States regardless of your age at the time of filing

Note: USCIS does have the option to provide deferred action and employment authorization for a short period of time until they are able to finish processing your request. However, they will only do this if you filed your request at least 4 months before your current period of deferred action and employment authorization expire.

Filing Less Than 5 Months Before Expiration

There also may be consequences for filing too late. There is an increased possibility that your current period of DACA and employment authorization will expire before you receive a decision on your renewal request if you file after the recommended filing period (meaning less than 120 days before your current period of DACA expires). Waiting too long can make it impossible to renew.

  • If you file after your most recent DACA period expired, but within one year of its expiration, you may submit a request to renew your DACA.
  • If you are filing beyond one year after your most recent period of DACA expired, you may still request DACA by submitting a new initial request (provided that USCIS is accepting initial requests). We recommend that you speak to an attorney to review any accumulated unlawful presence and other potential issues.

The decision when to renew DACA is important. It affects your employment authorization, protection from deportation, and time in an unlawful presence. Accumulated time in an unlawful presence could negatively affect your chances at permanent residence in the future.

How CitizenPath Helps You Renew DACA

CitizenPath's self-directed service makes preparing USCIS forms easy. Designed by lawyers, our platform will help you eliminate the common errors that create delays, rejections and even denials. The affordable service also provides alerts if you answer a question in a way that might be a problem. We'll make sure you meet all the requirements before applying.

The online service is a powerful, do-it-yourself tool that puts you in control. And we've got your back -- CitizenPath provides live customer support and guarantees that USCIS will approve your application.

DACA renewal package when it's time to renew DACA