STEPS TO PREPARE FOR YOUR DACA RENEWAL
U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues accepting DACA renewal applications as a result of decisions by two separate federal courts in California and New York. Individuals who have had DACA in the past may submit a DACA renewal application. There are two different processes depending on when your DACA expired:
● If your DACA expired before September 5, 2016 you have to submit an application as if it was the first time.
● If your DACA expired on or after September 5, 2016 you can submit a DACA renewal application as outlined below.
1. KEEP TRACK OF YOUR DACA EXPIRATION DATE
Your DACA will expire two years from the date on your I-797, Notice of Action form that you received when your DACA was approved.
2. BE AWARE OF YOUR RENEWAL WINDOW
You should submit your DACA renewal request no later than 120 days (4 months) before your expiration date. USCIS is sometimes very slow to grant DACA renewals. If you submit your request after the 120 day window, you could be at risk of losing your job and other protections. Do not wait until the last minute to request your renewal. With the upcoming August 8, 2018 preliminary hearing in Texas there is a distinct possibility that DACA renewals will no longer be accepted. Therefore, it is advised that eligible DACA beneficiaries submit their renewal request as soon as possible.
3. FIND YOUR PREVIOUS DACA RENEWAL APPLICATION
Your previous DACA renewal application will be a great starting point since it has relevant information needed to complete your new DACA renewal application. Please make sure that the information you provide to USCIS is consistent across your DACA applications.
4. DOWNLOAD THE CORRECT APPLICATION FORMS FROM USCIS
USCIS will reject applications that use outdated forms, so it is crucial to use current forms when submitting your renewal request. Please visit the USCIS website to find the following forms in its current version: (1) Form I-821D, (2) Form I-765; (3) Form I-765WS; and (4) Form G-1145
5. ACCURATELY FILL OUT THE APPLICATION
The information from your previous DACA renewal application should be used to fill out your new application. If you do not have a copy of your previous application, please refer to USCIS’s Form I-821D Instructions which can be found here to help you fill out your new application.
6. GET LEGAL ADVICE IF NECESSARY
Prior criminal, immigration, fraud or gang issues could be particularly risky. If you have experienced any of these or have questions about your case, seek help from a trusted immigration attorney or Department of Justice accredited representative. Fill out our Immigration Legal Intake Service to learn more about possible immigration options.
7. CREATE A COVER LETTER
A cover letter is useful for the USCIS agent reviewing your application to overview the application package in a glance, and serves as a checklist for you. Please refer to UWD’s sample cover letter as a starting point.
8. PREPARE YOUR DACA RENEWAL FEES
In order to renew your DACA and work authorization card, you will have to pay the $495 fee again. Due to USCIS’s uncertain withdrawal time, money orders and cashier’s checks are recommended, but personal checks are accepted. Cash is not accepted. Fee waivers are available, but only to people who meet the stringent requirements.
9. PREPARE AND SEND YOUR RENEWAL APPLICATION BEFORE AUGUST 8, 2018
When sending your application, it is advised that you (1) do not have the forms stapled (paper clips are preferred) and (2) have it complied in the following order:
● $495 Fee
● Cover Letter
● Completed Form G-1145
● Completed Form I-821D
● Completed Form I-765
● Completed Form I-765WS
● Copies of any supporting evidence
Furthermore, the location of the USCIS facility receiving your application will differ based on where you reside. Please use the USCIS reference guide to find the correct location.
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