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How to Renew Your DACA Status Online
At a Glance
- Renewing DACA in 2023 involves nine steps.
- Steps include gathering necessary documents, accessing the USCIS online application, and filling and submitting Forms I-821D and I-765.
- Additional steps include submitting supporting documents, paying the $495 fee, and tracking your case.
- Eligibility requirements encompass previous DACA approval, a valid EAD card, continuous U.S. residence, educational/military credentials, no serious criminal convictions, and presence in the U.S. when applying.
Editors Note: In a significant legal development on September 13, 2023, District Court Judge Hanen decreed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to be unlawful. However, it’s important for our readers to understand the immediate implications of this ruling:
- Those wishing to renew their DACA status can still do so for the time being.
- New, first-time filings for DACA will not be entertained.
- Advance parole remains accessible for those who are current DACA recipients.
We will continue to monitor this evolving situation and provide timely updates.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has offered hope and opportunity to countless individuals who came to the United States as children. Navigating the complex renewal process, however, can feel daunting. In 2023, the procedure in clearly defined into nine sequential steps. In this blog post, we will comprehensively break down the process of renewing DACA in 2023, from gathering the necessary documents to tracking the status of your case. We’ll also explore the eligibility criteria that you must meet to successfully renew your DACA status. Whether you are approaching this process for the first time or looking to better understand the requirements, this guide aims to provide clarity and support for your DACA renewal journey.
9 Steps to Renew Your DACA in 2024
Renewing your DACA status in 2023 is a nine-step process. The steps include:
- Gather Necessary Documents
- Access USCIS Online Application
- Complete Form I-821D
- Review and Submit the Application
- Continue with Form I-765
- Submit Supporting Documents
- Review and Submit Form I-765
- Pay the Renewal Fee
- Keep Track of Your Case
Below, we’ll discuss each of the steps in more detail. Read on to learn more.
Step 1: Gather Necessary Documents
Before you start the online renewal process, ensure you have all the required documents ready. These typically include your previous DACA approval notice, Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card, a passport-sized photo, and any advanced parole documents if applicable.
Step 2: Access USCIS Online Application
Once on the USCIS website, click on the “File Online” button. You will either have the option to create a new account or sign in to your existing USCIS account.
Step 3: Complete Form I-821D
The first form you need to fill out is Form I-821D, the Consideration for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. This form contains the same questions as the paper copy you previously submitted during your initial DACA application. The USCIS online portal will guide you through the form, and remember, there is no filing fee for Form I-821D.
Step 4: Review and Submit the Application
Carefully review all the information you provided in Form I-821D before submitting it. We recommend printing a copy for your records in case you need it in the future. The USCIS online portal automatically saves your application as a draft, so you can always return to it later if needed.
Step 5: Continue with Form I-765
After completing Form I-821D, you will be directed to Form I-765, the Application for Employment Authorization. This form will require additional details about your employment history, earnings, and assets. Make sure to follow the instructions and provide accurate information.
Step 6: Submit Supporting Documents
You will have the opportunity to submit supporting documents, such as a passport-sized photo, your EAD card, and approval notice. If you’ve traveled abroad with advanced parole, you’ll need to include a completed Form I-94 and other travel documents.
Step 7: Review and Submit Form I-765
Similar to Form I-821D, thoroughly review all the information in Form I-765 before submitting it. Print a copy for your records, as it’s essential to have this information on hand.
Step 8: Pay the Renewal Fee
After completing both forms, you will be directed to the Department of Treasury’s website to pay the $495 renewal fee. You can use a credit card, debit card, prepaid card, or link your bank account for the payment.
Step 9: Keep Track of Your Case
Once you’ve completed the renewal process, you can track your case online. You might receive a notice scheduling a biometrics appointment at a USCIS office near you. Keep an eye on your USCIS account for any updates.
DACA Renewal Eligibility
Before you proceed with renewing your DACA status, it’s essential to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria set forth by USCIS. DACA recipients are required to meet certain conditions to qualify for renewal. Let’s take a look at the eligibility requirements:
- Previous DACA Approval: To renew your DACA, you must have been previously granted DACA status. This means that you have already been approved for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in the past.
- Valid EAD Card: Your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card, which serves as proof of your DACA status, should still be valid or have expired less than one year ago. If your EAD card has expired for more than one year, you may need to file a new initial DACA application instead of renewing.
- Continuous Residence: You must have continuously resided in the United States since the last DACA approval. Continuous residence means that you have been physically present in the country without any extended absences.
- Education or Military Service: You should be currently enrolled in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces.
- No Felony Convictions: You must not have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors. Additionally, you should not pose a threat to national security or public safety.
- Age Requirement: You must have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, when DACA was announced, and you should not be above the age of 15 at the time of filing your initial application.
- Physical Presence: You should be physically present in the United States at the time of filing the renewal application.
If you meet all the above criteria, you are eligible to renew your DACA status and continue benefiting from the program’s protections and benefits. Keep in mind that DACA renewal is not a path to citizenship, but it offers temporary protection from deportation and the ability to work legally in the United States.
Please remember that immigration laws and policies may change, and it’s crucial to stay informed about any updates related to DACA and immigration matters. If you have specific questions about your case or eligibility, it is highly recommended to consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can provide personalized guidance and support throughout the renewal process.
DACA Renewal FAQ
Below, you will find some common questions around DACA renewal and their answers.
When should I apply for DACA renewal?
As a general guideline, the USCIS recommends that you submit your renewal request between 150 and 120 days before your current grant of DACA expires. This is to avoid the expiration of your current DACA grant before your renewal has been processed. If you apply too early (more than 150 days before your current DACA expires), USCIS may reject your application.
What documents do I need to submit for DACA renewal?
You will need to submit Form I-821D, “Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” Form I-765, “Application for Employment Authorization,” and Form I-765 Worksheet. Also, include the appropriate fees with your submission. You generally do not need to submit supporting documents unless there have been significant changes in your situation or you have new documents that you didn’t submit in your initial application.
What is the fee for DACA renewal?
The total fee for the DACA renewal application is $495. This includes a $410 fee for the I-765 (Employment Authorization) and an $85 biometric services fee. The USCIS does not waive these fees, but fee exemptions may be available under very limited circumstances.
What if my DACA renewal application is denied?
In general, USCIS does not provide the opportunity to appeal a denial of a DACA renewal request. However, you may request a review using the Service Request Management Tool (SRMT) if you believe that USCIS made an error in your case. Legal counsel is highly advised in such cases.
Can I travel outside of the U.S. while my DACA renewal is being processed?
With the Advanced Parole policy ended in 2017, DACA recipients are generally unable to travel outside of the U.S. and return legally. If you leave the country while your renewal is pending without Advanced Parole, it will likely be considered as you having abandoned your DACA renewal request.