Your Complete Guide to the DACA Renewal Process

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a US immigration policy that provides temporary protection from deportation for individuals who were brought to the United States as children. It also grants them access to work permits and other benefits that allow them to fully participate in American society. A confusing part of this policy for many people is the DACA renewal process. Luckily, you don’t have to go it alone, as our team will guide you with this helpful article.

What Is the DACA Renewal Process?

If you’re a DACA recipient, you must renew your status every two years to avoid losing your protection from deportation and your work permit eligibility. The renewal process involves several steps, including filling out forms, gathering documents, and scheduling an appointment with a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office.

Step-by-Step DACA Renewal Process.

  • To be eligible for renewal, you must first meet certain criteria, such as having been under the age of 31 before June 15, 2012, and having arrived in the United States before June 15, 2007. Additionally, you must be enrolled in school, have a high school diploma or GED certificate, or have served in the military. You also can’t have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors. If you meet these criteria, you’ll need to do the following.
  • Fill Out the Appropriate Forms. To begin the renewal process, you’ll need to fill out the newest version of Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. Both forms are available on the USCIS website.
  • Make sure to fill out the forms completely and accurately. The USCIS will reject any applications with errors or incomplete information.
  • Gather Documents.
  • In addition to the completed forms, you must submit certain documents that prove your identity, residency, and eligibility for DACA renewal. The required documents may include:
    • A copy of your previous Form I-821D approval notice
    • Two passport-style photos
    • Your most recent Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record
    • Proof of your education, including diplomas, transcripts, or GED certificates
    • Proof of your current enrollment in school (if applicable)
    • Any applicable court or criminal records
    • A copy of your Employment Authorization Document (if applicable)
  • Pay the Appropriate Fees. To renew your DACA status, you must pay the appropriate fees. The fee for Form I-821D is $85, and the fee for Form I-765 is $410, for a total of $495 in fees. You can pay these fees using a credit card, debit card, electronic transfer or money order. If you’re unable to pay the fees, you may be eligible for a fee waiver. However, you’ll need to provide proof of your financial hardship to qualify.
  • Submit Your Application. Once you’ve completed the forms, gathered the necessary documents, and paid the fees, you can submit your application to the USCIS. You may submit your application by mail or online. It’s important to note that you’ll need to submit your renewal application at least 120 days before the expiration of your current DACA status. Failing to submit your application on time could result in losing your DACA protection and work permit eligibility.
  • Wait for a Response. After submitting your application, you’ll need to wait for a response from the USCIS. Typically, you’ll receive a notice of receipt within a few weeks of submitting your application. The USCIS may also request additional information or documents during the processing period.
  • Don’t go through this alone.

The DACA renewal process can seem overwhelming, but the experts at The Meza Law Firm can help. As a bilingual law firm in Texas, we specialize in immigration law. Our team of legal professionals can help you every step of the way to ensure your renewal process is taken care of quickly and efficiently. Learn more about our services online, or contact us to get started today.