The future of the DACA program has been uncertain even since the Trump administration attempted to rescind it on September 5th, 2017. At first, USCIS stopped accepting renewal applications, and many DACA participants were justifiably very worried about their future. Then, three separate federal courts issued orders in early 2018 for the program to continue while its legal standing is worked out. USCIS grudgingly began to accept renewal applications from existing participants, though it is not accepting requests from individuals who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA.
Right now, the decision about the future of DACA is with the United States Supreme Court. Their decision is expected by Spring 2020. At that time, we will have a definitive answer on what will happen to the program.
How should current DACA participants handle the situation?
Nothing is certain right now, but it is undeniable that it is better to have had your status recently renewed than to be currently unrenewed. This is because whatever decision the court ends up making, it is virtually certain that DACA participants will get to finish out their current term before any changes of status have to be made.
When it comes to renewing your deferred action under DACA, you can request renewal by filing Form I-821D (PDF), Form I-765 (PDF), and Form I-765 Worksheet (PDF), with the appropriate fee, at the USCIS designated filing location. USCIS is not accepting requests from individuals who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA. USCIS will also not accept advance parole requests from DACA recipients.
Also, remember that your DACA renewal depends on having met the initial 2012 DACA guidelines, and the following requirements since then:
- Did not depart the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, without advance parole;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since you submitted your most recent DACA request that was approved;
- Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors; and
- Do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
If you have any questions about next steps you should take for your DACA renewal, please get in touch with us so we can analyze your case and recommend the best path forward.