How to Prepare Your Final DACA Renewal Application

Review your qualification for the DACA program and assemble your renewal packet before October 5, 2017.

After the Trump administration's 2017 announcement that the DACA program will be ending, some DACA holders nevertheless qualify for a final, two-year renewal. This article will describe who qualifies for a final DACA renewal and how to prepare your renewal.

Who Can Apply for a Final DACA Renewal?

The Trump administration's September 5, 2017 announcement that it is terminating the DACA program began a six-month phase-out period.

Anyone who qualifies for DACA status, but had never filed an initial DACA application before September 5, 2017 is no longer able to apply.

Any DACA holder whose status is set to expire during this six-month period is eligible to renew DACA status one more time—specifically, those whose DACA status expires between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2017. DACA holders whose status expires after March 5, 2017 will not be able to apply for any additional renewals, and will lose DACA status on the date of expiration.

If you are among those who can apply for a final DACA renewal, you must mail your application for renewal in time for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to receive it by October 5, 2017. Details about the filing deadline are laid out in "Making Sure to Meet the Final October 5 DACA Renewal Deadline."

Making Sure You Still Meet Other DACA Eligibility Requirements

Check the description of the basic qualifications for the DACA program in "Who Qualifies for Deferred Action as an Immigrant Student or Graduate?" You will want to make sure you still qualify, in case any circumstances in your life have changed since the last time you applied for DACA status.

Before you begin your renewal application, be sure that you have continuously resided in the United States since your initial DACA application.

You also cannot have left the United States since August 15, 2012, unless you traveled with a valid travel authorization from USCIS called "advance parole."

Also, because DACA is conditioned on pursuing education, if you dropped out of the course of education that your application is based on without graduating, you may no longer qualify for DACA status.

Finally, you must not have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors. Other factors could also be problematic if they indicate that you are a threat to U.S. national security or public safety, such as evidence of gang membership.

If you think that you may no longer qualify for DACA because of any of the factors listed above, see a qualified immigration attorney to evaluate whether you can still apply for a renewal.

Filling Out the DACA Renewal Forms

You will need to fill out USCIS Form I-821-D to renew your DACA status, along with Form I-765 and its accompanying worksheet in order to renew your employment authorization. Further instructions for filling out these forms can be found on the instruction pages for each form on the USCIS website.

If you want to be sure that your application arrives and is accepted by USCIS by the October 5 filing deadline, it's wise to add USCIS Form G-1145 to the application packet. This form will allow you to receive an email or text notification when USCIS accepts your application.

If you have moved since your last DACA application and you have not yet updated your address with USCIS, also submit USCIS Form AR-11 or update your address online. If you submit the paper Form AR-11, do not send it along with the DACA renewal. It should be sent to a separate address, which is listed in the instructions, based on where you live.

Add Supporting Documents to the DACA Renewal Application Packet

For the I-821-D DACA application, you do not need to submit all of the documentation that you did with your initial application, because this is a renewal. You can submit a copy of your passport biographic page to establish your identity. Other than that, you will need to provide only documentation of anything that has changed since your last DACA application. If you have received any new documentation from immigration court or evidence of any criminal issues you should include copies in your renewal application. Although, as previously noted, you should discuss this development with an attorney prior to filing.

For the I-765 application for employment authorization, submit a copy of the front and back of your current employment authorization document (EAD) and two passport-style photographs of yourself with your name and A number written on the back of each. You can find your A number on your EAD. It starts with A and has 9 numbers.

Filing Fees

You can send one check to cover the fees for the I-821-D, I-765, and biometrics (fingerprints and so on that USCIS will take after you submit your application). The total filing fee for the final DACA renewal is $495.

The Mexican government has indicated that funds may be available to cover the final DACA renewal for Mexican citizens. If you are a Mexican citizen, contact your nearest Mexican Consulate for confirmation and procedures.

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