DACA Program Now Open for Renewals; Plus New Form I-821D

Despite early fears that the DACA program would roll up and disappear after a short time, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has just announced the procedure for renewals, complete with a new Form I-821D. (The form is now dual-purpose, and can be used by both initial applicants and renewal applicants.)

As of June 5, 2014, all DACA applicants will be expected to use the new form. Use of the old one will cause USCIS to reject and return your application. (In such an event, you can try again, but will have lost valuable time.)

Even if your DACA status hasn’t run out yet, take a look at when it expires. You may need to get going on the renewal application now. USCIS suggests filing for renewal within the 120 days before your expiration date, to avoid possible gaps in your work authorization and lawful right to be in the United States.

If, however, you are reading this after your DACA approval has already expired, don’t give up. You have one year in which to file a “renewal” application. Even after that, you can file a new, “initial” DACA application, though you will have to supply far more evidence than you would have had to for a simple renewal.

For detailed information on the renewal process, see Nolo’s article, “How to Renew Your DACA Status.”