DACA Application Rejected Because of Slow Mail? You Can Try Again

Resubmitting your rejected DACA-renewal application may be possible, says USCIS.

** LEGAL UPDATE **

After a flood of outraged news reports regarding the numbers of people who mailed renewal applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program only to have them rejected as "late," U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced an opportunity to undo the damage in one situation--that is, where the application's late arrival was created by delayed U.S. Postal Service (USPS) delivery.

Elaine Duke, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, told USCIS that it will need to accept DACA renewal requests from people who resubmit them along with documentary proof that they mailed their initial DACA renewal application in a timely manner and that the cause for arrival after the October 5, 2017, deadline for renewals was USPS mail service error.

Such proof might, for example, consist of a certified mail receipt or a Priority Mail tracking slip.

If you had simply put stamps on your renewal application before sending it off, and therefore have no such proof, you are not necessarily out of luck. Get in touch with USPS, which will review your case and give you a letter of support if appropriate. (It's unclear who, exactly, you are supposed to contact.)

USCIS will not accept requests that do not include some sort of individualized proof of your timely mailing as described above. So if, for example, you mailed your application one day before the deadline--which is a nearly impossible time frame for USPS delivery--this recent government announcement is not likely to help you.

The news also reported on cases where DACA renewal requests arrived at the USCIS filing location in time to meet the filing deadline, but nevertheless sat in an "in box" until after the deadline and were then rejected.

USCIS plans to reach out to applicants affected by this and tell them they may resubmit their DACA request. Once you receive the USCIS notification, you will need to act fairly quickly. USCIS is setting a deadline of 33 days from the date on its letter for people to resubmit.

Even if you don't receive such a notification from USCIS, however, it's worth resubmitting if you believe, and can provide evidence to show, that your original DACA renewal application arrived at the designated USCIS location by the October 5 filing deadline. You might want to follow USCIS's guidance on this first and contact its Lockbox Support service to explain your situation prior to resubmitting your package (though this isn't mandatory). The support email is lockboxsupport@uscis.dhs.gov.

For more information, see the USCIS FAQs on this matter.

It would also be wise to hire an attorney for help. Also check in with local nonprofit organizations who represent immigrants, as well--they may be offering consultations or low-cost representation.

Effective Date: November 17, 2017