***On December 7, 2020 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an update regarding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).***
In accordance with a December 4, 2020 order from a U.S. District Court, effective December 7, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is:
- Accepting first-time requests for consideration of deferred action under DACA based on the terms of the DACA policy in effect prior to September 5, 2017. This means that people who have never had DACA, can now apply if they qualify. Here is who is eligible:
- Arrived in the U.S. before turning 16, and before June 15, 2007
- Have resided in U.S. continuously since June 15, 2007 – June 15, 2012 and through to present day
- Were born after June 15, 1981 (aged 30 or under as of June 15, 2012), and at least 15 years old
- Currently be in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the U.S.
- Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
- Accepting DACA renewal requests based on the terms of the DACA policy in effect prior to September 5, 2017. This means you can apply for a renewal more than 150 days before your card expires (although now there should be less of a need to do that).
- Accepting applications for advance parole travel documents based on the terms of the DACA policy prior to September 5, 2017. This means you can apply for advance parole if you have a valid school, work, or humanitarian need to travel.
- Extending one-year grants of deferred action under DACA to two years and extending one-year employment authorization documents under DACA to two years.
USCIS has stated that it will take appropriate steps to provide evidence of the one-year extensions of deferred action and employment authorization documents under DACA to individuals who were issued documentation on or after July 28, 2020, with a one-year validity period. This means that they should soon publish a notice that you can give to your employer that will automatically extend your one year DACA work permit for a second year. You can also file for renewal if you prefer.
DHS noted that it will comply with the judge’s order while it remains in effect, but added that it may seek relief from the order. This means that the window to apply for initial applications could close again, but we expect that the new administration will open the window again shortly after January 20, 2021.
For additional information, please see the USCIS news alert and please call your nearest IIBA office to get more information about how to apply.