DACA has been expanded! On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced sweeping changes to existing immigration laws and procedures under “executive authority.” One of the new policy provision is expanded DACA. As soon as further details are released, I’ll be updating on DACA here the information here.

On June 5, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released guidelines for renewing original grants of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) as well as a revised version of form I-821D. Those with DACA status should request renewal four to five months before their expiration date to avoid a lapse in legal status.

The expiration date for Deferred Action can be found on your work permit (EAD) or on the I-797 Notice of Action that you received when your DACA was approved. If your DACA expires before you renew, you could lose work authorization and your driver’s license.

Who can Renew DACA

You can file to renew your DACA status if you met the original deferred action guidelines and you:

Did not leave the United States on or after August 15, 2012, without advance parole;
Have lived in the United States since you submitted your most recent, approved DACA application; and
Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and are not considered to pose a threat to national security or public safety.
For Deferred Action renewals, USCIS doesn’t need additional proof that you graduated school or continued your education beyond the date you originally filed for DACA.

If you have had any criminal cases since you last applied for DACA, it is very important that you consult an attorney before applying to renew your Deferred Action.

When to Renew DACA

DACA recipients must file for renewal at least 120 days (4 months) before their expiration date to avoid a gap in legal status. If you submit your renewal request more than 150 days (5 months) before your DACA expires, USCIS may deny your application. It is best to apply for renewal somewhere between four to five months before your current period of DACA ends. Considering the timeframe for renewal, the earliest recipients of DACA–those who received Deferred Action in September to October 2012–are now under time pressure to renew.

DACA renewals will be processed up to one year after your current period expires; however, you risk losing your immigration benefits. After one year, you will need to completely reapply for Deferred Action.

Late Renewals of DACA

If you wait to renew your Deferred Action and your current DACA status expires before renewal is granted, you may face serious immigration consequences. You will lose your work authorization. You will also accumulate “unlawful presence.” This could make it difficult to become a permanent resident or U.S. citizen in the future. Protection deportation could be jeopardized as well.

Need to renew DACA? Immigration Experts at Khavajian Law Can Help!

If you have questions about whether you qualify to renew your Deferred Action or how you can take advantage of DACA, please call our immigration law office today. With attorney Mani Khavajian’s experience as an immigration lawyer, he would be happy to meet with you for a consultation and discuss the process of DACA renewal. Don’t risk applying on your own when an effective immigration lawyer is just a phone call away. We are ready to begin helping you immediately.