On his first day in the Oval Office, President Biden signed an executive order to preserve and fortify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA. Thanks to this memo, the secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General will recommit to DACA after years of challenges from the Trump Administration.
Just over a month before, on December 4, 2020, a New York Federal court ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to reopen applications and restore DACA to its original form.
We are pleased to share news of DACA’s recent victory and the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to immigration reform. As always, we look forward to helping immigrants make their journey to the United States.
What the Recent DACA Decisions Mean for You
If you have never had DACA and are eligible, you can apply for the first time. DACA began accepting initial requests for the first time since 2017 in December of last year.
Similarly, people who have DACA can renew their rights and protections, and anyone who received a 1-year renewal of their DACA will automatically have their protections extended to 2 years. Additionally, the advance parole program has been restored to its original form, which means you can apply to travel without risking deportation if you need to visit loved ones outside of the United States. (Please note that some travel restrictions may apply due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic).
How to Renew Your DACA
Once you have selected your lawyer, you will need to find your previous application or renewal filing. Luckily, your attorney can help with this. Together, you and your legal team will make sure all the information on your renewal request is accurate and consistent.
Next, you will fill out DACA request and work permit forms directly from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Remember to download the most current forms and be aware of all changes. Rest assured that our legal team is keeping track of all important updates during this time of political change and will keep you informed, every step of the way.
While you’re completing your paperwork, make sure to create a cover letter to help the USCIS officer navigate your application and take a new passport photo. These are things your immigration attorney can help with, whether they provide you with a cover letter template or look over a cover letter you have written yourself.
Finally, you will need to purchase your money order from a U.S. Post Office or Bank – make it out to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the amount of $495. Once you have everything, make a photocopy or 2* and send your DACA renewal filing by mail.
*If you have an attorney, make an extra copy for them.
Use priority shipping that includes a tracking number so your filing doesn’t get lost, and make it easier for USCIS officers by using paperclips and placing your documents in the following order:
- $495 Money Order
- Cover Letter
- Completed Form G-1145
- Completed Form I-821D
- Completed Form I-765
- 2 passport photos- taken within 30 days of your filing
- Copy of the front and back of your current employment authorization document
- Completed Form I-765WS
- Copies of any supporting documentation
Even if you choose not to retain an attorney throughout your application process, you should still have a lawyer review your renewal filing before you send it to USCIS.
If you were arrested between your last DACA grant and your renewal filing, you must speak to an attorney before trying to renew your DACA.
DACA is back and things are looking better than ever for Dreamers like you. The Law Office of Rosina C. Stambaugh remains committed to and passionate about your goals to live and work in the United States.