Who can apply for DACA now in 2018?
As of 1/13/18, USCIS is once again accepting applications for DACA. This is a result of a federal order so it could be a very short window and quick action is advisable. Anyone who previously had DACA can apply, even if it expired or was terminated. No brand new requests or advance parole accepted.
Is USCIS accepting DACA applications now?As of Jan. 13, 2018, USCIS is once again accepting applications for DACA, even though it had officially terminated the program on September 5 of 2017. Thus thanks to a federal court order, USCIS will continue accepting DACA renewal applications (even if your previous grant expired or was terminated years ago) until the order is reversed or unless otherwise provided. DACA requests will be adjudicated under the guidelines set forth in the June 15, 2012 DACA memo.
This could be a very short window, so it is advisable to act quickly.
Who can apply for DACA now?o Individuals who were previously granted deferred action under DACA and whose grant has not expired yet can apply for renewal
o Individuals who previously received DACA and whose DACA expired on or AFTER Sept. 5, 2016, may still file a renewal request. (Please list the date your prior DACA ended in the appropriate box on Part 1 of the Form I-821D.)
o Individuals whose DACA expired BEFORE Sept. 5, 2016, or whose DACA was previously terminated at any time, can file a new INITIAL DACA request (no renewal request available). (If you are filing a new initial DACA request because your DACA expired before Sept. 5, 2016, or because it was terminated at any time, please list the date your prior DACA expired or was terminated on Part 1 of the Form I-821D, if available.)
o No new requests. USCIS is NOT accepting requests from individuals who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA.
o No advance parole. USCIS will NOT accept or approve advance parole requests from DACA recipients.
When can I file my DACA request?In the past USCIS required that you file for the renewal within 150 days of expiration of the old grant, but the new instructions seem to do away with this requirement stating that renewal requests typically must be submitted within one year of the expiration date of your last period of deferred action approved under DACA. However, most practitioners are interpreting the lack of guidance as permission to file at any time.
There is a chance the early requests may be rejected but more likely they will either take longer to adjudicate (as USCIS waits for the current grant to expire), OR you will end up with some overlap in the work permits if the application is processed before your current grant expires. So you will be "losing" some time on your work permit and consequently paying more for less. So it will be a cost/risk analysis whether it is worth it to renew your DACA prematurely, or risk not being able to renew it at all.
What is DACA and how to apply for it?As a reminder, DACA is a discretionary determination to defer a removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. It is not a pathway to citizenship and it does not confer legal status, but individuals who receive deferred action will not be placed into removal proceedings or removed from the United States for a specified period of time. An individual whose case has been deferred is not considered to be unlawfully present during the period in which deferred action is in effect, so if you received your first grant when you were 18 or younger you may consider applying for a renewal to avoid the necessity to apply for a hardship waiver down the line.
You may request renewal by filing Form I-821D , Form I-765, and Form I-765 Worksheet, with the appropriate fee (currently $495) or approved fee exemption request (very rare), at the USCIS designated filing location, and in accordance with the instructions to the Form I-821D and Form I-765.