If it has been more than a year since my last grant of DACA expired, can I still apply for renewal?
- If you submit a DACA request more than one year since your last grant of DACA expired or after your most recent DACA grant was terminated (at any time), your request is considered an initial request, not a renewal, pursuant to preexisting USCIS policy.
- USCIS can accept initial DACA requests, but it is prohibited from approving them while this court order remains in effect.
- You will be issued a receipt notice, and your payment will be accepted. However, the request will not be further processed, in compliance with the court order.
In a decision pending for months, Judge Hanen, a Federal Judge in Texas, has found the creation of DACA violates the Administrative Procedures Act and ordered the administration not to approve new applications.
What we know:
- The government is ordered to stop approving new applications
- The order does NOT direct the administration to rescind any current DACA recipients status or stop issuing renewals
We will be reviewing the order and the response from the government and will prepare some guidance and community messaging for impacted community members and their representatives next week.
- What does the ruling mean? It means that Hanen has sided with Republicans and has partially ended the DACA program. While new applications will no longer be approved, renewals will continue to move forward. The ruling goes into effect immediately.
- What happens to DACA recipients and DACA eligible youth?
- If you have DACA right now: you are still protected and will be able to continue renewing for now.
- If you are eligible for DACA but have never applied: DHS can still accept your application but will NOT be able to process it.
- Unless your Advance Parole application was already approved as of today, Advance Parole is closed for DACA recipients.
- If your application for renewal is already being processed: your renewal should continue as normal.
On January 20, 2021, the Biden administration signed Executive Order, Preserving and Fortifying Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The executive order directs the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security in consultation with the Attorney General to use all measures to preserve the DACA program of 2012 and assure the program is less vulnerable.
What this means for DACA recipients:
- At this time nothing will change with the DACA program.
- The original DACA program is intact and DHS and DOJ are no longer looking for ways to rescind it.
- For individuals who have DACA, their permits will continue to be valid during the eligibility period.
- Individuals will be able to renew their DACA, which will continue to be issued for the two-year period.
- Individuals who have never had DACA and are eligible will be able to file initial applications.
Eligible applicants can still file for initial DACA grants at this time. There are always risks with filing applications with USCIS and interested applicants should consult with a licensed immigration practitioner before submitting any applications.
There is still pending litigation challenging the initial order granting DACA status during the Obama Administration. A decision against DACA could affect the ability to apply for and grant DACA benefits. It is also possible Congress will begin to work on another program of law that would create different options for DACA recipients.
For more information, World Relief local offices may be hosting virtual information sessions to discuss these changes, provide pertinent Know Your Rights information, and answer questions. As always, for unique case concerns, World Relief recommends contacting our local offices to speak with an immigration law practitioner and schedule an individualized consultation to answer questions and evaluate your eligibility for immigration benefits.
Effective December 7, 2020, based on the terms of the DACA policy before September 5, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will now be accepting or extending certain applications and requests. These include:
- Accepting first-time requests for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals);
- Accepting advance parole applications (permission to travel);
- Accepting DACA renewal applications; and
- Extending one-year grants of DACA (both deferred action and work authorization) to 2 years.
This action has been taken by the government in order to comply with Judge Garaufis’ order (see the section on the December 4th order below for more information).
It is important to remember
There are several possible scenarios where this could end. For instance, the government could seek a stay, or appeal this order, or there could be another court decision that rules against the DACA program that would end it.
If something changes and USCIS no longer accepts DACA initial applicants, the incoming Biden-Harris administration has already said they will likely restore DACA (or a version of it) within the first 100 days of taking office.
What we recommend
- Download the attached document list and begin gathering as much of the required documentation as possible. Even if things change, you will want to be prepared to file in the upcoming year.
- Watch the recording to find out if you are eligible, what you need, and the next steps as well as the code you need to schedule an appointment.
- Please contact World Relief to be put on our waitlist for an appointment. Participation in one of the information sessions is mandatory before an appointment will be scheduled.
A Judge in New York ordered the Department of Homeland Security to reinstate DACA in its original form. This decision would allow individuals who may be eligible but had not previously applied for DACA to be able to submit initial applications for consideration. This ruling also allows for Advanced Parole for DACA recipients and DACA renewals will be for the full two year period. The court’s order also instructed the government to extend work permits that were previously issued for one year to the full two years.
The judge has ordered the government to post instructions as to how they will administer the program as of Monday, December 7, 2020.
On July 28, 2020, the current administration issued a memorandum in response to the recent Supreme Court decision which determined the administration’s prior attempt to end DACA was not lawfully done. The new memo provides an interim DACA policy, effective immediately, with the following implications:
- Applications for DACA by first-time DACA applicants – including both those already pending and those not yet filed - will be rejected by DHS (Immigration) and associated fees will be refunded
- Applications for DACA-based Advanced Parole – including both those already pending and those not yet filed - will be rejected and refunded, except in “extremely unusual circumstances”
- Applications to renew DACA that are approved – including both those already pending and those not yet filed – will receive a one year grant of deferred action and work authorization
- Current DACA holders will continue to remain in valid DACA deferred action and work authorization for the validity of their documents (AKA, expiration dates on your current DACA documents will be honored, even if your documents do not expire for more than one year from now)
Although these changes reflect an “interim” policy to allow the administration time to review the validity of the DACA program, it is unclear how long such review will last and what its outcome may be. As with previous changes to DACA policy, this change is likely to result in further court litigation that may change how this memo is implemented. Stay tuned for more information.
To read the latest DACA memo: https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/20_0728_s1_daca-reconsideration-memo.pdf
On June 18, 2020, the Supreme Court (also known as SCOTUS) ruled in a 5 to 4 decision that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals “DACA” program continues. As a result of the decision, eligible individuals who have applied or would like to apply to renew their DACA may continue to do so. The decision means eligible individuals seeking to apply for DACA for the first time should be able to do so and may begin gathering the required documentation. Once DHS announces they are accepting initial DACA applications, World Relief will begin filing these cases.
On September 5, 2017, the government announced it would be ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. However, due to federal court orders in early 2018 that issued nationwide injunctions to the government’s decision, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was required to continue accepting renewals for the DACA program. In November 2019, SCOTUS heard oral arguments regarding pending DACA lawsuits. On June 18, 2020, SCOTUS announced their decision. The dispute before the Supreme Court was not whether DHS could rescind DACA – everyone agreed that it could. Instead, the dispute was about whether DHS was subject to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and, if so, whether it followed proper procedure in rescinding the program as set forth by the APA rules. The Supreme Court has ruled that it did not. The Supreme Court has remanded the issue to the lower courts for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available. To read the full Supreme Court decision: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/18-587_5ifl.pdf
World Relief hosted a virtual information session on June 22, 2020. A recording is available below. As always, for unique case concerns, World Relief recommends contacting our office to schedule an individualized consultation to answer questions and evaluate your eligibility for immigration benefits.
For more information on how the Real ID Act affects those who have DACA, please see the DACA Real ID FAQ Sheet: https://www.nilc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/REAL-ID-and-DACA-2020.pdf