Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a program passed under the Obama administration that grants a two year protection from deportation for individuals who came to the United States as children.
Those who are granted DACA can obtain a social security number (SSN), a REAL ID, and also an employment Authorization Document (EAD)/work permit which needs to be renewed every two years. Here is a checklist for submitting your renewal application.
How We Covered It: How DACA Changed in 2021
Since the inception of the program, USCIS has requested a DACA renewal to be submitted at least 4 months prior to the expiration date of the last approval, which mentioned in Notice of Action form I-797. It is highly recommended to submit a renewal application in that time frame, as there can be delays which could affect your ability to work legally in the United States.
Step 1: DACA renewal forms
Fill out the following forms: it is always helpful to reference your last application submitted so that all the information is correct.
Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization
I-765 Worksheet, this form is used to write your current income, and expenses
G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition of Acceptance
Be mindful that certain fields might have changed or added, so it is important to review the information before mailing it to the processing center. Make sure you have the latest form on the USCIS site.
These are the information that you need to have in hand: current EAD, I-797 Notice of Action, Passport, and, if you traveled, the last date of your entry along with your advance parole document.
Tips for I-821D:
- Make sure to check “renewal” and write the date of when your current DACA expires
- You do not need to fill out all the fields. Only fill out the sections that say “for Initial and Renewal requests”
- On Part 5, make sure to sing under “requestor’s” signature. Your application will be returned if it is missing your signature.
TIPS for I-765:
- Make sure to check “Renewal of my permission to accept employment”
- Look at the instructions guide to fill out the Eligibility Category section
- Enter your SSN if you had received one in the past, or select “YES” to have the SSA issue one
Step 2: Printing and Packing
- Once you have all the forms filled out, print them single sided (one page per sheet) on a U.S. standard letter size paper in black ink.
- Keep the forms together using a paper clip, as opposed to a staple
- Make sure to attach the copy of your EAD to form I-765 (This is very important)
- Put G1145 on top of the packet
- Use a larger paper clip to keep all your forms together
While some organizations recommend creating a cover sheet, it is not required.
Step 3: Writing the check or money order
Once you have reviewed all the information, you have to write a personal check or money order to the “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” in the amount of $495
If using a personal check, ensure that the funds will be there in the weeks following the shipping date. Otherwise it is a monday order is highly recommended so that your application does not get returned.
Step 4: Filing Online or via Mail
The LockBox addresses vary depending on the state that you live in. It is recommended that your package is sent with a tracking number so that you are notified whenever it arrives at the center.
Note: only USPS can deliver to P.O. Boxes
Once USCIS receives your application, you will receive a notification (thanks to form G1145) via text message with a receipt number that you can use to monitor the progress of your case online.
Online via USCIS website: The requirements are the same, except that you will be required to create a USCIS account. Go to “File a form online” and select DACA. Then follow the prompts and make sure to enter the correct information, so that your application does not get denied.
Legal assistance filing DACA renewals in New York City
Action NYC is a city funded program that provides free legal assistance to immigrant New Yorkers who reside in the five boroughs. To make an appointment, call 1-800-354-0365 between 9AM-6PM, Monday – Friday or call 311 and say “ActionNYC.” You can make your appointment and help with the language that you speak. Learn more.
CUNY CitizenshipNOW provides a range of free legal advice and help with applications related to DACA, Naturalization, Green Card renewals, TPS, and more. If you have questions about DACA, contact CUNY Citizenship Now! at 646-664-9400, text at 929-334-3784, or email your questions at email@example.com.
National help based on ZIP Code: Immigration Advocates Network