Thursday, June 19, 2014

Are You Prepared to File for Your DACA Renewal?

Are You Prepared to File for Your DACA Renewal? By Mitchell C. ZwaikThose who are currently living and working in the United States in DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status should be aware that they may be required to renew that status well in advance of the expiration of their current status. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced it is preparing a new dual-use document (Form I-821D) that will replace both the existing initial application and renewal forms. Those who do wish to renew should remember that it is recommended they submit their applications 5 months before their current status expires.

For those who have not signed up for DACA yet, remember that you must meet each of the following criteria to be eligible:
  • You must have arrived in the U.S. before turning 16 years old. 
  • You must have continuously lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years immediately prior to June 15, 2012 and must have been present in the country on that date. 
  • You must currently be in school, have graduated from high school, obtained a general education (GED) certificate, or be an honorably discharged veteran. 
  • You must not have been convicted of a felony offense, significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or pose a threat to U.S. national security. 
  • You must have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012.
DACA does not grant any actual legal status or give the privilege of permanent residency or citizenship, but those who qualify gain the ability to legally work and reside in the United States as long as their work cards remain active. They also do not have to fear being deported at any moment.

If you are currently a DACA recipient, check your work card’s expiration date and make sure you know when you must submit your renewal application. Allowing your status to lapse can have disastrous consequences for you, possibly including deportation. It is important that you consult with an experienced immigration attorney if you have any questions or concerns about how to file for renewal.

When does your work card expire?

Mitchell C. Zwaik
Long Island, NY
Brooklyn, NY
(631) 588-4040

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