What is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals?
Over the past several years, this Administration has undertaken an unprecedented effort to transform the immigration enforcement system into one that focuses on national security, public safety, border security and the integrity of the immigration system. As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues to focus its enforcement resources on the removal of individuals who pose a danger to national security or a risk to public safety, DHS will exercise prosecutorial discretion as appropriate to ensure that enforcement resources are not expended on low priority cases, such as individuals who came to the United States as children and meet other key guidelines. Individuals who demonstrate that they meet the guidelines below may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) for a period of three years, subject to renewal for a period of three years, and may be eligible for employment authorization. Your request for DACA will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may be granted or denied at the agency’s discretion.
DACA was initially announced on June 15, 2012 via a memorandum from then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. On November 20, 2014, current-Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson issued a memorandum expanding guidelines for DACA in several key ways. Note, however, that the expanded DACA guidelines do not become effective until February 18, 2015.
Until the new guidelines go into effect on February 18, 2015, individuals may request DACA under the existing guidelines under the June 15, 2012 Napolitano memorandum.
Guidance on the expanded DACA guidelines under the November 20, 2014 memorandum is outlined below.
Beginning on February 18, 2015, you may request consideration for deferred action under DACA if you:
- Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since January 1, 2010, up to the present time;
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012, meaning that:
- You never had a lawful immigration status on or before June 15, 2012, or
- Any lawful immigration status or parole that you obtained prior to June 15, 2012, had expired as of June 15, 2012.
- Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
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Renewing your DACA? Click here for more info!
If your initial two-year grant of deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) is expiring, you may request a renewal. This page explains how to request a renewal.
Who Can Renew
You may request a renewal if you met the initial DACA guidelines and you:
- Did not depart the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, without advance parole;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since you submitted your most recent DACA request that was approved; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
When to Renew
You should submit your renewal request about 120 days (4 months) before your current period of deferred action will expire. If you submit your request more than 150 days (5 months) before your current period expires, USCIS may reject it and return it to you with instructions to resubmit it closer to the expiration date.
How to Renew
- Complete and sign:
- Follow the instructions on all three forms to submit them to USCIS. There is a $380 filing fee for Form I-765 and an $85 biometric services (fingerprints and photo) fee, so the total cost is $465.