USCIS Updates DACA FAQs | CLINIC

USCIS Updates DACA FAQs

By Ilissa Mira

The USCIS updated its DACA FAQs on October 17 and 23, 2014, providing additional information on their policy toward temporary EAD extensions and the education requirement for renewal applicants.  Previous versions of the FAQs stated that USCIS may provide temporary EAD and deferred action extensions if they encountered delays in processing timely-filed renewal requests.  The latest changes to the FAQ state that USCIS will not temporarily extend deferred action and EADs when the delay is caused by the requestor’s failure to timely file between 120 and 150 days prior to expiration.

Additionally, USCIS will not provide short term extensions where delays are determined to be the fault of the applicant, including where the request is incomplete or the applicant failed to timely file; where USCIS requests additional evidence of eligibility; or where USCIS is unable to complete background checks. 

The new FAQs also explicitly state that requestors may qualify for renewal even if they are not currently in school. 

The chart below shows changes to the FAQs.  New language is highlighted in italics:

New FAQ (Oct. 17)

Q49:  When should I file my renewal request with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)?

A49: USCIS strongly encourages you to submit your Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal request between 150 days and 120 days before the expiration date located on your current Form I-797 DACA approval notice. Filing during this window will minimize the possibility that your current period of DACA will expire before you receive a decision on your renewal request.  If you have filed your renewal request at least 120 days before your deferred action expires and USCIS is delayed in processing your renewal request, USCIS may provide you with DACA and employment authorization for up to an additional 120 days.

Please Note:  USCIS will not provide any such short-term deferred action and employment authorization when USCIS is delayed in reaching a final decision on your renewal request because, for example: 1) of factors within your control (such as failure to file the renewal request within the suggested timeframe or filing an incomplete renewal request); 2) USCIS has not been able to complete your background check; and/or 3) your renewal submission contained evidence that you may not satisfy the DACA renewal guidelines and USCIS must send you a request for additional information or explanation.

Old FAQ:

Q49:  When should I file my renewal request with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)? 

A49:  USCIS encourages you to submit your request for renewal approximately 120 days (or 4 months) before your current period of deferred action under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process expires.  If you have filed approximately 120 days before your deferred action and Employment Authorization Document (EAD) expire and USCIS is unexpectedly delayed in processing your renewal request, USCIS may provide deferred action and employment authorization for a short period of time until your renewal is adjudicated.  However, if you file your renewal request more than 150 days prior to the expiration of your current period of deferred action, USCIS may reject your submission and return it to you with instructions to resubmit your request closer to the expiration date.

 

New FAQ (Oct. 23)

Q50: Can I file a renewal request outside the recommended filing period of 150 to 120 days before my current DACA expires?

A50: Yes, you may submit your renewal request outside of the recommended filing window.

However:

  • If you file before the recommended filing window (meaning more than 150 days before your current period of DACA expires), USCIS may reject your submission and return it to you with instructions to resubmit your request within the recommended filing period.
  • If you file after the recommended filing period (meaning less than 120 days before your current period of DACA expires), USCIS will not consider providing you with any additional short-term period of deferred action and employment authorization before reaching a final decision on your renewal request. This will be true even if your current period of DACA expires while USCIS is considering your renewal request. 

 

If you file after your most recent DACA period expired, but within one year of its expiration, you may submit a request to renew your DACA. If you are filing beyond one year after your most recent period of DACA expired, you may still request DACA by submitting a new initial request.

 

New (Oct. 23)

 

Q54.  If I am no longer in school, can I still request to renew my DACA?

A54.  Yes. Neither Form I-821D nor the instructions ask renewal requestors for information about continued school enrollment or graduation. The instructions for renewal requests specify that you may be considered for DACA renewal if you met the guidelines for consideration of initial DACA, including the educational guidelines and:

  1. Did not depart the United States on or after August 15, 2012, without advance parole;
  2. Have continuously resided in the United States, up to the present time, since you submitted your most recent request for DACA that was approved; and
  3. Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or three or more misdemeanors, and are not a threat to national security or public safety.