The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program offers employment authorization (work permit) and protection from deportation for certain people who qualify. The program is intended for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States by their parents when they were children. The DACA eligibility requirements can be a bit daunting for first-time applicants, but renewals are generally easier.
On January 20, 2021, President Biden issued a memorandum noting his administration’s intention to both preserve and fortify Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). While it is not yet clear what the word “fortify” may mean for the future of DACA, it is apparent that this administration has–at the very least–committed to preserving DACA in its original form.
The Eligibility Requirements
Only a limited amount of people qualify for this program. Under the policy, you must meet all of the following requirements to be eligible to apply:
- You must have entered the United States before the age of 16
- You must have been living in the United States since at least 2007
- You must have been 31 years old or younger as of June of 2012
- You must currently be attending high school, have already graduated from high school, or have obtained a GED
- You cannot have committed any serious criminal offense while in the United States
DACA Filing Process
The steps in the DACA renewal process are:
Step 1: Make sure that you qualify to renew your status before you begin the process. Do not submit a renewal application if you don’t qualify for DACA.
Step 2: Collect the information and supporting documents needed to complete your application package.
Step 3: Prepare and submit your application package to USCIS.
Step 4: The official receipt notice from USCIS will arrive in the mail.
Step 5: Your biometrics appointment notice will arrive in the mail.
Step 6: Complete your biometrics appointment.
Step 7: Your decision notice will arrive in the renewal decision should arrive in the mail. If approved, your new work card will be mailed to you.