USCIS Implementing DACA Renewal Process for DREAMers

1277878_check_list.jpgAmid the national debate on comprehensive immigration reform, one topic that political pundits have discussed ad nauseam is how to address the needs of the undocumented foreign nationals who were brought to the U.S. as children. This population is commonly referred to as "DREAMers." Since Congress has not yet agreed on a citizenship pathway or any other immigration solution for DREAMers, in June 2012 President Obama announced the implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, otherwise known as DACA.

Since 2012, DREAMers could apply for DACA, and if their applications were approved, they would enjoy a temporary suspension of deportation proceedings and could also receive work authorization. The agency that reviews and approved (or denies) the DACA applications is called U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

USCIS operates within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Recently, DHS Secretary Mr. Jeh Johnson announced that USCIS has renewed enrollment for DACA and that this renewed enrollment is effective immediately. Moreover, Secretary Johnson affirmed that USCIS will also continue to review and approve applications for initial grants of DACA benefits. Both of these announcements have been met with great praise from the DREAMer population and immigrant-rights advocacy groups. Since more than 560,000 DREAMers have already received DACA benefits since June 2012, there are likely thousands more undocumented foreign nationals who will be able to take advantage of the DACA program and receive work authorization and deferred action.

Secretary Johnson made this announcement because of concerns that DREAMers would soon find themselves without their DACA benefits, since the initial grant of these benefits are set to expire in September 2014. If the benefits were to expire, DREAMers could again be susceptible to deportation proceedings and would again find themselves without work authorization. Thankfully, USCIS and DHS worked together to offer DREAMers the opportunity to extend their DACA benefits.

Similar to all other immigration statuses, it is exceptionally important for DREAMers to send in their DACA renewal applications as soon as possible to avoid any delays or lapses in work authorization. Therefore, the DHS highly recommends that DREAMers send their renewal applications to USCIS four months before their current benefits are set to expire.

In order to help DREAMers with their renewal applications, and to educate the public about the DACA program, USCIS will host local and national information sessions about the program. After USCIS confirms the details for these events, the agency will inform the public of the locations, times, and dates for the sessions. For more information, visit USCIS's website at

If you are an undocumented foreign national who was brought to the U.S. as a child, you may be eligible for DACA! Some of the eligibility requirements you must meet in order to receive DACA benefits include continuously residing in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, completing high school or a GED program or honorably serving in one of the branches of the U.S. armed forces, and having no convictions for felony crimes, serious misdemeanor crimes, or three or more misdemeanor crimes.

Don't know if you are eligible for DACA? Don't worry! Contact our office today at 650-293-0270 to speak to a knowledgeable immigration attorney about the DACA application or renewal process!

Additional Blog Posts

Applying for an Immigration DREAM is actually a Complex Process, Silicon Valley Immigration Lawyer Blog, August 16, 2012
Reform Bill Increases Immigration Opportunities for Afghan Nationals, Silicon Valley Immigration Lawyer Blog, July 23, 2013

Immigration News / by Michelle Gee