DACA

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The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has been terminated, and USCIS will reject ALL new initial applications.

On September 5, 2017, President Trump directed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to phase out and eventually end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) over the next two and a half years.

On Jan. 13, 2018,  Due to a federal court order, USCIS resumed accepting requests to renew DACA, and began operating on the terms of Sept. 5, 2017, before the program was rescinded.

Who is eligible to apply for a DACA renewal?

  • Individuals who were previously granted DACA

Initial applicants:

  • USCIS will continue to process all pending INITIAL applications that were ACCEPTED by September 5, 2017. USCIS will reject ANY new initial applications!
  • If you previously received DACA and your DACA expired before Sept. 5, 2016, or your DACA was previously terminated at any time, you cannot request DACA as a renewal (because renewal requests typically must be submitted within one year of the expiration date of your last period of DACA), BUT you may  file a new initial DACA request ONLY IF you are filing a new initial DACA request because your DACA expired before Sept. 5, 2016, or because it was terminated at any time.

Renewal Applicants:

  • USCIS will continue to process all pending RENEWAL applications that were ACCEPTED by October 5, 2017 and continue to process incoming DACA renewals, until further notice.
  • If you previously received DACA and your DACA expired on or after Sept. 5, 2016, you may still file your DACA request as a renewal request.

WORK PERMITS

DACA recipients with work permits, also known as Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) will remain valid until they expire or the government terminates DACA.

  • If you currently have an unexpired work permit under DACA, you are ALLOWED to keep your work permit and you have the right to work legally until your work permit’s expiration date.
  • You have no obligation to inform your employer that DACA has ended. Your employer does NOT have the right to ask you whether you are a DACA recipient or how you got your work permit.
  • Even though DACA is winding down, your employer does not have the right to fire you, put you on leave, or change your work status until AFTER your work permit has expired. If your expiration date is nearing, your employer may ask you for an updated work permit but CANNOT take any action against you until AFTER it is expired.
  • You still have the right to apply for a new job or change jobs until your work permit expires.

SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS (SSNs)

  • Your SSN is VALID for life; even once your work permit and DACA permit expire. If you have not done so already, APPLY for an SSN while your DACA and work permit are still VALID!
  • You CAN and SHOULD continue to use the SSN you got under DACA as your SSN even after your work permit expires. You can use your SSN for education, banking, housing and other purposes.

Note: Your SSN contains a condition on it that requires a valid work permit to use it for employment purposes.

CA Driver’s Licenses (DLs) and Other Identification Documents (IDs)

  • In California, you can obtain a CA drivers license and state ID with DACA so If you have not already done so, apply for your CA drivers license and/or state ID if your DACA is still valid.
    California also has the AB-60 License, a drivers license for undocumented immigrants, click here for more information on AB-60 and how to apply.

 

ADVANCED PAROLE WITH DACA

The September 5th announcement also made important changes to DACA recipients’ ability to travel outside of the country through advance parole.

USCIS will do the following in regards to Advance Parole:

  • REJECT all new applications for advance parole.
  • Administratively CLOSE all pending applications for advance parole and refund the filing fee.

Previously approved grants of advance parole remain valid and DACA recipients have the ability to leave and return to the United States within the dates provided in the travel document.

  • USCIS states that DACA recipients currently outside of the country traveling with a valid grant of advance parole SHOULD be able to return to the country as long as they do so before their grant of advance parole expires.
  • However, U.S. Customs and Border Protection retains the DISCRETION to deny re-entry into the country and it is NOT guaranteed that DACA recipients traveling with advance parole will be allowed to re-enter the country.

SPEAK with an attorney to determine potential risks before applying or traveling with advance parole.

HELPFUL LINKS:

DACA Application Forms

DACA Frequently Asked Questions

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