DACA stands for Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals. On June 15, 2012, President Obama announced that the administration would not deport certain undocumented persons who entered the United States as children.
Deferred action means that even though the individual is undocumented and subject to deportation, the government agrees to “defer” any actions to remove them. It essentially allows young people to remain in the United States and apply for a work authorization document from the government that entitles them to legally work in the United States.
What are the DACA application fees?
The basic cost for a DACA application, not including lawyers' fees, is $85 ( for biometrics analysis) plus $380 (for a work authorization document fee), which totals $465. In terms of attorney fees, immigration lawyers set their own pricing schedules for their professional time and administrative processing to ensure that the DACA application is completed correctly and has an optimal chance of being approved.
If my application for DACA is approved, what immigration benefits will I receive?
If your DACA application is approved, you will receive the following benefits:
- You will receive a card with your photograph on it demonstrating your DACA status
- You will be protected from deportation
- You will receive an employment permit to work legally in the United States
- Once your work permit arrives in the mail, you will be eligible to apply for a Social Security Number, which will improve your employability and afford you the opportunity to receive certain governmental benefits and services. In addition, many companies, banks, and credit agencies ask for a Social Security Number in order to process customer transactions.
When Can I Apply for DACA?
Individuals who meet the eligibility requirements for DACA may submit new applications and renewals at the current juncture, consistent with the guidelines set forth in 2012. However, DACA Expansion is on hold currently due to a Federal Court Order and will only be effectuated if the Supreme Court renders a positive decision, as part of President Obama's Executive Action case.
To be clear, the original, existing DACA program is still being implemented and is not a subject of this case so anyone meeting the criteria is free to apply now. Please continue to visit our website where we will provide up-to-date information about any changes or news relating to the expansion of DACA.
Importantly, if you feel that you may meet the eligibility conditions for expanded DACA, we urge you to start collecting proofs and probative documentation so that you will be ready to submit your application should the Supreme Court approve expanded DACA.
How to Renew DACA
If your initial two-year grant of DACA is expiring, you may request a renewal. You may request a renewal if you meet the following criteria:
- You did not depart the United States on or after August 15, 2012 without advance parole
- You have continuously resided in the United States since you submitted your most recent DACA request that was approved
- You 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 DACA
At the Shulman Law Group, LLC, our immigration lawyers strongly encourage our DACA clients to submit their DACA renewal request between 150 days and 120 days before the expiration date located on their current Form I-797 DACA approval notice and Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
Filing during this window will minimize the possibility that their current period of DACA will expire before they receive a decision on their renewal request.
Renewing DACA After Current Period Expires
Our New Jersey-based Immigration Law Firm frequently receives calls from individuals asking what to do if they would like to renew DACA after their current period expired. Our immigration attorneys feel that it is important for these individuals to understand that they will accrue unlawful presence for any time between the periods of deferred action unless they were under 18 years of age at the time they submitted their renewal request. Also of critical import is the fact that they will not be authorized to work in the United States regardless of your age at the time of filing unless they receive a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS.