United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it is currently preparing for the The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal process, and anticipates unveiling a new dual-use form (Form I-821D) in late May. The form will cover both original and renewal applicants. Recipients must wait until USCIS publishes the new form before submitting their renewal requests. Those who do wish to renew should remember that they must submit their applications at least 120 days before the expiration of their current statuses. For those who have not signed up for DACA yet, you must meet each of following criteria to be eligible:

  • You must have come to the U.S. prior to turning 16 years old
  • You must have continuously lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years immediately prior to June 15, 2012 and must have been present in the country on that date
  • You must have entered the U.S. without inspection before June 15, 2012, or had your lawful immigration status expire as of that date;
  • You must currently be in school, have graduated from high school, obtained a general education (GED) certificate, or be an honorably discharged veteran
  • You must not have been convicted of a felony offense, significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety
  • You must have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012.

A quick reminder: The main benefits of coming forward and applying for DACA is that those who qualify will have the protection of knowing that they will not be deported for their past immigration violations – and will be legally permitted to work in the United States. But, DACA does not grant any actual legal status to immigrants, and it is not a permanent measure.   If you are unsure whether to sign up for DACA in the first place, or have questions about renewing your DACA status, please consult with an immigration attorney before making this important decision.

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