— BREAKING DACA RENEWAL UPDATE —

Due to a federal court order, USCIS has resumed accepting requests to renew a grant of deferred action under DACA. Until further notice, and unless otherwise provided in this guidance, the DACA policy will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded on Sept. 5, 2017.

USCIS is not accepting requests from individuals who have never before been granted deferred action under DACA.  USCIS will not accept or approve advance parole requests from DACA recipients. For more information, CLICK HERE.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WELCOME TO OUR FAQ PAGE! CLICK ON ANY OF THE TOPICS BELOW TO VIEW THE RELATED QUESTIONS.

Our FAQ is from the USCIS DACA Toolkit. For a complete guide and FAQ please download the Toolkit: DACA Toolkit

GENERAL DACA QUESTIONS

WHAT IS DEFERRED ACTION?

Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer a removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. For purposes of future inadmissibility based upon unlawful presence, an individual whose case has been deferred is not considered to be unlawfully present during the period in which deferred action is in effect. An individual who has received deferred action is authorized by DHS to be present in the United States, and is therefore considered by DHS to be lawfully present during the period deferred action is in effect. However, deferred action does not confer lawful status upon an individual, nor does it excuse any previous or subsequent periods of unlawful presence.

Under existing regulations, an individual whose case has been deferred is eligible to receive employment authorization for the period of deferred action, provided he or she can demonstrate “an economic necessity for employment.” DHS can terminate or renew deferred action at any time, at the agency’s discretion.

IS THERE ANY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “DEFERRED ACTION” AND DACA UNDER THIS PROCESS?

DACA is one form of deferred action. The relief an individual receives under DACA is identical for immigration purposes to the relief obtained by any person who receives deferred action as an act of prosecutorial discretion.

IF MY REMOVAL IS DEFERRED UNDER THE CONSIDERATION OF DACA, AM I ELIGIBLE FOR EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION?

YES. Under existing regulations, if your case is deferred, you may obtain employment authorization from USCIS provided you can demonstrate an economic necessity for employment.

IF MY CASE IS DEFERRED, AM I IN LAWFUL STATUS FOR THE PERIOD OF DEFERRAL?

NO. Although action on your case has been deferred and you do not accrue unlawful presence (for admissibility purposes) during the period of deferred action, deferred action does not confer any lawful status.

The fact that you are not accruing unlawful presence does not change whether you are in lawful status while you remain in the United States. However, although deferred action does not confer a lawful immigration status, your period of stay is authorized by the Department of Homeland Security while your deferred action is in effect and, for admissibility purposes, you are considered to be lawfully present in the United States during that time. Individuals granted deferred action are not precluded by Federal law from establishing domicile in the United States. 

Apart from the immigration laws, “lawful presence,” “lawful status,” and similar terms are used in various other Federal and State laws. For information on how those laws affect individuals who receive a favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion under DACA, please contact the appropriate Federal, State, or local authorities.

CAN I RENEW MY PERIOD OF DEFERRED ACTION AND EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION UNDER DACA?

YES. You may request consideration for a renewal of your DACA. Your request for a renewal will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If USCIS renews its exercise of discretion under DACA for your case, you will receive deferred action for another 2 years, and if you demonstrate an economic necessity for employment, you may receive employment authorization throughout that period.

SOMEONE TOLD ME IF I PAY THEM A FEE, THEY CAN EXPEDITE MY DACA REQUEST. IS THIS TRUE?

NO. There is no expedited processing for deferred action. Dishonest practitioners may promise to provide you with faster services if you pay them a fee. These people are trying to scam you and take your money. Visit our Avoid Scams page to learn how you can protect yourself from immigration scams. Make sure you seek information about requests for consideration of DACA from official government sources such as USCIS or the DHS. If you are seeking legal advice, visit our Find Legal Services page to learn how to choose a licensed attorney or accredited representative.

ELIGIBILITY QUESTIONS

For the general list of guidelines go to our Eligibility Page.

I FIRST CAME TO THE UNITED STATES BEFORE I TURNED 16 YEARS OLD AND HAVE BEEN CONTINUOUSLY RESIDING IN THE UNITED STATES SINCE AT LEAST JUNE 15, 2007. BEFORE I TURNED 16 YEARS OLD, HOWEVER, I LEFT THE UNITED STATES FOR SOME PERIOD OF TIME BEFORE RETURNING AND BEGINNING MY CURRENT PERIOD OF CONTINUOUS RESIDENCE. MAY I BE CONSIDERED FOR DEFERRED ACTION UNDER THIS PROCESS?

YES, but only if you established residence in the United States during the period before you turned 16 years old, as evidenced, for example, by records showing you attended school or worked in the United States during that time, or that you lived in the United States for multiple years during that time. In addition to establishing that you initially resided in the United States before you turned 16 years old, you must also have maintained continuous residence in the United States from June 15, 2007, until the present time to be considered for deferred action under this process.

TO PROVE MY CONTINUOUS RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES SINCE JUNE 15, 2007, MUST I PROVIDE EVIDENCE DOCUMENTING MY PRESENCE FOR EVERY DAY, OR EVERY MONTH, OF THAT PERIOD?

To meet the continuous residence guideline, you must submit documentation that shows you have been living in the United States from June 15, 2007, up until the time of your request. You should provide documentation to account for as much of the period as reasonably possible, but there is no requirement that every day or month of that period be specifically accounted for through direct evidence.

It is helpful to USCIS if you can submit evidence of your residence during at least each year of the period. USCIS will review the documentation in its totality to determine whether it is more likely than not that you were continuously residing in the United States for the period since June 15, 2007. Gaps in the documentation as to certain periods may raise doubts as to your continued residence if, for example, the gaps are lengthy or the record otherwise indicates that you may have been outside the United States for a period of time that was not brief, casual, or innocent.

If gaps in your documentation raise questions, USCIS may issue a Request for Evidence to allow you to submit additional documentation that supports your claimed continuous residence.

Affidavits may be submitted to explain a gap in the documentation demonstrating that you meet the fiveyear continuous residence requirement. If you submit affidavits related to the continuous residence requirement, you must submit two or more affidavits, sworn to or affirmed by people other than yourself who have direct personal knowledge of the events and circumstances during the period as to which there is a gap in the documentation. Affidavits may only be used to explain gaps in your continuous residence; they cannot be used as evidence that you meet the entire 5-year continuous residence requirement.

DOES “CURRENTLY IN SCHOOL” REFER TO THE DATE ON WHICH THE REQUEST FOR CONSIDERATION OF DEFERRED ACTION IS FILED?
To be considered “currently in school” under the guidelines, you must be enrolled in school on the date you submit a request for consideration of deferred action under this process.
WHO IS CONSIDERED TO BE “CURRENTLY IN SCHOOL” UNDER THE GUIDELINES?

To be considered “currently in school” under the guidelines, you must be enrolled in:
• A public, private, or charter elementary school, junior high or middle school, high school, secondary school, alternative program, or homeschool program meeting State requirements;
• An education, literacy, or career training program (including vocational training) that has a purpose of improving literacy, mathematics, or English or is designed to lead to placement in postsecondary education, job training, or employment and where you are working toward such placement; or
• An education program assisting students either in obtaining a regular high school diploma or its recognized equivalent under State law (including a certificate of completion, certificate of attendance, or alternate award), or in passing a GED exam or other State authorized exam (e.g., HiSet or TASC) in the United States.

These education, literacy, career training programs (including vocational training), or education programs assisting students in obtaining a regular high school diploma or its recognized equivalent under State law, or in passing a GED exam or other State–authorized exam in the United States include but are not limited to programs funded, in whole or in part, by Federal, State, county or municipal grants or administered by nonprofit organizations. Programs funded by other sources may qualify if they are administered by providers of demonstrated effectiveness, such as institutions of higher education, including community colleges and certain community-based organizations.

In assessing whether such programs not funded in whole or in part by Federal, State, county, or municipal grants or administered by nonprofit organizations are of demonstrated effectiveness, USCIS will consider the duration of the program’s existence; the program’s track record in assisting students in obtaining a regular high school diploma or its recognized equivalent, in passing a GED or other State-authorized exam (e.g., HiSet or TASC), or in placing students in postsecondary education, job training, or employment; and other indicators of the program’s overall quality. For individuals seeking to demonstrate that they are “currently in school” through enrollment in such a program, the burden is on the requestor to show the program’s demonstrated effectiveness.

IF I AM ENROLLED IN A LITERACY OR CAREER TRAINING PROGRAM, CAN I MEET THE GUIDELINES?

YES, in certain circumstances. You may meet the guidelines if you are enrolled in an education, literacy, or career training program that has a purpose of improving literacy, mathematics, or English or is designed to lead to placement in postsecondary education, job training, or employment and where you are working toward such placement. Such programs include but are not limited to programs funded, in whole or in part by Federal, State, county or municipal grants, or are administered by nonprofit organizations, or, if funded by other sources, programs of demonstrated effectiveness.

IF I AM ENROLLED IN AN ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE (ESL) PROGRAM, CAN I MEET THE GUIDELINES?

YES, in certain circumstances. Enrollment in an ESL program may be used to meet the guidelines if the ESL program is funded in whole or in part by Federal, State, county or municipal grants, or administered by nonprofit organizations, or, if funded by other sources, is a program of demonstrated effectiveness. You must submit direct documentary evidence that the program is funded in whole or part by Federal, State, county, or municipal grants, administered by a nonprofit organization, or of demonstrated effectiveness.

MAY I FILE AFFIDAVITS AS PROOF THAT I MEET THE INITIAL GUIDELINES FOR CONSIDERATION OF DACA?

Affidavits generally will not be sufficient on their own to demonstrate that you meet the guidelines for USCIS to consider you for DACA. However, affidavits may be used to support meeting the following guidelines only if the documentary evidence available to you is insufficient or lacking:

• Demonstrating that you meet the 5-year continuous residence requirement; and
• Establishing that departures during the required period of continuous residence were brief, casual, and innocent.

If you submit affidavits related to the above criteria, you must submit two or more affidavits, sworn to or affirmed by people other than yourself, who have direct personal knowledge of the events and circumstances. Should USCIS determine that the affidavits are insufficient to overcome the unavailability or the lack of documentary evidence with respect to either of these guidelines, it will issue a Request for Evidence indicating that further evidence must be submitted to demonstrate that you meet these guidelines.
USCIS will not accept affidavits as proof of satisfying the following guidelines:

• You are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion or other alternate award from high school, have obtained a high school equivalency diploma or certificate (such as by passing the GED exam or other Stateauthorized exam [for example, HiSet or TASC]), or are an honorably discharged veteran from the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
• You were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
• You came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
• You were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012; and
• Your criminal history, if applicable.

If the only evidence you submit to demonstrate you meet any of the above guidelines is an affidavit, USCIS will issue a Request for Evidence indicating that you have not demonstrated that you meet these guidelines and that you must do so in order to demonstrate that you meet that guideline.

WILL I BE CONSIDERED TO BE IN UNLAWFUL STATUS IF I HAD AN APPLICATION FOR ASYLUM OR CANCELLATION OF REMOVAL PENDING BEFORE EITHER USCIS OR THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE FOR IMMIGRATION REVIEW (EOIR) ON JUNE 15, 2012?

YES. If you had an application for asylum or cancellation of removal, or similar relief, pending before either USCIS or EOIR as of June 15, 2012, but had no lawful status, you may request consideration of DACA.

I WAS ADMITTED FOR “DURATION OF STATUS” OR FOR A PERIOD OF TIME THAT EXTENDED PAST JUNE 14, 2012, BUT VIOLATED MY IMMIGRATION STATUS (E.G., BY ENGAGING IN UNAUTHORIZED EMPLOYMENT, FAILING TO REPORT TO MY EMPLOYER, OR FAILING TO PURSUE A FULL COURSE OF STUDY) BEFORE JUNE 15, 2012. MAY I BE CONSIDERED FOR DEFERRED ACTION UNDER THIS PROCESS?

NO, unless the Executive Office for Immigration Review terminated your status by issuing a final order of removal against you before June 15, 2012.

I WAS ADMITTED FOR “DURATION OF STATUS” OR FOR A PERIOD OF TIME THAT EXTENDED PAST JUNE 14, 2012, BUT “AGED OUT” OF MY DEPENDENT NONIMMIGRANT STATUS AS OF JUNE 15, 2012. MAY I BE CONSIDERED FOR DEFERRED ACTION UNDER THIS PROCESS?

YES. For purposes of satisfying the “had no lawful status on June 15, 2012,” guideline alone, if you were admitted for “duration of status” or for a period of time that extended past June 14, 2012, but “aged out” of your dependent nonimmigrant status on or before June 15, 2012 (meaning you turned 21 years old on or before June 15, 2012), you may be considered for deferred action under this process.

I WAS ADMITTED FOR “DURATION OF STATUS” BUT MY STATUS IN SEVIS IS LISTED AS TERMINATED ON OR BEFORE JUNE 15, 2012. MAY I BE CONSIDERED FOR DEFERRED ACTION UNDER THIS PROCESS?

YES.For the purposes of satisfying the “had no lawful status on June 15, 2012,” guideline alone, if your status as of June 15, 2012, is listed as “terminated” in SEVIS, you may be considered for deferred action under this process.

I AM A CANADIAN CITIZEN WHO WAS INSPECTED BY CBP BUT WAS NOT ISSUED AN I-94 AT THE TIME OF ADMISSION. MAY I BE CONSIDERED FOR DEFERRED ACTION UNDER THIS PROCESS?

In general, a Canadian citizen who was admitted as a visitor for business or pleasure and not issued an I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, (also known as a “non-controlled” Canadian nonimmigrant) is lawfully admitted for a period of 6 months. For that reason, unless there is evidence, including verifiable evidence provided by the individual, that he or she was specifically advised that his or her admission would be for a different length of time, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will consider, for DACA purposes only, that the alien was lawfully admitted for a period of 6 months. Therefore, if DHS is able to verify from its records that your last non-controlled entry occurred on or before Dec. 14, 2011, DHS will consider your nonimmigrant visitor status to have expired as of June 15, 2012, and you may be considered for deferred action under this process.

I USED MY BORDER CROSSING CARD (BCC) TO OBTAIN ADMISSION TO THE UNITED STATES AND WAS NOT ISSUED AN I-94 AT THE TIME OF ADMISSION. MAY I BE CONSIDERED FOR DEFERRED ACTION UNDER THIS PROCESS?

Because the limitations on entry for a BCC holder vary based on location of admission and travel, DHS will assume that the BCC holder who was not provided an I-94 was admitted for the longest period legally possible—30 days—unless the individual can demonstrate, through verifiable evidence, that he or she was specifically advised that his or her admission would be for a different length of time. Accordingly, if DHS is able to verify from its records that your last admission was using a BCC, you were not issued an I-94 at the time of admission, and it occurred on or before May 14, 2012, DHS will consider your nonimmigrant visitor status to have expired as of June 15, 2012, and you may be considered for deferred action under this process.

DO I ACCRUE UNLAWFUL PRESENCE IF I HAVE A PENDING INITIAL REQUEST FOR CONSIDERATION OF DACA?

You will continue to accrue unlawful presence while the request for consideration of DACA is pending unless you are under 18 years of age at the time of the request. If you are under 18 years of age at the time you submit your request, you will not accrue unlawful presence while the request is pending, even if you turn 18 while your request is pending with USCIS. If action on your case is deferred, you will not accrue unlawful presence during the period of deferred action. However, having action deferred on your case will not excuse previously accrued unlawful presence.

TRAVEL QUESTIONS

MAY I TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES BEFORE I SUBMIT AN INITIAL DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS (DACA) REQUEST OR WHILE MY INITIAL DACA REQUEST REMAINS PENDING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (DHS)?

Any unauthorized travel outside of the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, will interrupt your continuous residence and you will not be considered for deferred action under this process. Any travel outside of the United States that occurred on or after June 15, 2007, but before Aug. 15, 2012, will be assessed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to determine whether the travel qualifies as brief, casual, and innocent.
CAUTION: You should be aware that if you have been ordered deported or removed, and you then leave the United States, your departure will likely result in your being considered deported or removed, with potentially serious future immigration consequences.

IF MY CASE IS DEFERRED UNDER DACA, WILL I BE ABLE TO TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES?

Not automatically. If USCIS has decided to defer action in your case and you want to travel outside the United States, you must apply for advance parole by filing a Form I-131, Application for Travel Document and paying the applicable fee ($360). USCIS will determine whether your purpose for international travel is justifiable based on the circumstances you describe in your request. Generally, USCIS will only grant advance parole if your travel abroad will be in furtherance of: • Humanitarian purposes, including travel to obtain medical treatment, attending funeral services for a family member, or visiting an ailing relative; • Educational purposes, such as semester-abroad programs and academic research; or • Employment purposes such as overseas assignments, interviews, conferences, training, or meetings with clients overseas. Travel for vacation is not a valid basis for advance parole. You may not apply for advance parole unless and until USCIS defers action in your case under the consideration of DACA. You cannot apply for advance parole at the same time as you submit your request for consideration of DACA. All advance parole requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If USCIS has deferred action in your case under the DACA process after you have been ordered deported or removed, you may still request advance parole if you meet the guidelines for advance parole described above. CAUTION: However, for those individuals who have been ordered deported or removed, before you actually leave the United States, you should seek to reopen your case before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) and obtain administrative closure or termination of your removal proceeding. Even after you have asked EOIR to reopen your case, you should not leave the United States until after EOIR has granted your request. If you depart after being ordered deported or removed, and your removal proceeding has not been reopened and administratively closed or terminated, your departure may result in your being considered deported or removed, with potentially serious future immigration consequences. If you have any questions about this process, you may contact U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) through the local ICE Office of the Chief Counsel with jurisdiction over your case. CAUTION: If you travel outside the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, without first receiving advance parole, your departure automatically terminates your deferred action under DACA.

It is helpful to USCIS if you can submit evidence of your residence during at least each year of the period. USCIS will review the documentation in its totality to determine whether it is more likely than not that you were continuously residing in the United States for the period since June 15, 2007. Gaps in the documentation as to certain periods may raise doubts as to your continued residence if, for example, the gaps are lengthy or the record otherwise indicates that you may have been outside the United States for a period of time that was not brief, casual, or innocent.

If gaps in your documentation raise questions, USCIS may issue a Request for Evidence to allow you to submit additional documentation that supports your claimed continuous residence.

Affidavits may be submitted to explain a gap in the documentation demonstrating that you meet the fiveyear continuous residence requirement. If you submit affidavits related to the continuous residence requirement, you must submit two or more affidavits, sworn to or affirmed by people other than yourself who have direct personal knowledge of the events and circumstances during the period as to which there is a gap in the documentation. Affidavits may only be used to explain gaps in your continuous residence; they cannot be used as evidence that you meet the entire 5-year continuous residence requirement.

DO BRIEF DEPARTURES FROM THE UNITED STATES INTERRUPT THE CONTINUOUS RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT?
A brief, casual, and innocent absence from the United States will not interrupt your continuous residence. If you were absent from the United States, your absence will be considered brief, casual, and innocent if it was on or after June 15, 2007, and before Aug. 15, 2012, and: 1. The absence was short and reasonably calculated to accomplish the purpose for the absence; 2. The absence was not because of an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal; 3. The absence was not because of an order of voluntary departure, or an administrative grant of voluntary departure before you were placed in exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings; and 4. The purpose of the absence and/or your actions while outside the United States were not contrary to law. Once USCIS has approved your request for DACA, you may file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, to request advance parole to travel outside of the United States.
CAUTION: If you travel outside the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, without first receiving advance parole, your departure automatically terminates your deferred action under DACA.
MAY I FILE A REQUEST FOR ADVANCE PAROLE CONCURRENTLY WITH MY DACA PACKAGE?

Concurrent filing of advance parole is not an option at this time. DHS is, however, reviewing its policy on concurrent filing of advance parole with a DACA request. In addition, DHS is also reviewing eligibility criteria for advance parole. If any changes to this policy are made, USCIS will update this FAQ and inform the public accordingly.

CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS

WHAT OFFENSES QUALIFY AS A FELONY?

A felony is a Federal, State, or local criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year.CAUTION: You should be aware that if you have been ordered deported or removed, and you then leave the United States, your departure will likely result in your being considered deported or removed, with potentially serious future immigration consequences.

WHAT OFFENSES CONSTITUTE A SIGNIFICANT MISDEMEANOR?

For the purposes of this process, a significant misdemeanor is a misdemeanor as defined by Federal law (specifically, one for which the maximum term of imprisonment authorized is 1 year or less but greater than 5 days) and that meets the following criteria:

1. Regardless of the sentence imposed, is an offense of domestic violence, sexual abuse or exploitation, burglary, unlawful possession or use ofa firearm, drug distribution or trafficking, or driving under the influence; or
2. If not an offense listed above, is one for which the individual was sentenced to time in custody of more than 90 days. The sentence must involve time to be served in custody, and therefore does not include a suspended sentence.

The time in custody does not include any time served beyond the sentence for the criminal offense based on a State or local law enforcement agency honoring a detainer issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Notwithstanding the above, the decision whether to defer action in a particular case is an individualized, discretionary one that is made taking into account the totality of the circumstances. Therefore, the absence of the criminal history outlined above, or its presence, is not necessarily determinative, but is a factor to be considered in the unreviewable exercise of discretion. DHS retains the discretion to determine that an individual does not warrant deferred action on the basis of a single criminal offense for which the individual was sentenced to time in custody of 90 days or less.

It is helpful to USCIS if you can submit evidence of your residence during at least each year of the period. USCIS will review the documentation in its totality to determine whether it is more likely than not that you were continuously residing in the United States for the period since June 15, 2007. Gaps in the documentation as to certain periods may raise doubts as to your continued residence if, for example, the gaps are lengthy or the record otherwise indicates that you may have been outside the United States for a period of time that was not brief, casual, or innocent.

If gaps in your documentation raise questions, USCIS may issue a Request for Evidence to allow you to submit additional documentation that supports your claimed continuous residence.

Affidavits may be submitted to explain a gap in the documentation demonstrating that you meet the fiveyear continuous residence requirement. If you submit affidavits related to the continuous residence requirement, you must submit two or more affidavits, sworn to or affirmed by people other than yourself who have direct personal knowledge of the events and circumstances during the period as to which there is a gap in the documentation. Affidavits may only be used to explain gaps in your continuous residence; they cannot be used as evidence that you meet the entire 5-year continuous residence requirement.

WHAT OFFENSES CONSTITUTE A NON-SIGNIFICANT MISDEMEANOR?

For purposes of this process, a non-significant misdemeanor is any misdemeanor as defined by Federal law (specifically, one for which the maximum term of imprisonment authorized is 1 year or less but greater than 5 days) and that meets the following criteria:

1. Is not an offense of domestic violence, sexual abuse or exploitation, burglary, unlawful possession or use of a firearm, drug distribution or trafficking, or driving under the influence; and
2. Is one for which the individual was sentenced to time in custody of 90 days or less. The time in custody does not include any time served beyond the sentence for the criminal offense based on a State or local law enforcement agency honoring a detainer issued by ICE.

Notwithstanding the above, the decision whether to defer action in a particular case is an individualized, discretionary one that is made taking into account the totality of the circumstances. Therefore, the absence of the criminal history outlined above, or its presence, is not necessarily determinative, but is a factor to be considered in the unreviewable exercise of discretion.CAUTION: If you travel outside the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, without first receiving advance parole, your departure automatically terminates your deferred action under DACA.

IF I HAVE A MINOR TRAFFIC OFFENSE, SUCH AS DRIVING WITHOUT A LICENSE, WILL IT BE CONSIDERED A NONSIGNIFICANT MISDEMEANOR THAT COUNTS TOWARDS THE “THREE OR MORE NON-SIGNIFICANT MISDEMEANORS” MAKING ME UNABLE TO RECEIVE CONSIDERATION FOR AN EXERCISE OF PROSECUTORIAL DISCRETION UNDER THIS NEW PROCESS?

A minor traffic offense will not be considered a misdemeanor for purposes of this process. However, your entire offense history can be considered along with other facts to determine whether, under the totality of the circumstances, you warrant an exercise of prosecutorial discretion.
It is important to emphasize that driving under the influence is a significant misdemeanor regardless of the sentence imposed.

WHAT QUALIFIES AS A NATIONAL SECURITY OR PUBLIC SAFETY THREAT?

If the background check or other information uncovered during the review of your request for deferred action indicates that your presence in the United States threatens public safety or national security, you will not be able to receive consideration for an exercise of prosecutorial discretion except where DHS determines there are exceptional circumstances. Indicators that youpose such a threat include, but are not limited to: gang membership, participation in criminal activities, or participation in activities that threaten the United States.

WILL OFFENSES CRIMINALIZED AS FELONIES OR MISDEMEANORS BY STATE IMMIGRATION LAWS BE CONSIDERED FELONIES OR MISDEMEANORS FOR PURPOSE OF THIS PROCESS?

NO. Immigration-related offenses characterized as felonies or misdemeanors by State immigration laws will not be treated as disqualifying felonies or misdemeanors for the purpose of considering a request for consideration of deferred action under this process.

WILL DHS CONSIDER MY EXPUNGED OR JUVENILE CONVICTION AS AN OFFENSE MAKING ME UNABLE TO RECEIVE AN EXERCISE OF PROSECUTORIAL DISCRETION?

Expunged convictions and juvenile convictions will not automatically disqualify you. Your request will be assessed on a case-by-case basis to determine whether, under the particular circumstances, a favorable exercise of prosecutorial discretion is warranted. If you were a juvenile, but tried and convicted as an adult, you will be treated as an adult for purposes of the DACA process.

DACA RENEWAL QUESTIONS

WHEN SHOULD I FILE MY RENEWAL REQUEST WITH U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES (USCIS)?

USCIS encourages you to submit your request for renewal approximately 120 days (or 4 months) before your current period of deferred action under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process expires. If you have filed approximately 120 days before your deferred action and Employment Authorization Document (EAD) expire and USCIS is unexpectedly delayed in processing your renewal request, USCIS may provide deferred action and employment authorization for a short period of time until your renewal is adjudicated. However, if you file your renewal request more than 150 days prior to the expiration of your current period of deferred action, USCIS may reject your submission and return it to you with instructions to resubmit your request closer to the expiration date.

HOW WILL USCIS EVALUATE MY REQUEST FOR RENEWAL OF DACA?

You may be considered for renewal of DACA if you met the guidelines for consideration of Initial DACA (see above) AND you:

1. Did not depart the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, without advance parole;
2. Have continuously resided in the United States since you submitted your most recent request for DACA that was approved up to the present time; and
3. 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.

These guidelines must be met for consideration of DACA renewal. USCIS retains the ultimate discretion to determine whether deferred action is appropriate in any given case even if the guidelines are met.

DO I ACCRUE UNLAWFUL PRESENCE IF I AM SEEKING RENEWAL AND MY PREVIOUS PERIOD OF DACA EXPIRES BEFORE I RECEIVE A RENEWAL OF DEFERRED ACTION UNDER DACA? SIMILARLY, WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO MY WORK AUTHORIZATION?

YES, if your previous period of DACA expires before you receive a renewal of deferred action under DACA, you will accrue unlawful presence for any time between the periods of deferred action unless you are under 18 years of age at the time you submit your renewal request.

Similarly, if your previous period of DACA expires before you receive a renewal of deferred action under DACA, you will not be authorized to work in the United States regardless of your age at time of filing until and unless you receive a new employment authorization document from USCIS.
However, if you have filed your renewal request with USCIS approximately 120 days before your deferred action and EAD expire and USCIS is unexpectedly delayed in processing your renewal request, USCIS may provide deferred action and employment authorization for a short period of time.

DO I NEED TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS WHEN I REQUEST RENEWAL OF DEFERRED ACTION UNDER DACA?

NO, unless you have new documents pertaining to removal proceedings or criminal history that you have not already submitted to USCIS in a previously approved DACA request. USCIS, however, reserves the authority to request at its discretion additional documents, information, or Statements relating to a DACA renewal request determination.
CAUTION: If you knowingly and willfully provide materially false information on Form I-821D, you will be committing a Federal felony punishable by a fine, or imprisonment up to 5 years, or both, under 18 U.S.C. Section 1001. In addition, individuals may be placed into removal proceedings, face severe penalties provided by law, and be subject to criminal prosecution.