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What is DACA?

DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

When was it created and for whom?

DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood ArrivalsOn June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several key guidelines could request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization.  Individuals who could demonstrate through verifiable documentation that they meet these guidelines were considered for deferred action.  

What is the current state of the DACA program?

USICS (Immigration) is currently accepting DACA renewal applications.

USICS is not currently accepting initial DACA applications. 

The DACA program was rescinded in September of 2017, but legal challenges have made it possible for individuales who have had DACA previously to apply to renew their DACA.  In early 2018, federal courts in California and New York ordered the federal government to accept renewal applications while lawsuits challenging the administration's rescission of the DACA program proceed in court.  Therefore USICS is currently accepting DACA renewal applications. 

In April of 2018, a federal district court in Washington, D.C. recently ordered the federal government to also begin accepting initial DACA applications again. However, the decision is on hold to give the government a chance to explain why it cancelled DACA in the first place. Therefore, USICS is not currently accepting initial DACA applications.

How do I renew my DACA?

USCIS is accepting DACA renewal applications for individuals who currently have DACA or have ever had DACA in the past. 

  • Individuals whose DACA expired or was terminated before September 5, 2016 may reapply by filing as an initial DACA applicant. 
  • You may be able to apply early for your renewal!  USCIS is accepting DACA renewal applications filed more than six months before the applicant's current DACA expiration date. 
  • It is unclear how long USCIS will continue to accept DACA renewal applications.  We encourage anyone who may be eligible to renew to seek assistance as soon as possible.  

I've never had DACA before. Can I apply now?

USCIS is not accepting initial DACA applications for individuals who have never had DACA before, but may do so in the near future.  It is possible that the government may begin accepting initial DACA applications again as a result of current litigation.  

You can prepare by gathering documents that evidence that: 

  • you have been living in the U.S. since at least June 15, 2007
  • you arrived in the U.S. before your 16th birthday
  • you have graduated from high school in the U.S., received your GED, or are currently in school.

Please beware of notarios and always seek assistance from a reputable immigration attorney or BIA accredited representative.