Wondering about renewing DACA? You’re not alone.

In September of 2014, around 150 days (5 months) from now, the first DACA recipients’ work permits will begin to expire. Many DACA recipients (and their advocates) have started to wonder about the process for renewing their status and work authorization, especially because the typical time-frame for receiving an initial grant of DACA is around 180 days, or six months. So far, however, the immigration service has not published finalized instructions about how to renew deferred action for those who have received it since it was first announced in 2012.

On April 9, 2014, USCIS published an “Outline to request renewal of DACA.” The outline indicates that final instructions will be published, along with new forms for renewing and receiving initial grants of DACA, in late May of 2014. The outline also indicates that USCIS will “not accept requests [for renewal] made earlier than 150 days prior to [the] expiration date” printed on the front of the Employment Authorization Document. The outline instructs applicants to submit their renewal requests “approximately 120 days (or 4 months) before” the current period of DACA expires. Unfortunately for some who received DACA in the earliest days of the program, the 120 day period prior to expiration will already be well underway by the time the renewal process is publicized.

If you received a grant of DACA in the fall of 2012, stay tuned and ready for the publication of final instructions about renewal. If we all remain vigilant, we can avoid gaps in status or work authorization as we go about the process of renewing this new and unfamiliar benefit. Clients of WGV are encouraged to make an appointment with Diana Arellano, DACA Case Manager, no later than six months prior to the expiration of your status.

Jennifer Walker Gates On G+