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DACA Renewals: How to Renew your Deferred Action Application.

Last week, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced details of the renewal process for the hugely popular and successful deferred action for childhood arrivals program. Under this program, commonly known as “DACA” applicants are able to acquire a government issued social security number, employment authorization (work permit) and a California Driver’s license.  The program also defers any action on the applicant’s immigration status and protects them from removal and deportation.

Although Congress has largely managed to stall any progress on immigration reform, the DACA program stands out as a rare exception and a huge success for the Obama administration.  Critics of the program will point to the fact that the program does not offer any permanent solutions and forces applicants to reapply every two-years for a status that falls short of being permanent.  However, until Congress is able to break through the current grid-lock on immigration reform, DACA offers significant benefits to applicants who currently do not have any status in the United States. For example, applicants who qualify are able to seek employment and get a social security number and driver’s license. These documents help applicants establish a sense of identity and belonging in a country in which they grew up.

Attorney Sanjay Paul was one of the first lawyers in the country to start filing for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals applications when the process was announced in June 2012.  Mr. Paul focused on helping “Dreamers” establish that they satisfy the criteria for the program and has been very successful in getting applications approved.  Mr. Paul has represented undocumented immigrants qualify for this program by focusing on submitting the right kind of evidence and as a result his services have been heavily sought in this area.  Mr. Paul has represented clients from all over Southern California, the Central Valley, San Diego and New York in applying for and obtaining benefits through this program.

Requirements for Renewal:

In order for the renewal application to be successful, it should be submitted at the very least 120 days before the expiration of the current period of DACA.  This is to avoid a lapse of time and accrual of unlawful presence.  The earliest that an application can be submitted is 150 days before the expiration.

If the applicant has traveled outside of the country or has new criminal activity on their record, all paperwork associated with either of those situations must be submitted along with their application.  There is also a filing fee of $465.  If the status has expired and applicants seek renewal within one year of that expiration date, the applicant may file as a renewal.

Keep in mind that the window for new DACA applications is still open.  If you feel that you should apply, or if you would like to renew your application, contact Mr. Sanjay A. Paul at (626) 325-0770.

Disclaimer: The preceding article is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult with a lawyer about the individual facts of your case.