Approximately two (2) years ago the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) passed a law in which individuals who had either (a) entered the country illegally; or (b) overstayed their visa were entitled to remain in the country and obtain work authorization if they met the following requirements:
1) Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
2) Entered the United States before reaching his/her 16th birthday
3) Has resided continuously in the United States wince June 15, 2007 to present time (i.e. any trips outside the United States were merely for vacation or emergency)
4) Has graduated from high school, is currently enrolled in high school or a literacy program, or, in the alternative, has obtained a G.E.D.
5) Has not committed a felony, or three (3) or more misdemeanors.
If you have not applied for DACA, please contact this office, they are still accepting first time Applicants.
If you have applied for DACA and need a renewal this are the things to consider:
Approximately One Hundred and Fifty (150) days before the expiration of your Work Authorization card you should put your application in for extension. This timeline is key, for if you apply within the correct period of time the government should be able to grant or deny your file before your work authorization expires.
If you apply for the extension at least One Hundred and Twenty (120) days before the expiration of your work authorization, and you have not heard an answer regarding your renewal, Immigration will most likely extend your work authorization for a short period of time while we wait for an answer.
It is very important that one applies for renewal of their DACA status at least one hundred and twenty (120) days before the expiration of their work authorization. In the event that you apply after this date and immigration does not give a nominal extension while your application is pending YOU WILL BE OUT OF STATUS, and therefore deporatable, and will likely lose your current employment.
We recommend that you use the service of a professional to help with the renewal, as you do not want a minor error to stand in the way of you and your legal residency in the United States.
Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) regarding the renewal process:
(1) I have committed a crime since my first application for DACA was issued, can I still get the renewal?
- Depending on the severity of the crime, YES, you can still get a renewal
(2) When I initially applied I was under 31, now I’m above the age, can I still get the renewal?
- YES- the extension is not dependent upon your age at present, only concerned with your age at the time of initial filing
(3) Do I have to be working or in college to get the extension?
- NO, you merely need to show that you have been present in the United States from June 15, 2012 to present
(4) If my file is denied will I get deported?
- NO, The Service has indicated that files will not be forwarded to ICE officers for removal, but it does mean that you will be out of status, and therefore if ICE does get a hold of you somehow (generally through a criminal arrest), you will be put into Deportation/Removal Proceedings.
(5) I currently have DACA but I also have an Immigration case pending (either my spouse, family member or my employer has applied for me), can I still apply for an extension so I have work authorization?
- YES, one thing has nothing to do with the other; you can have both cases going at the same time, so that you can remain working while waiting for your Greencard
We hope that this article was of service to you- if you have ANY questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us!
THE LAW OFFICE OF VACHHANI & ASSOCIATES
Sungina J. Vachhani, Esq.
17918 Pioneer Boulevard, Suite 204
Artesia, California 90701