The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has allowed nearly 800,000 young people who came to the USA as children to stay legally. Here is the latest information about the DACA program and resources to help you apply for or renew DACA.
January 2021 Update
On January 20, 2021, the Biden Administration issued an executive memorandum on their first day in office asking Congress to provide an immediate permanent legal status and a path to citizenship to nearly 700,000 DACA recipients. This is part of the administration’s proposed US Citizenship Act. The memorandum makes no immediate changes to the current DACA program but is a sign that the new administration is committed to a long term solution for DACA dreamers.
DACA is fully restored
On December 4, 2020, A federal judge ordered the administration to fully reinstate the DACA program. This means three important changes:
- About 300,00 additional undocumented immigrants who meet the requirements could apply for the program for the first time.
- The work permit will be restored to 2 years instead of 1 year.
- DACA recipients may apply for advance parole to leave the country and return.
Visit the USCIS website for additional information and the forms you need to apply for or renew your DACA.
What are the requirements to apply for DACA?
You can apply for DACA for the first time if you meet the following requirements:
- You were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012 (born after June 15, 1981).
- You are currently 15 years old or older, or are under 15 but in removal proceedings.
- You started living in the US before your 16th birthday.
- You started living in the US before June 15, 2007, and have lived here ever since.
- You were physically present in the US on June 15, 2012.
- You have not had any serious trouble with the law.
- You are:
- currently in school; or,
- graduated from public or private high school; or
- secondary school; or
- obtained a GED; or
- honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States
Start collecting documents that can help you prove the requirements. Make sure to get legal help if you are applying for the first time.
NOTICE: The increase of fees that was due to take place on October 2, 2020 has been stopped by a US court decision. But please check fees before sending in your application.
Can I reapply for DACA?
There are no changes to the current DACA permits. They are valid until they expire. Any pending applications for renewal will be processed.
If you have a current or expired DACA permit:
- Apply for renewal 150 to 120 days before your current DACA expires to avoid disruption of status.
- If your permit has expired, you can still submit a renewal application. You can apply for renewal even if your DACA expired more than 1 year ago.
- Renewals for DACA permits will be for 2 years.
- Advance parole is a permit to leave the USA and come back. This permit must be received before you leave the country. Advance parole will be considered for DACA recipients but it is not guaranteed.
- If you currently have advance parole, it is valid until it expires.
- If you travel outside the United States without advance parole, your DACA will be cancelled. Speak to a lawyer or trusted immigration professional before leaving the USA.
If you think you are eligible to renew DACA, please find honest professional help.
How to apply or renew DACA
If you do not have professional help yet to renew or apply for DACA, you can still get started. There is good information available online. Here are some resources you can trust:
Do you want to apply for DACA for the first time? Immigrants Rising has a step-by-step guide to eligibility and applying for DACA.
United We Dream has a step-by-step guide on how to apply and renew your DACA that includes virtual preparation sessions.
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) has an annotated DACA application form with notes to help you fill in your form. You can also watch the ILRC video for detailed advice about renewing DACA:
Informed Immigrant has resources for DACA applicants and recipients about COVID-19 closures, renewals, and other updates.
The information on this page comes from the White House, National Immigration Law Center, USCIS and other trusted sources. It is intended for guidance and is updated as often as possible. USAHello does not give legal advice, nor are any of our materials intended to be taken as legal advice. If you are looking for a free or low-cost lawyer or legal help, we can help you find free and low-cost legal services.