2018 DACA UPDATE! (January 13, 2018)
In response to a court order from a US District Court in California, USCIS has announced that they are currently accepting DACA renewal applications nationwide.
1. What happened? A district court judge issued a ruling which orders USCIS to resume accepting DACA renewal applications.
2. What should I do now? If your DACA has expired or will expire within the next 5 months, consider renewing your DACA as soon as possible. On January 13 2018, USCIS issued DACA renewal guidelines and has officially resumed accepting renewal applications. Contact us for details at 205-323-8727.
3. What about initial DACA applications and advance parole? This order does not require USCIS to accept initial DACA applications or advance parole based on DACA.
4. What’s next? The Department of Justice has stated that this ruling will be appealed. So, a higher court could overrule this decision.
5. What about the DREAM Act? Contact your local representatives and tell them to support a DREAM Act which provides a permanent solution and a path to citizenship for DREAMers.
Rights of DREAMers
Unfortunately, President Donald Trump has announced the winding down of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. As such, please read the following information on what to know about the rights of DREAMers.
1. Employment Authorization Documents - also known as work permits, are generally valid until they expire or the government demands they be returned.
•You are allowed to keep your work permit, and have the right to work legally until your work permit’s expiration date.
•You have no obligation to inform your employer that DACA has ended. Your employer does not have the right to ask you whether you are a DACA recipient or how you got your work permit. Your employer does not have the right to fire you, put you on leave, or change your work status until after your work permit has expired.
• For more information about your rights as an employee see this advisory by the National Immigration Law Center: https://www.nilc.org/issues/daca/daca-and-workplace-rights/.
2. Social Security Numbers (SSNs) - Your SSN is a valid number for life, even once your work permit and DACA approval expires.
• You should continue to use the SSN you got under DACA even after your work permit expires. You can use your SSN for education, banking, housing and other purposes.
3. Driver’s Licenses - If you have not already done so, apply for a driver’s license if your DACA is still valid.
4. Travel on Advance Parole - DACA recipients should be cautious about travel abroad on advance parole.
• If you are outside the country with advance parole, make sure to return right away and while your advance parole and EAD are valid. All pending Advance Parole applications will be denied. Leaving the country has certain risks, so Contact us about questions regarding Advance Parole requests that have already been approved.
5. Other Immigration Options - Many DACA recipients may be eligible for other immigration options to get a work permit or even a green card.
• Give us a call at 205-323-8727 to see if you have other immigration options available to you. Contact us.
6. Criminal Issues - Any criminal arrest, charge, or conviction can put you at risk with immigration authorities.
• Follow the law and remember that their are consequences to criminal charges, even if you paid the associated fine. If you end up being arrested, make sure to consult a criminal defense attorney.
• If you have a criminal conviction, speak to an immigration attorney about how it may affect your immigration status.
7. Know Your Rights - Everyone – both documented and undocumented persons have rights in this country. Learn more about your rights here - Know Your Rights
Information provided by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.
What Should I Know About the End of DACA?
Infomation about the End of DACA
1. Your DACA is valid until its expiration date.
DACA and work permits (Employment Authorization Documents) will remain valid until its expiration date. To determine when your DACA and work permit expires, look at your I-795 Approval Notice and the bottom of your Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
2. No new DACA applications will be accepted.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) no longer will accept or process first-time applications after September 5, 2017.
3. DACA issuances and work permits expiring between now and March 5, 2018 must be submitted for renewal by October 5, 2017.
If you have a permit that will expire between now and March 5, 2018, you must apply for a two-year renewal of your DACA by October 5, 2017.
4. Advance Parole to travel abroad is no longer available.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will no longer grant DACA recipients permission to travel abroad through Advance Parole. Any pending applications for advance parole will not be processed and DHS will refund any associated fees.
USCIS released the information on the DACA Renewal Process. For example, you can file to renew your DACA 5 months before it expires. It is very important not to let your DACA lapse or you could be without employment authorization.
Additionally, the USCIS filing fee is the same as the initial filing ($495).
Please contact us or call or email to discuss your eligibility for DACA, including the anticipated renewal process. While renewal applications cannot be filed more than 5 months before your DACA expires, we recommend preparing ahead of time so that your application can be submitted as soon as you reach 5 months before expiration.
Remember that you can still file for DACA if you have not filed before.
Stay tuned for more information or check out the USCIS release: USCIS: DACA Renewal Process.
Deferred Action Renewal Information for some DACA Recipients has been released.
For more info on ICE issued DACA, see the guidance from USCIS: https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/consideration-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-process/ice-granted-daca-renewal-guidance
Scholarship available for DREAMers
Alabama offers Driver Licenses to DACA recipients. Here's the info on how you can apply for a drivers license.
There are several requirements for Deferred Action recipients to obtain a Social Security Card. Click here for more info.
Advance Parole:DACA recipients are generally prohibited from traveling outside of the US. However, a DACA recipient may be able to obtain a permit prior to traveling abroad through a process called Advance Parole. If the applicant can show an important reason for traveling abroad, USCIS can grant the permission to travel for a specific period of time. Reasons for requesting advance parole include:
- humanitarian, including travel for medical treatment, attending funeral services for a family member, or visiting a sick relative;
- education, such as study abroad programs and academic research, or;
- employment, such as overseas assignments, interviews, conferences or, training, or meetings with clients abroad.
Social Sec. Card Info