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Frequently Asked Questions

What is deferred action?

Deferred action essentially means that the government knows an individual is in the country without permission but will not seek to deport them. It allows the person to apply for a work permit, though this is not automatic. Deferred action is not permanent status and will not lead to a green card or U.S. citizenship by itself.

When should I begin thinking about getting started on my renewal request package?

Your DACA renewal request package should be submitted approximately 120 days (or 4 months) before your current period of DACA expires. This is also the date that your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) expires.

What happens if USCIS doesn’t approve by renewal request package before my current period of DACA expires?

If your package has been filed at least 120 days before your deferred action and EAD expire and USCIS is unexpectedly delayed in processing your renewal request, USCIS may provide deferred action and employment authorization for a short period of time until your renewal is adjudicated.

If my request for a renewal of my Deferred Action is denied, will I be placed into removal proceedings?

Individuals who are denied Deferred Action will only have their case referred to ICE by USCIS if there is a criminal conviction on the individual’s record or if there is a finding of fraud in the request. Anyone with a significant misdemeanor or disqualifying offense should refrain from applying for deferred action since it could lead to potential deportation.

What should I do if I have an arrest or conviction?

1. Get a copy of your record from whatever court your case was heard, including all juvenile delinquency adjudications.

Try to get copies of police reports, a criminal history background check, or your “rap sheet.” Many states already have systems for you to collect your criminal history. In many cases, you can find it on your local county website or state government websites. Make sure you get them from all states where you believe you may have been arrested or convicted.

  1. Meet with an immigration attorney experienced in deportation defense or the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. Make sure they review all your arrest information and criminal conviction documents. Do NOT consult “Notarios” if you have a criminal history.