On June 15, 2012, President Obama announced a new program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA.  The DACA program allows young people who came to the United States before their 16th birthday and who have lived in the United States since at least June 15, 2007 to receive a 2-year employment authorization card (EAD), so long as they meet the program requirements, including no criminal convictions for a felony or a serious misdemeanor offense.  On June 5, 2014, the DACA renewal process was announced.

To be eligible for an initial grant of DACA, an applicant must have been under 31 years of age on June 15, 2012, the day President Obama announced the program.  In addition, an applicant must be at least 15 years of age to apply for DACA.  A DACA recipient must also have graduated from high school, earned a GED, enrolled in the military, or be currently attending school or enrolled in a GED program.

At the time of the initiation of the DACA program, it was hoped that Congress would soon pass the DREAM Act, which would have given young people an opportunity to apply for permanent resident status in the United States.  However, with the passage of 2 years without Congressional action, USCIS has now begun the process of accepting applications for a 2 year renewal of DACA.

To qualify for the 2 year renewal, a DACA recipient will need to complete a new application, pay the filing fee of $465.00, prove they have lived in the United States since receiving DACA – except for pre-approved travel with advance parole – and they have not been convicted of a felony or a significant misdemeanor offense.

In order to maintain employment authorization […]