New changes mean DACA participants must reapply for approval after one year
Friday, Sep. 18, 2020
SALT LAKE CITY — A recent change to the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects from deportation some people who were brought to the United States as children, requires applicants to reapply after one year.
Previously, those who were approved through the program had to reapply after two years.
Despite a recent, unsuccessful challenge by the Trump administration to the program, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is still accepting and adjudicating DACA renewal applications from anyone who previously was granted DACA status.
“Among the changes came this time reduction, and people looking to renew their permit should now also wait till it’s 150 days before expiration date,” said Jessica Lerma, a paralegal at Holy Cross Ministries of Utah, which helps people with their immigration status.
Before, people could renew their DACA status at any time. Now, “USCIS will generally reject requests received more than 150 days before the current grant of DACA expires,” according to the USCIS document about DACA. “DACA recipients should file their renewal request between 150 and 120 days before their current grant of DACA expires.”
USCIS is also granting advance parole for residents with DACA who travel outside the U.S.
“It has a bit more restrictions, but people should know that there is always a risk,” said Lerma about this travel permit. “So far, I haven’t heard from anyone that has had issues, but people should be cautious.”
At Holy Cross Ministries of Utah, those people seeking to renew their permits are given help immediately.
“There is no waiting list for appointments, and now more than ever the DACA recipients should check the expiration date on their permits and be aware of any news about the program,” Lerma said.
Sometimes “DACA recipients forget about this, and come back to renew it after it has expired,” she added. “Now more than ever, it is important that they renew on time.”
During appointments, Lerma will ask applicants several questions “to make sure there is not another legal route that they might have” to a visa or citizenship, she said.
“We fill out all the paper work and file them through legal representation. This can assure them that they will have an open file with us so if anything comes up we can help them,” Lerma said.
To schedule an appointment for DACA renewal at Holy Cross Ministries, contact Jakelinne Capella-Aponte, client support specialist, 801-261-3440.