Update on Initial DACA Applications following the December 4, 2020 court order fully restoring DACA to its original form prior to the attempted termination of DACA on September 5,2017.
Judge Nicholas George Garaufis instructed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to accept and adjudicate DACA petitions from immigrants who qualify for the program but are not currently enrolled. USCIS announced on Monday, December 7, 2020, that it is now accepting the following applications. USCIS will now adjudicate these applications in accordance with policy in effect prior to the attempted termination of DACA on September 5, 2017:
- Initial or first-time DACA applications (Form I-821D)
- Renewal DACA applications and
- Advance Parole (Form I-131) applications for DACA recipients
USCIS is also taking the following actions based on the court’s order:
- Extending one-year grants of deferred action under DACA to two years; and
- Extending one-year employment authorization documents under DACA to two years
DHS indicated that it might seek relief from the order, so it is possible that this window of eligibility to apply may close. Nebraska, among nine other states, is part of a lawsuit in federal court seeking to terminate DACA with the next hearing scheduled for December 22, 2020 which could further limit the window of eligibility to apply.
Anyone who is eligible for initial DACA can begin gathering the supporting evidence listed here so you will be ready to file. If you are considering applying for DACA for the first time with an initial application, it is critical that you consult with an immigration attorney. If this news impacts you, consider calling the Nebraska Immigration Legal Assistance Hotline (NILAH). NILAH offers free, confidential screenings; for consultations and referrals call 1-855-307-6730.
Click here for more information for submitting an initial DACA application following the recent court’s decision.
- Family Based Options
- Public Charge Considerations
- Humanitarian Immigration Options
- Employment Based Relief
- Non-LPR Cancellation of Removal
- How to Find an Attorney or DOJ Accredited Representative
- Know Your Rights
- Safety Planning
What is DACA?
DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security under the Obama administration announced that it would defer deportation for certain individuals who came to the United States as children. To be eligible, the requestor had to prove they:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching age 16;
- Have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007;
- Were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making the request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012;
- Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.