By Chris Keen
In the continuing drama over the 2017 Trump administration's announcement that the DACA program would be ending, a Federal Judge has breathed new life into DACA, at least for some dreamers, temporarily. USCIS has just announced it will be accepting DACA applications again.
CAN ANYONE MAKE AN INITIAL APPLICATION FOR DACA NOW IF I NEVER APPLIED BEFORE?
No. You must have been approved for DACA previously.
SO, WHO CAN APPLY NOW?
First, if you were granted DACA previously and your DACA expired on or after September 5, 2017, you can file for to renew your DACA.
Second, if you were granted DACA previously and your DACA expired BEFORE September 5, 2017 or was terminated at any time, you can file a new initial DACA request.
Even if your DACA has not yet expired but expires before March 5, 2018 you may be able to apply for renewal.
USCIS has stated:
"You may request a renewal if you met the initial 2012 DACA guidelines and you:
- Did not depart the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, without advance parole;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since you submitted your most recent DACA request that was approved;
- Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety; and
- Are a current DACA recipient whose benefits expire between Sept. 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018."
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO ACT?
As the reopening of DACA is due to litigation, things can change at any time, and the window to apply may close You should immediately submit your correctly and properly completed applications if you determine you are eligible.
DO I NEED A LAWYER?
No lawyer is required, but highly recommended. Some dreamers have had their applications denied or rejected for failure to properly prepare their submissions and there is not a lot of room for error.
WHAT IS THE COST?
The cost for a DACA renewal or a re-submission of an initial filing is $495 for the government fee, plus any attorney's fees depending on your case.
WHAT ABOUT CONGRESSIONAL LEGISLATION TO FIX DACA?
While there is bi-partisan support for the principle of fixing DACA through legislation, no new DACA law has passed congress as of this date. To be safe it is recommended that people who qualify file for DACA immediately.
Call Keen Law Offices at (801) 374-5336 now to get your application going.