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DACA: FAQs

DACA: FAQs

DACA sign holder
Photo: AFSC

This page was last updated on September 2017.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was an executive action announced by President Obama on June 15, 2012. The program protected eligible individuals who came to the United States as children from deportation and gave them permission to work. However, because DACA was an executive action—and not a law passed by Congress—the president has the authority to end it.

On Sept. 5, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the administration is officially ending DACA, which it would phase out over the next six months. 

Here’s what you need to know:

I have never applied for DACA, but I am eligible. 

If you have never applied for DACA, you cannot file an initial application anymore. If you filed an initial DACA application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and it was pending on or before Sept. 5, 2017, your initial application will be continue to be processed by USCIS.

I have DACA now. Can I renew it?

You can renew your DACA application:

  1. If your application is already pending with USCIS as of Sept. 5, 2017 or
  2. If your status is expiring between Sept. 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018, and you filed a renewal application on or before Oct. 5, 2017.  

I was approved for advance parole. Can I still travel?

If you were granted advance parole based on DACA and it is still valid, you can use it now to travel abroad—although it is not recommended. You should consult with an immigration attorney before traveling on advance parole, especially if you have ever been arrested or had any contact with law enforcement.

Can I apply for advance parole now? 

No. It is no longer possible to file a new application for advance parole based on DACA. If you had filed an application for advance parole with USCIS and it was pending with the USCIS on Sept. 5, 2017, USCIS will not decide your application. Your application and fee payment will be returned to you.

What happens to my work permit after it expires? 

Your work permit will continue to be valid until it expires or if the government requires you to return it. As of Sept. 5, 2017, the administration has said that it will allow work permits to expire on their own. You may continue to work lawfully unless either of those things happens to you.

What can I do to protect myself?

In addition to renewing your DACA status if you are eligible, you should also consult with a trusted and knowledgeable immigration attorney to see if you may be eligible for other forms of immigration relief.

What will happen in six months? 

A lot is unknown at this time. There are currently several legislative bills pending that, if passed by Congress, would protect DACA recipients. Stay informed through news outlets and social media—including AFSC on Facebook and Twitter—in the weeks and months ahead. 

None of the information in this resource should be considered legal advice. Please speak to an immigration attorney or Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) accredited representative about your particular case.

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