Sharlene Sharmila Richards

Q: What is DACA and can you explain what is going on with it currently?
A: Under DACA or Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals Under certain individuals who came to the United States before the age of 16 may request consideration for a deferral of their removal from the United States. This policy, announced on June 15th, 2012, granted lawful presence to those “Dreamers” for a two year period. They were also eligible for employment authorization for that period of time if they are able to demonstrate economic necessity for employment. There are currently about 800,000 Dreamers. On September 5th, 2017, President Trump’s administration ended the DACA program with the last day for filing renewals beings October 5th, 2017. Congress was asked to provide a legislative solution by March 2018. So far nothing has come through yet. In January 2018, the Federal Court in San Francisco determined that the termination of the DACA program was based on flawed legal premised and ordered the Government to resume accepting DACA renewal applications.
Q: In light of the new January 2018 order, can I file for DACA relief if I have never ever had DACA?
A: No. The order specifically limited these applications to previous DACA recipients. Those who previously were granted DACA and their DACA have already expired on or after September 5th, 2016 may file for DACA request as a renewal request. For those who previously had DACA and their DACA had already expired before September 5th, 2016 or if the DACA was previously terminated at any time cannot request for DACA renewal but may request for DACA as an initial request.
Q: I had been granted DACA but my DACA status expired before September 5th, 2016. If I cannot file for renewal, can I file a new initial DACA request?
A: Yes, according to the instructions on the USCIS website, individuals who previously were granted DACA but whose status had expired prior to September 5th, 2016 or if their DACA status was terminated at any time may file a new initial DACA request. Please list the date as to when your prior DACA expired or when it was terminated on Part 1 of the Form I-821D.
Q: What do I need to show to request an initial grant of deferred action for childhood arrivals?
A: To be eligible for deferred action, you must show the following : Be under the age of 31 as of June 15th, 2012; you came to the United States before your 16th birthday; you resided in this country since June 15th, 2007 to present; have been physically present in the United States on June 15th, 2012; you either entered the country without inspection or your lawful immigration status has already expired as of June 15th, 2012; you are either currently in school or have graduated, or have obtained a GED certificate or other state authorized exam in the US or have been honorably discharged veteran of the Armed Forces or the Coast Guard of the US; and you must also have not been convicted of a felony or significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors and do not pose a threat to national security or public safety. If in doubt, please consult with an immigration attorney to help you determine whether you satisfy all the eligibility requirements for deferred action for childhood arrivals.
Q: What form do I have to use to apply for DACA? What is the filing fee?
A: You will need to use Form I-821D. In addition to that, please also complete Form I-765 and I-765WS to apply for employment authorization. File all the forms together. The total filing fee is $495.00
Q: I had departed the US under advance parole. MY DACA expired on January 10th, 2018. Will my departure under advance parole pose a problem for the renewal?
A: No, it should not.

Disclaimer: Any advice provided in this article is general in nature and not intended to constitute legal advice for any specific case. Please consult with an immigration lawyer about the specific circumstances of your case.
My Bio
Sharlene Sharmila Richards is a licensed Immigration lawyer practicing in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2000 and is a member of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and a member of the US Supreme Court. You may contact her at telephone number 713-623-8088 or by email at srichardslaw@aol.com to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.

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