By CAROLINA VALDIVIA
Given that DACA is granted only for a temporary period, we must submit a request to renew our DACA before the current one expires. USCIS advises that we submit our DACA renewal applications about 120 days (4 months) before our current period of deferred action will expire. NOTE- Requests received earlier than 150 days in advance will be accepted; however, this could result in an overlap between your current DACA and your renewal. This means your renewal period may extend for less than a full two years from the date that your current DACA period expires. For more information on when to submit your DACA renewal application, check out this previous post: “When should I renew my DACA?”
How long does it take to get your DACA renewal approved? Check out this post where I shared my personal timeline: “My DACA renewal timeline & helpful resources” If you scroll down to the comments section you will also find other people’s timelines, as well as their questions and concerns.
There are many people who are submitting their DACA renewal applications within this time frame, and they are still not getting approved on time. Understandably so, many who find themselves in this situation are worried that they will lose their jobs if they do not receive their DACA renewals on time. If you are in this situation, what can you do?
1. Contact USCIS about your case
You can submit an inquiry online about your case if it has been pending for more than 105 days. To do so, please visit the USCIS official page: “Case Inquiry“. You can also contact the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TDD for the hearing impaired: 1-800-767-1833)
2. Contact your congressman/woman
Many DACA recipients who have been waiting for 105 days or more, have contacted their congressman/woman who can then help speed up the process. While I have not personally done this because my first DACA renewal arrived on time, many have shared their stories on this post, “My DACA renewal timeline & helpful resources“.
Wondering who is your congressman/woman? To find out who you should contact, check out this page: “Find Your Representative” where you can enter your zip-code to find your congressman/woman.
How should you contact them? Once you find out who your congressman/woman is, visit their official website to find their contact information. You can search for their phone and/or e-mail to contact them.
What should you say when you contact them? You can provide your congressman/woman with your name, your situation (e.g. you can tell them that you are a DACA beneficiary and that you applied to have your DACA renewed but have not heard back yet), possible challenges you will face if your DACA is not renewed on time (e.g. you can tell them that you fear losing your job), and your request (ask for their help to have your DACA renewal approved on time).
Many of the folks who have contacted their congressman/woman regarding their DACA renewals have gotten their approvals within 1-7 days! Again, make sure to check out this previous post, “My DACA renewal timeline & helpful resources“, to read about others’ experiences, timelines, and advice regarding the DACA renewal process.
3. Contact USCIS Ombudsman Office
After waiting for 105 days, you can also submit an inquiry via “Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman Case Assistance“. United We Dream, an immigrant-serving organization, recommends that you ask for expedited handling and explain why (e.g. you may lose your job), and include the date your permission to work expires.
DID YOU GET YOUR DACA RENEWAL APPROVED? IS YOUR DACA ABOUT TO EXPIRE? SHARE WITH US YOUR EXPERIENCE, QUESTIONS, AND CONCERNS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW!
Additional recommended resources:
Be sure to subscribe to this blog to get daily updates on new scholarship opportunities, DACA, DAPA, & much more. To subscribe, click on the subscription box located at the top right corner of this page! Also, please help spread the word of this blog by ‘liking it’ on facebook – see top right corner of page. Thank you!