As of September 18, 2023, USCIS is accepting first-time DACA applications but is not processing them due to a recent court ruling. Renewal requests continue to be processed for the standard 2-year duration. Individuals who previously received a 1-year validity under past directives will have their validity automatically extended to 2 years. Applications for advance parole for international travel are also being accepted again.
This change is a positive shift for DACA-eligible individuals and their advocates, yet the program’s permanence remains uncertain amidst ongoing legal challenges and potential Supreme Court review. The current composition of the Court, with Justice Amy Coney Barrett replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, may impact future rulings on DACA. The previous Supreme Court decision suggested that the program could potentially be terminated through different legal approaches.
DACA Application Status
President Biden has endorsed the continuation of the DACA program, and while the program faces legal challenges, the administration has shown commitment to its preservation, as evidenced by a final rule published in October 2022. However, the long-term security of DACA likely depends on legislative action from Congress, which could prove challenging depending on the political composition of the Senate.
As it stands, DACA remains a significant tool for immigrants to legally live and work in the U.S. Attorneys in regions like South Florida are available to assist with assessing eligibility and guiding applicants through the process, adapting to the latest legal developments.
Are DACA Applications Being Accepted?
USCIS will still accept new DACA requests, but due to the District Court’s ruling, they will not process these initial requests. The acceptance of new applications is a procedural step, but without processing, it means that no new DACA statuses will be granted at this time..
Eligibility Requirements for DACA
To qualify for DACA status, individuals must satisfy several precise criteria. Many are now estimated to be eligible to apply, but initial applications are not being processed.
Eligibility for DACA requires:
- Arrival in the U.S. before age 16.
- Continuous residence in the U.S. since June 15, 2017.
- Presence in the U.S. on June 15, 2012.
- Ongoing physical presence in the U.S. from August 15, 2012.
- Lack of lawful immigration status as of June 15, 2012.
- Current lack of immigration status.
- Current enrollment in school, possession of a high school diploma, GED, or honorable U.S. military discharge.
- Minimum age of 15 at the application time, unless facing removal proceedings without detention.
- No significant criminal record.
- No threat posed to U.S. national security or public safety.
How Our Immigration Firm Can Help You
Rules and procedures surrounding DACA can quickly shift in the wake of new:
- Legal challenges
- Court rulings
- Administration changes
At Maribel A. Piza, P.A., we can guide you through preparing your DACA application and assist with the renewal process, ensuring everything is in order for when initial applications are processed once more. While current rulings prevent the finalization of new applications, our team is committed to helping you prepare thoroughly, and we will work diligently to protect your existing benefits if you’re renewing your status.