Jul 20 2021

USCIS Confirms It Will Continue to Process DACA Renewals and Related Applications Filed By Current Grantees

United States

At a glance

  • In the wake of a federal court order largely halting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, USCIS has confirmed that it will continue to process renewal applications, employment authorization extensions and advance parole requests submitted by current DACA grantees.
  • The agency will continue to accept new initial DACA applications but is enjoined from granting them under the court order.
  • USCIS is expected to issue detailed guidance for DACA grantees and applicants in the near future.

A closer look

USCIS will continue to accept and process renewal applications, employment authorization extensions and advance parole requests submitted by current DACA beneficiaries, the agency has confirmed. The agency announcement comes days after a federal court issued a permanent injunction against the DACA program but stayed portions of its injunction with respect to current DACA grantees. The case is State of Texas v. United States.

Current DACA grantees remain eligible to file for renewal of deportation relief, employment authorization, and advance parole. USCIS will continue to process these applications. Existing DACA beneficiaries should continue to submit timely applications for renewal.

USCIS is prohibited from granting new or pending initial DACA applications. Though foreign nationals may continue to submit applications for new initial DACA benefits, those applications cannot be approved by DHS unless the court order is modified or subject to a broader stay.

USCIS is expected to issue detailed guidance on the acceptance and processing of DACA applications in the near future. 

What’s next for the DACA program

The Biden Administration is expected to appeal the court’s decision and is also planning to promulgate new regulations that seek to strengthen DACA. Several bills to provide permanent relief for Dreamers are pending in Congress, though their prospects for passage are uncertain.

Fragomen is closely monitoring the DACA program and related legislation, and will continue to provide updates as developments occur.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.