As the new U.S. presidential administration enters the White House, immigration reform will reportedly be a top priority. In December 2020, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began accepting new DACA applications and renewals for the first time since 2017.
Review the details of these and other updates to the DACA program for 2021.
Current status of DACA
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals prevents deportation for two years at a time. You may be eligible if your parents brought you to the United States when you were a child. Under a December 2020 order from the U.S. District Court, USCIS will now:
- Accept new DACA applications
- Accept applications for DACA renewals
- Extend DACA protection from one to two years
- Extend DACA work authorization from one to two years
- Accept applications for advance parole through DACA rules
The agency will return to the DACA provisions that were in effect prior to September 2017.
You can apply for DACA for the first time if you arrived in the U.S. before age 16 and did not yet turn 31 on June 15, 2012. You must have lived in the U.S. continuously since June 15, 2007, and be in the U.S. when you apply for DACA. You must not have any type of lawful immigration status.
In addition, you must either be in school, have a GED or high school diploma, or be a veteran of the U.S. Army or Coast Guard with an honorable discharge. You are ineligible for DACA if you have received three or more misdemeanor convictions, one serious misdemeanor conviction, or a felony conviction.