DACA UPDATE -- DECEMBER 7, 2020
DACA HAS BEEN FULLY RESTORED!
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is restoring DACA to how it was before the Trump Administration tried to end it. This means that starting December 7, 2020, US Citizenship and Immigration Services will:
Start accepting new DACA applications
Keep accepting DACA renewal applications
Start accepting applications from DACA grantees for advance parole
Extend to two years any DACA protections and work permits it had granted for one year.
In June the US Supreme Court decided that Trump's attempt to end DACA in September 2017 was improper. Instead of fully restoring DACA, DHS instead announced that it would limit DACA protections to one year, reject new applications, and make other changes. On November 14, a federal court ruled that these attempts to change DACA were invalid, and on December 4 that court ordered DHS to fully restore DACA. While DHS might still try to contest this ruling, for now DHS is obeying it.
President-elect Biden has announced that he intends to restore DACA when he takes office.
For more information, please visit www.uscis.gov.
DACA and COVID-19
Unemployment insurance is a state-operated insurance program designed to partially replace lost wages when you are out of work. This is NOT a public benefit and does not count as one for public charge purposes. DACA recipients are eligible to file for benefits as long as they have a current authorization to work. They can enter the card information during the claim filing process online (www.IDES.Illinois.gov), once the claim is filed they are asked to submit copies of the I-766 ( work Authorization card) for further review. The individual needs to have proof of legal authorization to work during the base period that is used to establish the unemployment claim.
Learn how to file an Unemployment Insurance Claim HERE. If you have questions, please call (800) 244-5631.
Can I renew my DACA work permit even if I have more than six months before it expires?
Under the August 21 memo, USCIS will now generally reject renewal applications sent more than 150 days before the applicant’s current DACA grant expires. USCIS might still accept some applications submitted more than 150 days before the current validity period expires “if there are legitimate reasons for doing so….”
After your DACA expires: Impact on work, Social Security Numbers, and Illinois driver's licenses:
You have the right to work legally until your work permit’s expiration date.
You have no obligation to inform your employer that you benefit from DACA. Your employer does not have the right to ask you whether you are a DACA recipient or how you got your work permit.
Your employer does not have the right to fire you, put you on leave, or change your work status until after your work permit has expired. If your expiration date is nearing, your employer may ask you for an updated work permit but cannot take any action against you until after it is expired.
Your Social Security Number is valid for life, even after your work permit and DACA approval expires. You can and should continue to use the SSN you got under DACA as your SSN even after your work permit expires. You can use your SSN for taxes, education, banking, housing and other purposes.
In Illinois, immigrants can get regular driver’s licenses (including a REAL ID license) if they can provide their SSNs and are currently eligible for an SSN. So long as your work permit is valid, you will be eligible for an SSN and therefore eligible for a standard or REAL ID license. Under new Illinois laws that took effect in 2016 and 2017, anyone applying for an initial standard or REAL ID driver’s license now must provide proof of immigration status. Any such licenses will expire on the same date that the applicant’s status or work permit expires. In other words, if you have DACA and an SSN and you are applying for a license for the first time, you can get a standard or REAL ID license, but that license will expire on the same date as your work permit.
After your work permit ends, you can apply for a Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL), which will be valid for three years. TVDLs are visually distinct from regular licenses and are not valid for identification purposes. For more information on TVDLs, please visit the Illinois Secretary of State’s website, http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/TVDL/home.html.
Please visit our Events page for a listing of upcoming DACA information sessions and workshops.
Please visit our Protection page for links to legal, mental health, and other community resources.
Our Family Support Hotline is available to provide information, referrals, and live responses to deportation-related crises, including consultations with mental health professionals: 855-HELP-MY-FAMILY (855) 435-7693.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will new DACA applications be accepted?
USCIS is not accepting applications from anyone who did not previously have DACA. This means that anyone who became eligible for DACA after September 2017, or otherwise never applied before then, will not be able to apply.
Will the fees increase?
No. USCIS had proposed a new fee for DACA applications in addition to the fee for the employment authorization application, but decided not to impose this new fee. However, because DACA will now last one year instead of two, people renewing DACA will need to do so twice as often and pay the application fee twice as often.
My DACA expired in 2017 and I did not renew, am I still eligible to apply?
Under the August 21, 2020, USCIS memo, individuals who previously had DACA but did not renew will still be able to apply again. While these applications will be considered “initial,” USCIS will still accept and process them.
I have DACA, can I now travel outside the United States?
Travel to support the national security interests of the United States including U.S. military interests;
Travel in furtherance of U.S. federal law enforcement interests;
Travel to obtain life-sustaining medical treatment that is not otherwise available to the alien in the United States;
Travel needed to support the immediate safety, well-being, or care of an immediate relative, particularly minor children of the alien.
I arrived after June 15th, 2007, Will I qualify to apply for initial DACA?
Is there any financial assistance to pay the USCIS fee?
Select a Topic