dacaOn June 15, 2012, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would not deport certain undocumented youth who came to the United States as children. Under a directive from the DHS secretary, these youth may be granted a type of temporary permission to stay in the U.S. called “deferred action.” The Obama administration called this program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. This page provides guidance on how to apply for DACA, renew DACA, and other important information on DACA.


JUNE 28, 2019: The U.S. Supreme Court announced on June 28, 2019, that it will grant the Trump administration’s request that it review the federal court cases challenging Trump’s termination of DACA. For now, the three U.S. district court orders allowing DACA recipients to submit renewal applications remain in effect, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is still accepting DACA renewal applications from anyone who has previously had DACA.

RENEWAL APPLICATIONS ARE STILL BEING ACCEPTED. On January 13, 2017, USCIS announced that it is once again accepting DACA renewal applications, because of an order issued by a U.S. district court in California. The court order was issued in a case challenging the Trump administration’s termination of the DACA program. A frequently-asked-questions document authored by NILC and United We Dream and based on the Jan. 13 announcement is available below.

USCIS stopped accepting first-time DACA applications (that is, applications from people who didn’t already have DACA) as of October 6, 2017. Under the government’s DACA-termination memo, people who already had DACA and whose work permits would expire between Sept. 5, 2017, and March 5, 2018, were eligible to apply for a two-year renewal if they applied by Oct. 5, 2017. Court orders in the California case and a similar case in New York, along with USCIS’s Jan. 13 announcement, have made it possible, again, for people who have DACA now or who’ve had it in the past to submit DACA renewal applications.

FIRST-TIME DACA APPLICATIONS ARE NOT YET BEING ACCEPTED. On April 24, 2018, a U.S. district court in the District of Columbia issued a ruling requiring USCIS to resume accepting first-time DACA applications — but this order did not go into effect immediately, and on August 17, 2018, the court stayed this order.

SUMMARY. At the present time USCIS is not accepting DACA applications from people who have not obtained DACA previously. If you want to apply to renew your DACA under the latest policy (based on USCIS’s Jan. 13 announcement), we encourage you to speak first with an immigration attorney or a Board of Immigration Appeals–accredited representative. If you decide to proceed with an application, we urge that you be represented by an attorney or accredited representative (a Form G-28 should be filed with your application).

DACA InformationLitigation

DACA and Dream–related Legislation
See Dream Act, Dreamers, and Related Legislation, under “Immigration Reform”

DACA Under the Trump Administration
FAQ: USCIS Is Accepting DACA Renewal Applications (updated Aug. 1, 2019)
USCIS and DACA Renewal Applications: What You Need to Know (English and Spanish; based on the USCIS announcement of Jan. 13, 2018)
Top 5 Things to Know about DACA Renewals Now That the Supreme Court Has Decided to Review the DACA-related Federal Court Cases (June 2019 – English & Spanish)
ALERT: Supreme Court Grants Cert in Three DACA Cases
ALERT: 9th Circuit Upholds District Court’s Injunction Requiring Government to Accept DACA Renewals
ALERT: U.S. District Court in Texas Denies Texas Request to Stop DACA Renewals
ALERT: U.S. District Court in DC Rules Again That the Trump Administration’s Termination of DACA Is Unlawful — but Pauses Order until August 23
ALERT: U.S. District Court in D.C. Orders That the DACA Termination Memo Be Vacated — but Not for at Least 90 Days
ALERT: Supreme Court Denies Premature Appeal of Injunction Allowing DACA Renewals
What You Should Know about the Feb. 26 Supreme Court Announcement
ALERT: A Second Federal Court Orders DHS to Continue Accepting DACA Applications
ALERT: Court Orders the Dept. of Homeland Security to Allow Individuals with DACA to Apply to Renew It
What Can You Do if Your DACA Renewal Application Was Rejected as Not Having Been Filed on Time?
Understanding the USCIS Announcement About Rejected DACA Renewal Requests
State and Local Advocacy to Support DACA Recipients and Other State Residents
Top 5 Things to Know About the Announcement That DACA Is Ending (Sept. 5, 2017 — English, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish)
Frequently Asked Questions on DACA Termination (English, Spanish)
About DACA and Employment (answers to frequently asked questions — English, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish)
#DefendDACA: Stories in Defense of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Getting and Renewing DACA
FAQ: The Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
FAQ: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Renewal Process
Four Top Tips for When You Renew Your DACA
DACA Renewal Calculator: Calculate When Would Be the Best Time to Submit Your DACA Renewal Application to USCIS
How to Show That an Educational Program in Which You Are Enrolled Is “Of Demonstrated Effectiveness”
Steps to Take if Your DACA Renewal Is Delayed
Changes to USCIS’s ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ about DACA

After You Have DACA

Access to Driver’s Licenses for Immigrant Youth Granted DACA
FAQ: Exclusion of Youth Granted “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” from Affordable Health Care
FAQ: DACA and Your Workplace Rights
FAQ: DACAmented and Undocumented Immigrants and the Obamacare Tax Penalty
Taxes and DACA: What Do I Need to Know? (webinar)

Status Reports
DACA Is Six Years Old (9/18)
Amid Legal and Political Uncertainty, DACA Remains More Important Than Ever (report by NILC, CAP, UWD, and Tom K. Wong of UCSD, 8/15/18)
Ending DACA Would Have Wide-Ranging Effects, but Immigrant Youth Are Fired Up and Politically Engaged (report by NILC, CAP, UWD, and Tom K. Wong of UCSD, 8/23/18)
DACA Recipients’ Economic and Educational Gains Continue to Grow (report by NILC, CAP, UWD, and Tom K. Wong of UCSD, 8/28/17)
DACA Is Five Years Old (8/17/17)
New Study of DACA Beneficiaries Shows Positive Economic and Educational Outcomes (report by NILC, CAP, UWD, and Tom K. Wong of UCSD, 10/18/16)
DACA Is Three Years Old! (8/14/15)
Results from a Nationwide Survey of DACA Recipients Illustrate the Program’s Impact (report by NILC, CAP, and Tom K. Wong of UCSD, 7/9/15)

Information & Resources from Partner Organizations
Own the Dream
National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild — Practice Advisories
Migration Policy Institute — DACA at the Two-Year Mark: A National and State Profile of Youth Eligible and Applying for Deferred Action
Center for American Progress — Results from a Nationwide Survey of DACA Recipients Illustrate the Program’s Impact

Memo from DHS secretary — Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children (June 15, 2012, PDF)
DHS press release announcing a deferred action process for undocumented youth (June 15, 2012, PDF)
Questions and answers about the administration’s announcement regarding relief for individuals who came to the United States as children (June 15, 2012, PDF)
Memo from U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement director John Morton (June 15, 2012, PDF)

DAPA and Expanded DACA
The Obama Administration’s DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) and Expanded DACA Programs