What Do We Need to Know if the DACA Program Ends?
I. Work Permits
Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), also known as work permits, are generally valid until they expire or the government demands they be returned. Unless the government demands that you return your work permit, the following points should apply.
- If the DACA program ends but you are allowed to keep your work permit, you have the right to work legally until your work permit’s expiration date.
- Even if the DACA program ends, you have no obligation to inform your employer that DACA has ended. 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.
- For more information about your rights as an employee see this advisory by the National Immigration Law Center: https://www.nilc.org/issues/daca/daca-and-workplace-rights/.
II. Social Security Numbers (SSNs)
Your SSN is a valid SSN number for life, even once your work permit and DACA approval expire.
- If you have not done so already, apply for a SSN while your DACA and work permit are still valid.
- 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 education, banking, housing and other purposes.
- Your SSN contains a condition on it that requires a valid work permit to use it for employment purposes.
III. Driver’s Licenses and Other Identification Cards
Eligibility for these depends on the state in which you live. If you have not already done so, apply for a driver’s license or state identification card if your DACA is still valid. This makes you eligible for a driver’s license or state-issued identification card.
IV. Travel on Advance Parole
DACA recipients should be cautious about travel abroad under advance parole.
- If you are outside the country with advance parole, make sure to return right away while your advance parole and EAD are valid. If the DACA program ends, it is not clear that people with advance parole based on DACA will be able to return. The safest route is to return as soon as possible, before an announcement ending DACA.
- If you have been granted advance parole under DACA but have not yet left the United States, or are interested in applying for advance parole, speak with an attorney to determine potential risks before doing anything.
V. Other Immigration Options
Many DACA recipients may be eligible for another immigration option to get a work permit or even a green card.
- Talk to an immigration services provider to understand your legal options toward eligibility for another immigration benefit.
- Avoid fraudulent service providers: confirm their credentials, ask for a written contract and a receipt for any payments, and if you have doubts, get a second opinion.
Any criminal arrest, charge, or conviction can put you at risk with immigration authorities.
- Avoid contact with law enforcement that may result in a criminal arrest. If you end up being arrested, make sure to consult an expert immigration attorney.
- If you have a criminal conviction, find out if it can be changed to lessen the impact on a future immigration case.
VII. Know Your Rights
Everyone – both documented and undocumented persons — have rights in this country. At all times, carry a red card to exercise your right to remain silent in case you are stopped or questioned by ICE (https://www.ilrc.org/red-cards).
DACA Applications And Renewals
New DACA applications and renewals are still being processed under the current administration. All submissions should be done very carefully and thoroughly. Official government website links appear below:
Confirmation of DACA Applications Still Being Available
How To Be Considered for DACA
How To Request Deferred Action under DACA
How To Renew DACA Status
How To Apply for Employment Authorization
Frequently Asked Questions about DACA
Filing Tips for DACA
DACA Guidelines from USCIS
USCIS strongly encourages you to submit your Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal request between 150 days and 120 days before the expiration date located on your current Form I-797 DACA approval notice and Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Filing during this window will minimize the possibility that your current period of DACA will expire before you receive a decision on your renewal request.
USCIS’ current goal is to process DACA renewal requests within 120 days. You may submit an inquiry about the status of your renewal request after it has been pending more than 105 days. To submit an inquiry, please call Customer Service at 1-800-375-5283.
Renewing DACA on Schedule is Critical.
Using this calculator will help us file for DACA renewal applications in a timely fashion. To calculate when would be the best time to file your DACA renewal application, use this tool: