How to renew DACA in 2024

The process can be done online or by mail, and although it is not complicated, the cost may be high for some people

Form I-821D
A printed form for consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).hapabapa (Getty Images)
Alonso Martínez

DACA stands for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, which was established in 2012. This program allows certain undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children to receive a two-year period to avoid deportation and be eligible to obtain a work permit. Once that period ends, the “Dreamers,” as the beneficiaries are called, may request a renewal.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) advises those who have received DACA to file their renewal application four to five months before its expiration date, as this can avoid the risk of losing the status. This request will not speed up the process, but — given that DACA is currently facing legal challenges in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals — submitting it earlier helps the application to be processed while renewals are still being accepted.

The case surrounding DACA stems from a ruling by Judge Andrew Hanen that declared the program illegal in 2021, which led to subsequent appeals and rulings. The Biden Administration and immigrant advocates are calling to keep DACA in place, while opponents, such as the seven-state Republican coalition led by Texas, are seeking to end it. The Supreme Court could ultimately decide on the fate of DACA recipients, with a possible decision expected in late 2024 or early 2025, so it is advisable to apply for a renewal as soon as possible, as they may not be accepted if the program is declared illegal.


In order to renew DACA you must be a beneficiary. If you have had encounters with police, other law enforcement, or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), you should consult with an immigration attorney or a representative accredited by the Department of Justice before filing a renewal application.

How to renew DACA online?

All DACA renewal applications can now be submitted online. DACA recipients must create an account with USCIS to complete the I-821D (DACA) and I-765 (work permit) forms. The process is simple and guides users to submit their forms, pay their fees, and review the status once the application is submitted.

Renewal can also be done through the mail. For this process, the individual must find a renewal clinic, an accredited representative or an immigration attorney who can assist in the process. One will have to download the forms instead of filling them out online, create a cover letter, create copies of all documents to be submitted, and send them in. The process is more complicated, so it is recommended to do it online.

What documents are required?

The applicant needs to have their previous renewal application on hand to ensure that they fill out the new one in the same way. The system may request other documents on a case-by-case basis, so it is recommended to have identification and other documentation linked to your case.

How much does it cost?

As of April 1, the fee to apply for DACA renewal and a work permit is $555 for online applications and $605 for paper submission.

What to do if the renewal is delayed?

In the event that a person has filed their renewal petition and their DACA and work permit have already expired or will expire before renewal, it is necessary to check the status of the application.

USCIS has a tool called “Case Status” where one can check where the application is in the process. You will need to enter the DATA application or employment authorization receipt number. You can also create an online account for the USCIS Electronic Immigration System, where you can also check the progress of each case.

You can also submit an inquiry by contacting the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) online or by calling 1-800-375-5283.

If you still have problems or questions, you can contact the USCIS Ombudsman’s office on the Department of Homeland Security website, or contact your congressional representative or senator and ask them to speak with your immigration caseworker. This information can be found on the House or Senate website. It is also recommended that you contact a legal services provider who can assist in handling your case.

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