Current Status and Key Considerations of DACA: Navigating Renewals, International Travel, and Regulatory Developments

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a U.S. immigration policy that shields certain individuals, who arrived in the country as children and are unlawfully present, from deportation and grants them employment authorization. As of now, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is not accepting new DACA applications. However, individuals with existing DACA status can renew their DACA and employment authorization every two years, provided they meet specific criteria, including continuous residence in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, and meeting certain legal requirements.

DACA recipients can also apply for permission to travel internationally for specific purposes such as education, work, or humanitarian reasons. Traveling outside the U.S., even with permission, can pose legal risks, and individuals are advised to consult an immigration attorney before doing so.

On August 30, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published regulations to formalize and protect the DACA program, without expanding or significantly altering it. While the program is now a federal regulation, some states are challenging it in federal court. Ongoing litigation exists, but USCIS may still accept and approve DACA renewal applications. Although there have been proposals in Congress to provide a pathway to permanent residence for DACA recipients, none have been approved as of now. It is recommended to consult an immigration attorney to understand how these developments may affect individual cases. Read more here.

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