If you recently applied for a renewal of your DACA work permit or need to apply soon, read this post.
Recent applicants for DACA renewal will have noticed that the time it normally takes to process renewals is considerably longer than is advertised as “typical,” due in part to major delays at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Nebraska Service Center. (The Nebraska Center is one of four national service centers, so delays there will affect not just those in that area, but roughly 25% of all U.S. renewal applications.)
Immigration Services recommends that DACA recipients apply for renewal 4-5 months before the expiration of your work permit, to allow for processing time; however, currently the Nebraska Service Center is taking longer than this, averaging about 180 days or six months.
While the National Immigration Law Center (NILS) has raised the issue with USCIS, and they have been told that “the Nebraska Service Center is working to quickly address the problem and speed up processing times,” this doesn’t help anyone whose work permit is set to expire before their renewal comes through.
NILS has recommended the following steps to take if your renewal is delayed:
Check your case’s status online at https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/Dashboard/CaseStatus.do. Even if you haven’t yet received your new EAD in the mail, the case status tool may show that your renewal application has already been approved.
Look over NILS’s DACA page, which has a lot of detailed information concerning application.
Apply early, even earlier than the recommended time. Previously, USCIS did not accept renewal applications submitted more than 150 days before the expiration date on the applicant’s EAD, but that is no longer the case. Consider applying six months early.
Attorneys at our firm have also recommended that you:
Call USCIS weekly to check the status of your application. This will at least keep you informed and top-of-mind for case managers, and may result in a faster processing time.
Ask to speak to a supervisory immigration services officer. If you aren’t getting the information that you need, ask to speak to a supervisor in order to ensure that your case is being handled as quickly as possible.
If you’re facing loss of a job or deportation due to any kind of delay, including DACA but not limited to this, you are very welcome to contact us. We have a wealth of experience in deportation defense and it’s very likely that we can help you.