Kuck Immigration Partners LLC
Many restaurant owners have employees with work permission issued under the Obama program for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”). Each of these employees has a work permit valid for two years. Some of those employees have a renewal time on the horizon, and it is particularly important that individuals who currently have DACA begin preparing in advance of the renewal period. The renewal period could be as short as one month, and may depend on when the DACA was approved.
To be best prepared, make sure the employee DOES the following:
- Save money. Though nothing is set in stone at this point, applicants will likely have to pay the same $465 that they paid the first time around to renew their DACA and work permits.
- Stay in close contact with their attorney. The attorney will be able to advise the employee of the proper filing window and requirements as the information is released from immigration. Do not listen to neighbors/friends/notarios, but rather go straight to a reliable source.
- Contact the attorney if the employee has been arrested for or convicted of a crime since the DACA was approved. The employee will need to advise their attorney of any arrests or convictions to determine if the employee remains eligible to renew under DACA. Don’t wait until the last minute to do this.
- Contact the attorney if the employee’s education status has changed. If the employee dropped out of school, graduated, or changed programs, make sure your attorney is aware of this. A change in education status could affect your DACA eligibility.
- Contact the attorney for assistance in filing for DACA renewal. Do not let them do this themselves. These employees are dealing with a very picky and unforgiving agency – USCIS. Even a small mistake could cause the case to be denied causing the employee to have to repay a filing fee. It is Best that the renewal is done right the first time, with the help of a professional.
- Do not pay any attorney or notario to do anything toward the renewal yet. Though an extension of DACA has been announced, the official form and process has not. Any attorney that tries to charge money based on a process that has not been made public should not be trusted. Be very careful.
- Do not drop out of school. This should be obvious; however, if the employee has dropped out of school or not finished their GED program, re-enroll ASAP. There should be little doubt that this will make the employee ineligible for DACA.
- Do not file anything now. The only thing that has been announced is that DACA will be extended. The form is not finalized, nor is the process. Do not try and get ahead of the game by filing now. Any filing now will be rejected at best, and at worst, immigration could keep the filing fees and simply deny the case since you are still in status.