What To Do If Your DACA Is Delayed

USCIS has announced that some requests for renewal of Deferred Action for Childhood Considerations (DACA) filed between February 14, 2016 and May 16, 2016 were delayed because of technical difficulties and may be outside of processing time. These delays may lead to both timely (filed 120 days or more before expiration) and untimely filed requests (filed 120 days or less before expiration) to not be adjudicated before the expiration of the previous grant of deferred action and employment authorization.

If your DACA renewal is delayed, you can follow the steps below to try and rectify the situation:

1. Check your case status online at USCIS – You will need to enter the receipt number for either your DACA application or your employment authorization application.

2. Initiate a service request at USCIS – You can contact USCIS through the USCIS Customer Contact Center or by sending a message from your USCIS online account inbox.

You can also call USCIS National Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 to request expedited processing of your case, if your DACA renewal application was filed 120 days in advance.

  • Push 1 for English or 2 for Spanish;
  • Then 2 for latest information on pending case;
  • Then 1 if you have your receipt number;
  • Then after getting the status of your case you can choose 3 to talk to a Customer Service Representative.

Be prepared to provide your name, alien number, and receipt numbers to the customer service center, and write down any case number that they provide you. 

NOTE: Please note that there are technical issues with USCIS’s online e-request tool for requests outside of processing times and that portal (https://egov.uscis.gov/casestatus/landing.do) often does not allow DACA recipients who are outside processing time to elevate their cases. 

3. Elevate your case status: After making the initial service request, contact the USCIS Headquarters Office of Service Center Operations by email at: SCOPSSCATA@dhs.gov. You should receive a response within 10 days.

4. Seek assistance from the DHS Ombudsman – While this has not been working so well lately, you can also open a case assistance request with the USCIS Ombudsman by filing DHS-7001. Make sure to state any reason why you need your DACA to be renewed ASAP such as employment opportunity or travel abroad or financial detriment.

Once you have completed and submitted the online form, you should be issued an Ombudsman-specific case number. Then you can contact, by email, one of these Ombudsman staff people, and request them to look into your case:

Rena.cutlip-mason@hq.dhs.gov

Margaret.gleason@hq.dhs.gov

Messay.berhanu@hq.dhs.gov

5. Contact the ILRC for case assistance:

If you attempted the above without any resolution or for cases where expiration of a DACA renewal is imminent or where there are other emergent circumstances, then you may request that ILRC elevate your case to USCIS by completing the following online form: http://www.ilrc.org/ced/daca_renewal

6. Contact your Congressional Representative: If the matter continues to be unresolved and there is a lapse in your work authorization, contact your individual Congressional representative for assistance. You can find your representative here.

As a final note, applicants renewing their DACA should make sure to file 180-150 days before the expiry date listed on their Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Applicants who anticipate traveling abroad while their DACA renewal is due should always file earlier than the 150-day mark. Filing less than 120 days in advance may lead to delays in lapses of work authorization, and accruing of unlawful presence.

Students at the University of California, Berkeley, can make appointments online to seek fee assistance (limited) and pro-bono support in filing their DACA applications, and other immigration matters.