Two men shaking hands

DACA and Green Card Renewal

Green Cards and DACA are two of the methods that immigrants can pursue to legally live and work in the United States. It is important to keep your immigration status up-to-date and renew either your DACA or green card when necessary. Failure to do so can lead to removal hearings and even deportation. Below is some more information about DACA, about green cards, and about when to renew them.

About DACA

DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It is meant to protect certain individuals who have either overstayed their visas or who were brought to the United States without proper documentation when they were children. DACA was started by President Obama in 2012 and has been under review for several years. The USCIS is not currently processing initial DACA requests, but they are processing renewal requests for those who have already been granted deferred action.

In order to apply for DACA, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You came to the United States before the age of 16;
  • You were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • You have not been convicted of any felony offenses or significant misdemeanors;
  • You have graduated from high school, obtained a GED, or are currently attending school;
  • You are currently in the United States to apply for deferred action;
  • You have lived in the United States since June 15, 2007; and
  • You did not have lawful status on June 15, 2012.

Individuals who have been granted deferred action may stay and work in the United States. Although initial requests are not currently being processed, renewal requests and requests for employment authorization are being accepted and processed. Renewal requests must be placed at least 120 days before your DACA expires. The USCIS strives to process the requests within 120 days, so it is important to give enough time for processing.

For more information about DACA, check out these resources

About Green Cards

Green Cards, also known as permanent residence cards, allow immigrants to permanently live and work in the United States (assuming all immigration laws are followed). Along with the ability to work, green cards also give permanent residents official immigration status and protection under the law. Obtaining a green card is a necessary step in becoming naturalized as a U.S. citizen.

Once you are a lawful permanent resident, you must replace or renew your green card if:

  • Your card has expired or will expire in the next 6 months;
  • Your card was lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed;
  • Your card was received before your 14th birthday and you have since turned 14 (exception if the card will expire before you turn 16);
  • Your card has outdated or incorrect information;
  • You are a commuter switching to a permanent resident or a permanent resident switching to commuter status;
  • You have a previous version of the Alien Registration Card (such as USCIS Form AR-3, Form AR-103, or Form I-151);
  • Your status has automatically changed to that of permanent resident;
  • You have legally changed your name or other identifying information; or
  • You never received the card

Immigration Assistance

If you are an immigrant to the United States and you are looking for help with renewing your DACA or Green Card in Reading, Allentown, or anywhere in southeastern Pennsylvania, Cornerstone Law Firm can help. We have experienced immigration attorneys who can assist with navigating the required documentation, can review your eligibility with you, and can advise you on how to avoid renewal mistakes. Give us a call for more information.