The USCIS has recently released information on how individuals who received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) benefits would be able to apply for an extension of the period of deferred action for an additional two years. Although it does not confer lawful status, DACA is a discretionary measure that grants eligible undocumented individuals who entered the United States as children protection from removal actions and the ability to apply for employment authorization. DACA was intended to protect children who through no fault of their own were brought to and raised in the United States, but remain on the fringes of society due to their lack of lawful status, in light of the failure of Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

As part of the renewal process, the USCIS will issue a new Form, I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood in late May, which applicants will submit with the Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and the Form I-765W, Worksheet. Applicants are warned against filing the current version of the Form I-821D as this will result in a rejection of the application. The USCIS has also indicated that applicants' renewal of deferred action and employment authorization will be processed before the current deferred action and employment authorization documents will expire.

For Form I-9 purposes, employers are reminded that they should monitor the expiration of those employees whose employment authorization will expire and make a timely request to the employee to provide a new document evidencing a new period of employment authorization. This is most easily done by providing the employee with the most recent version of the Form I-9 Instructions which includes the List of Acceptable Documents. Employers must re-verify employment authorization before the employee's current authorization expires. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding the Form I-9, the employment eligibility verification process or the DACA renewal process.