If I committed a crime can I re-enroll in DACA?

In my column Migratory Consultation® of ehis week I answer a question from a reader with a criminal record who wants to re-register for DACA and renew his work permit. Each case is different and the answers vary depending on each person's immigration history.

Here I provide general answers to your questions. Please consult with an immigration attorney to receive personalized legal advice before starting any procedure.

This is the column:

I am enrolled in DACA and was recently found guilty of a crime. My work permit expires in September 2016. Can I re-enroll in DACA and renew my work permit? How far in advance can I submit my applications? -Adrian B.

Adrian, you should not re-enroll in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program without first consulting with a licensed and experienced immigration attorney.

The lawyer will analyze your record, and depending on the crime you have committed, will be able to tell you whether or not you are eligible to re-enroll in DACA.

You will need to bring a summary of your criminal case (court disposition) issued by the court clerk's office that includes the details of what happened in your case. The document, with a court seal, should include your name, the date the case was filed against you, the charges, and what the ruling was.

You should also bring copies of all applications you have previously submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

What you must do to re-enroll in DACA

If the immigration attorney determines that you can apply for DACA re-registration and renew your work permit, you will need to file the applications 120 to 150 days (four to five months) before your current DACA period expires to avoid problems if there are delays in processing. But don't get too far ahead of yourself. USCIS will reject renewal applications filed more than 150 days in advance.

The DACA re-registration process for eligible individuals began on June 5, 2014.

Individuals who have not lived continuously in the United States since June 15, 2007 are not eligible for DACA.

According to USCISIn order for renewal requests to be evaluated, the initial DACA requirements must be met, in addition to the following:

  • Not having left the United States without advance permission on or after August 15, 2012.
  • Have lived continuously in the United States from the time their most recent DACA petition was filed and approved to the present.
  • Not have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors.
  • Not be in any way a threat to national security or public safety.

To begin the renewal process, several immigration forms must be submitted and a fee of $465 must be paid. USCIS will re-verify the background of the person applying for DACA renewal.

The above instructions are for re-registering for DACA, not for applying for the first time.

USCIS continues to accept applications for DACA from people who have never applied for DACA before. You can learn more about how to apply for DACA for the first time by clicking here.

Since applications began being accepted in August 2012, more than 700,000 people have enrolled in DACA.

Adrian, it is extremely important that you consult with an immigration attorney before beginning any immigration proceedings.