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What happens when my DACA expires?

Category : U.S.Immigration

President Donald Trump’s administration announced on September 5, 2017 that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) would be brought to an end. This means that if you are under DACA right now, it will be valid along with your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) only until it expires. If you have filed an initial or renewal application for DACA with the USCIS on or before Sep. 5, 2017, your application will be processed. If your DACA and EAD expires between now and March 5, 2018, you can apply for renewal of your DACA with the USCIS on or before October 5, 2017.

Here are a few FAQ’s to shed some information on the DACA termination process and how it will affect you.

Is my DACA still valid?

     Your DACA is valid until it expires. Both your Employment Authorization Document(EAD) and your DACA are valid until the expiration date. The date of expiry will  be mentioned at the bottom of your EAD and your I-797C Approval Notice.

Can I still apply for a new DACA?

      The USCIS will no longer accept application for new (initial) DACA. However, if you have already applied and accepted for a new DACA on or before September 5, 2017, your application will be processed by the USCIS. It is still unclear if the USCIS will be accepting the new DACA applications received in its lockbox but not yet issued a receipt notice.

DACA Expired before September 5, 2017

My DACA expired before September 5, 2017 and I have filed for renewal. Will my application be processed?

     If you have already applied and accepted for renewal of your DACA on or before September 5, 2017, your application will be processed by the USCIS.

Can I still apply for renewal of my expired DACA by October 5, 2017?

      Unfortunately, you cannot apply for renewal of your expired DACA if you haven’t applied already. Only applicants whose DACA expires between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 are eligible to apply for renewal by October 5, 2017.

If my DACA expired before September 5, 2017, and I apply to renew now, what happens to my application?

     The USCIS will reject your renewal application and your filing fees will be refunded. In other cases, your application may be denied and you may not receive a refund of your fees.

DACA Expires between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018

My DACA expired only after September 5, 2017. Am I eligible to apply for renewal of my DACA?

     Yes, you can apply for your DACA renewal by filing the renewal application with the USCIS as early as possible and the USCIS accepting your application on or before October 5, 2017.

If my DACA is renewed, how long will my work permit be valid?

     Your work permit is usually valid for 2 years from the date of approval of your DACA renewal by the USCIS.

DACA Expiring after March 5, 2018

My DACA expires in 2019. After the announcement, I am now confused as to whether my DACA validity expires on March 5, 2018 or will it continue till the expiry date on my DACA?

     Your DACA is valid until the expiration date mentioned on the Approval Notice I-797C and your work permit, even if the date is after March 5, 2018.

My DACA expires after March 5, 2018. Can I apply for renewal by October 5, 2017?

     Unfortunately, you cannot apply for renewal of your DACA if it is expiring after March 5, 2018. You will remain protected from deportation and can continue to work until your work permit expires.


If your DACA expires and you have no other immigration status, you will lose the ability to work legally on the United States.

Can I be fired because of the announcement to terminate the DACA program?

     No, the announcement to phase out the DACA program is not legal basis to fire any employee. You can work legally in the country as long as your work permit holds validity.

Can I be fired if my work permit renewal application is pending?

     If your DACA has expired and you have applied for renewal, you are still not authorized to work in the country until your DACA renewal is approved by the USCIS. This means your employer can potentially fire you, put you on leave until your renewal is approved or may change the status of your employment.

Driver’s License

What happens to my Driver’s License if my DACA is terminated?

      Driver’s License eligibility varies from state to state. However, all the fifty states and the District of Columbia have provisions for obtaining Driver’s license if you have a valid  DACA. The eligibility to keep a Driver’s license with or without DACA may vary from state to state.

Does my Driver’s License get terminated if my DACA expires?

     Yes, in most states your Driver’s License expires when your DACA  or your work permit expires. To renew your license you need to show new proof that you are present legally in the U.S.

More information on Driver’s license?

  The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and twelve states (CA,CO,CT,DE,HI,IL,MD,NV,NM,UT,VT,WA) issue Driver’s license to eligible residents of their states regardless of their immigration status. Two types of licenses are issued by these states:  

  • Real ID License: Accepted for certain Federal purposes only. If you have this license, you should apply for a Non-Real ID license when your current license expires.
  • Non-Real ID license: Cannot be accepted for federal purposes. If you currently have this license, you can keep/apply for renewal.

You will need to check with your State’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for more specific requirements and information for your state.

Advance Parole

My DACA Advance Parole is already approved. Can I travel outside the U.S now?

     If your DACA Advance Parole was approved before September 5, 2017 you may still be able to travel outside the country.  

I am already outside the U.S on DACA Advance Parole. Can I and should I return to the U.S immediately?

     You should be able to return to the United States if your DACA and Advance Parole have not yet expired. This is the safest course of action available to you, that you return within the expiry date of your DACA and Advance Parole.

I have applied for Advance Parole with the USCIS before September 5, 2017. What happens to my application now?

     The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has decided to administratively close all Advance Parole Applications at this time. So if your application has not been decided already, it will be denied and you will receive a refund of your application fees.

Can I apply for the DACA Advance Parole now?

     No, the USCIS has stated that DACA recipients are no longer eligible for Advance Parole. If you have filed for an application for Advance Parole after September 5, 2017, your application will be denied and you will most likely lose your application filing fee.

Health Insurance

Is my Health Insurance still valid if my DACA has expired?

     If you have Health Insurance through your employer or your spouse’s employer, you will remain covered as long as you/spouse/partner is employed. Your immigration status is not a requirement for this coverage. If your work permit expires, you will eventually lose your employer-provided health insurance. You can also buy private health insurance from Insurance companies and brokers regardless of your immigration status.

I am covered by Public Insurance by my state. What happens if my DACA expires?

     You are still eligible for state health programs even after your DACA expires. Medicaid for emergencies is also available to all regardless of your immigration status.

I am pregnant. Will I be eligible for Insurance Programs after my DACA expires?

     Services including prenatal care, labor and delivery services (in some cases, postpartum care, as well) is included in the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are provided to pregnant women regardless of their immigration status. In some states, if your immigration status makes you ineligible for full-scope Medicaid, you will still be eligible for restricted scope or Emergency Medicaid for labor and delivery services.

I am under 19 years of age. Am I eligible for public health insurance once my DACA expires?

     The states of California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon and Washington provide full scope health coverage to all their residents, under 19 years of age, if they meet the eligibility requirement of the state Medicaid/CHIP program.

My DACA has expired or will expire soon. Am I eligible for any affordable health care?

     The list of following health care programs are available to all uninsured immigrants of the country:

  • Emergency-room care
  • Emergency treatment under Emergency Medicaid (Including labor and delivery for pregnancy)
  • Public health services (Immunizations, treatment of communicable diseases - Tuberculosis, HIV, STD’s)
  • Public and safety-net hospitals
  • Community health centers and free clinics

Higher Education

For students pursuing higher studies, this could be a confusing time. Always keep in mind that the following FAQ’s may vary with the state, college or university where you are enrolled. If you are under any scholarship program, you should also look into what it decides.

Can I enroll in College/University after my DACA expires?

     You are eligible for enrolling in any public college/university of your choice regardless of your immigration status in most states. The exceptions to this are the states of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina, who do not allow undocumented immigrants to enroll in their institutions. If you are currently enrolled at an institution in one of these states, you need to get information from your institution about your status.

Can I qualify for in-state tuition rates after my DACA expires?

     This again varies from state to state. Students who have attended high school in the state for a certain number of years and also meet other criteria, qualify for the in-state tuition rates. You can continue to pay in-state tuition fees if you were a former DACA grantee in these states. In some states, DACA grantees are allowed to pay in-state tuition fees, whereas undocumented immigrants are not. You will need to consult with your college/university to find more specific information.

Am I eligible for any other financial aid/scholarships after my DACA expires?

  • Federal financial aid is not available to current DACA holders.
  • State financial aid: The District of Columbia and 8 other states offer financial aid to students who meet certain criteria. Universities in some states offer their students financial aid, irrespective of their immigration status, even if your DACA expires you will be eligible to receive these aids.
  • Private scholarships: This varies depending on the scholarship as some are applicable only to DACA students, some are available to all students regardless of their immigration status.

Deportation Risks

I have applied for my initial DACA and is pending approval with the USCIS. Can my information be used to arrest, detain or deport me?

     The information you have given in your initial DACA application will not be used for immigration enforcement under normal circumstances. If you pose a threat to “national security or public safety”  or meet with the Deportation criteria, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may take action.

Will Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deport me once my DACA expires?

     Unless you meet with the Deportation criteria, the DHS will not provide your information to the ICE to initiate deportation proceedings. But, if ICE encounters you during any kind of raid or arrest, you will be placed in deportation proceedings.

Who is at the most risk of arrest, detain and deportation once DACA expires?

     It is still not clearly known who will be the priority target after the DACA program ends. The most likely categories for priority deportation may be:

  • If you have a final order of removal.
  • If you have been deported in the past.
  • If you have criminal convictions against you.

Once my DACA expires, will the ICE come to my home and initiate deportation proceedings?

     You will not become a target or a priority for the ICE just because your DACA expires. If you or any of your family members are a priority for an immigration enforcement, you must consult an attorney immediately.

Can I travel within the United States safely without a valid DACA?

     Your valid Driver’s License and your passport are enough documents that you can use to travel within the United States safely. You need not have any current valid DACA status for domestic travel.

What is the “Notice to appear” priority for enforcement?

     The Notice to Appear guidance is available on the USCIS website and it contains information on who is the priority for deportation from the U.S. The following is a priority list in the order for deportation:

  • High risk of removal: People who have been investigated for, charged with, or convicted of aggravated felony (murder, rape, sexual abuse of a minor, trafficking, smuggling, child pornography, ransom or any crime of violence), suspected of being gang members.
  • Risk of removal: People with criminal issues like theft, prostitution, drug related crimes, child abuse, firearms and many other crimes which fall under “non-egregious public safety” crimes also have a high risk of being deported.
  • Other priorities: People with DUI’s are also at risk of being deported by the ICE.

Preparing your Finances

It is always better to be prepared for the unexpected to happen. To secure your financial future, you can do the following things:

  • You can authorize someone to pick your paycheck if you are unable to.
  • Make sure you authorize someone else to handle your bank accounts and transactions (Deposits, withdrawals and closing your account).
  • Add someone to your rent/lease/mortgage agreement, so they can pay, terminate  and collect refunds and security deposits.
  • Get someone listed on your utility bills so they can continue payment or collect deposits or close the account.
  • Again, add someone on your car lease who can continue to pay, terminate the vehicle purchase and also sell the car on your behalf.

Social Security Number

What happens to my SSN if my DACA expires?

     Your Social Security number is used for tax filing purposes and will remain valid for life. It can be used for tax purposes even after your DACA expires or your work permit expires.

Important Immigration Forms

U.S. Citizenship Form N-400 Green Card Renewal Form I-90

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