Let’s talk about this post’s headline for just a second. Yes, today (July 31, 2015) is the last day for DACA beneficiaries with 3-year permits to return their cards to USCIS, and exchange it for two year permits.
If this is confusing to you, then don’t worry — you are certainly not alone.
For months now, there have been a variety of articles, campaigns, and reminders being floated across the internet, prompting undocumented youth to return their 3-year DACA to USCIS. As an older brother, and a recipient of a 2-year DACA renewal, I worried that my both of my brothers, who received 3-year DACA renewals, would be impacted by this change.
However, because they received their DACA renewal prior to February 16, 2015, they were exempt from returning their cards to USCIS. Which is the one key fact that 3-year DACA beneficiaries have to keep in mind throughout the rest of the day — when exactly did you receive your 3-year DACA?
The link above will redirect you to a brief questionnaire, from our friends at United We Dream, which will help you determine whether or not you have to return you 3-year DACA. USCIS has a similar online tool to help you determine whether or not you have to return your card.
Additional things that you should have been exposed to, in case you had to return your 3-year DACA:
- A letter from USCIS
- A possible visit from USCIS officials
Why the confusion?
As reported by Latin Post, this was largely a mistake from the federal government:
Under President Barack Obama’s November 2014 immigration executive actions, the DACA program would expand to three-year work permits, but this action is currently on hold and awaiting judgment in the courts.
The USCIS, however, still distributed three-year permits to a number of DACA applicants. The agency said letters and contacts have been made to the three-year DACA recipients. Those who have received the three-year permits must return it immediately as all employment authorizations will be terminated starting July 31. The USCIS advises beneficiaries to call their customer service before returning the work permit card.
Some important information to consider TODAY, via USCIS:
Failure to Return Your 3-Year EAD
If you are required to return your invalid 3-year EAD and fail to do so, USCIS will terminate your DACA and all employment authorizations effective July 31, 2015. USCIS may consider your actions as a negative factor in weighing any future requests for deferred action, or any other discretionary requests.
Where to Return Your 3-Year EAD
You must return your EAD in person at a USCIS field office, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. No appointment is necessary. At that time, you must either return your invalid 3-year EAD or certify that your invalid 3-year EAD cannot be returned.
If you have any questions or if you are not sure if you are an affected DACA recipient who must return your 3-year EAD, please contact USCIS Customer Service at 1-800-375-5283 and select option 1 for English, then select option 8.
Be sure to Tweet us (@AmericasVoice) any questions you may have. Although, we strongly recommend making use of the resources above first and foremost.