How Much Does It Cost to Renew DACA?

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has been a lifeline for many individuals brought to the United States as children. However, one of the primary concerns for DACA recipients is the cost associated with renewing their status. This essay will explore the various expenses involved in renewing DACA, providing a comprehensive understanding of the financial commitment required to maintain this protection.

Understanding DACA Renewal Costs

Renewing DACA involves several steps, each with its associated costs. The primary expense is the filing fee required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). As of the latest update, the total cost for renewing DACA is $495. This fee includes $85 for biometric services and $410 for the application itself. These fees cover the cost of processing the application and conducting a background check on the applicant.

Legal Assistance and Additional Costs

Many DACA recipients choose to seek legal assistance when renewing their status. Legal fees can vary significantly depending on the complexity of the case and the rates charged by immigration lawyers. On average, legal fees for DACA renewal range from $200 to $1,000. While not mandatory, legal assistance can help ensure that the application is correctly completed and all required documentation is included, reducing the risk of denial.

In addition to legal fees, applicants may incur other costs such as:

  • Document Preparation: Gathering necessary documents, such as proof of identity and continuous residence, may involve fees for obtaining certified copies or translations.
  • Travel Expenses: Some applicants may need to travel to their local USCIS office for biometric appointments, which can incur additional travel costs.
  • Mailing Fees: Sending applications and supporting documents by certified mail to ensure they are received and tracked can add to the overall cost.
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Financial Assistance and Resources

Recognizing the financial burden on applicants, various non-profit organizations and community groups offer assistance with DACA renewal costs. These organizations may provide grants, scholarships, or loans to help cover the filing fees and legal expenses. Additionally, some immigration lawyers offer pro bono or reduced-cost services to low-income individuals.

Applicants are encouraged to research and reach out to local immigrant support groups, which often have resources and information on available financial assistance. This support can be crucial in ensuring that financial constraints do not prevent eligible individuals from renewing their DACA status.

Conclusion

Renewing DACA involves a significant financial commitment, with costs primarily arising from the USCIS filing fee and potential legal assistance. However, with careful planning and by leveraging available resources and support networks, applicants can manage these expenses. Understanding the costs involved and exploring financial assistance options can help DACA recipients successfully renew their status and continue to benefit from the protections and opportunities provided by the program.

For more detailed information on DACA renewal costs and to seek assistance, visit the full article here. If you need legal advice or support with your DACA renewal, do not hesitate to contact us today to ensure your application process is smooth and successful.