It’s a frightening time for immigrants. Although previous presidents have deported immigrants in large numbers, many – especially those without criminal records – felt a relative sense of normalcy. But with an administration that is outwardly hostile toward immigrant populations, any comfort previously felt is gone. As Donald Trump attempts to tighten immigration laws and cut down on even legal forms of migration into the United States, it can be difficult to keep up with the changing landscape.

That’s why we have launched the Ask an Immigration Lawyer column. Twice a month, Angela Fernandez – a Columbia University School of Law graduate with 20 years of experience and the executive director of Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights – answers your questions about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and more. This column is not meant to be construed as legal advice. You should not act upon any information provided without seeking the advice of an attorney licensed to practice law in your state.

Submit a question here and check out previous columns here.


Dear Angela: How many months should I renew my work permit if it expires October 13, 2018? I can’t put my job at risk.

DACA Recipient

Dear DACA Recipient: On January 13, 2018, USCIS announced that it would comply with an order from the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in California and resume processing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewals across the United States. According to USCIS regulations regarding DACA renewals, the earliest you can submit your DACA renewal application is six months before your DACA work authorization expires. For you specifically, the earliest you can submit your DACA renewal application would be April 13, 2018, because your DACA work authorization will expire October 13, 2018.

For those whose DACA work authorizations have already expired there is hope: If your DACA work authorization expired on or after September 5, 2016, you can file an application for renewal. If your DACA work authorization expired before September 5, 2016, or if it was terminated at anytime you can file an initial DACA application now.


If you have additional questions about immigration law, please email [email protected] or visit 5030 Broadway, Suite 639 (Between 213th and 214th Streets), New York, New York 10034 for free consultation and/or free legal assistance.

Angela Fernandez is Executive Director and Supervising Attorney of the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights (NMCIR). NMCIR is a 501-c-3, non-profit, founded in 1982 with the goal of educating, defending and advocating for immigrant rights. NMCIR is recognized by the US Department of Justice to provide immigration legal services.