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Why Is My DACA Case Pending So Long?

The American Immigration Lawyers Association ("AILA"), is conducting a survey of long pending DACA cases, some pending over one year, and many thousands pending longer that 8 months. The survey has discovered some common elements in long pending cases:
  • The requestor had a criminal history -- numerous cases involved drinking and driving related incidents, juvenile adjudications, gang issues, and drug and theft offenses;
  • The requestor attended an online school or was homeschooled;
  • The requestor had previously been in removal proceedings or was in removal proceedings at the time of the DACA request;
  • The requestor had another petition or an application for other relief pending;
  • The requestor departed the United States for a considerable period of time either during or prior to the continuous residence period; or
  • The requestor provided a small amount of evidence to support either continuous residence during the relevant period or physical presence on June 15, 2012.
As AILA notes, if you have a long-pending DACA case, check to see whether it may fall into one of the above categories. While not always true, these factors may lead to longer processing times. These findings are preliminary, and may not reflect USCIS policy decisions or adjudication trends. USCIS is NOT a model of efficiency, and many of these long pending cases are at its Nebraska Service Center. Reach out to your attorney to see if an individual inquiry on your case is warranted.

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