Recently, the top DACA-related question I am receiving is “What will happen if I drop out of high school or don’t complete my GED program?” My answer is always the same – Don’t do it! You will NOT be able to renew your DACA if you drop out of high school or fail to obtain your GED.
In fact, USCIS has already released definite guidance on this issue. Per USCIS for a DACA renewal, you must have either:
(1) graduated from the school in which you were enrolled and, if that school was elementary school or junior high or middle school, made substantial, measurable progress toward graduating from high school, or,
(2) have made substantial, measurable progress toward graduating from the school in which you are enrolled.
So it’s pretty simple: If you received DACA based on being in school you cannot drop out now and expect to renew your DACA.
Just to clarify, if you have already graduated from high school or have a GED, you do not have to remain in school for a DACA renewal. You have already met the DACA educational requirement. Likewise, if you are in college and need to take a break, that should not affect your DACA renewal.
In short, there are lots of reasons for graduating high school or getting that GED certificate, and now thanks to DACA, we have one more.