What Does USCIS Case Status “Case Rejected” Mean for My DACA Application?

In a Nutshell

The USCIS case status “Case Rejected” means that you didn’t file your DACA renewal paperwork correctly, so USCIS did not review your case. If USCIS rejects your case, it will return your original filing fee. To have your case reviewed, you’ll need to fix the issue that caused the rejection. Common issues that lead to rejection include filing the incorrect form version, paying an incorrect fee amount, and not signing a form.

Written by Amy Lane Carst
Written December 14, 2022

My USCIS Case Status Says “Case Rejected.” What Does That Mean for My DACA Renewal Application?

If USCIS posts a “Case Rejected” status after you file your DACA renewal application, do not panic. Although this isn’t necessarily the news you were hoping for, it does not mean that your application was denied. In most cases, “Case Rejected” simply means that you made an error during the application process. 

Generally speaking, you will need to take action to correct any mistakes, refile your application, and resubmit payment for the filing fee, which is returned to you if USCIS rejects an application. To expedite the process, you should consider resubmitting your filing fee online with a credit or debit card.

Along with the status update of “Case Rejected,” you will receive an explanation for why your case was rejected. Here are some of the most common reasons DACA renewal applications get rejected:

  • Case Was Rejected Because It Was Improperly Filed

  • Case Rejected Because The Version Of The Form I Sent Is No Longer Accepted

  • Case Was Rejected Because I Did Not Sign My Form

  • Petition/Application Was Rejected For Insufficient Funds

  • Case Rejected Because I Sent An Incorrect Fee

  • Case Rejected For Incorrect Fee And Form Not Signed

  • Case Rejected For Incorrect Fee And Incorrect Form Version

  • Case Rejected For Form Not Signed And Incorrect Form Version

  • Case Rejected For Incorrect Fee

As you can see, most of the reasons for rejection are easily resolved. If you don’t understand the reason your case was rejected, you can get legal advice from an independent immigration attorney.

Does the Case Status “Case Rejected” Mean the Same Thing as “Case Denied”?

No. Having your DACA renewal application rejected can be frustrating and upsetting. But it is not the same as having your case denied.

If your case is rejected, you’ll get a rejection notice from USCIS. You can review the notice, fix the issues USCIS flagged, and resubmit as quickly as possible. The application process may be delayed, but it hasn’t ended. 

A case denial, on the other hand, means that USCIS reviewed your case and determined that you do not qualify for DACA status. In this scenario, your DACA status will not be renewed, nor will you get your fees back. Case denials are can be appealed, but doing so is difficult without an attorney at your side.

What Should I Do if My USCIS Case Status Says “Case Rejected” for My DACA Renewal Case?

As mentioned, you’ll need to take steps to address the reason for your case rejection. These steps vary based on the reason for the rejection.

Case Was Rejected Because It Was Improperly Filed

The rules for filing your DACA renewal are very specific, and even minor errors or oversights can lead to a “Case Rejected” status. For example, if you send your application to the wrong filing address, USCIS can reject it as “improperly filed.” Review the rejection notice to determine what caused the improper filing and take the necessary steps to resolve it swiftly.  

Case Rejected Because The Version Of The Form I Sent Is No Longer Accepted

USCIS updates its application forms from time to time. If you accidentally used an old version of a form, USCIS will reject your application. When this occurs, you must locate the correct version of your form, fill it out completely and accurately, and refile your DACA renewal. To find the most recent edition of the form, visit the USCIS DACA page and look under “Edition Date.”

Case Was Rejected Because I Did Not Sign My Form

If you forget to sign any part of your DACA renewal, USCIS will reject the application. When this happens, you must add your signature in all required places and resubmit your renewal application to USCIS. 

Petition/Application Was Rejected For Insufficient Funds

When renewing your DACA status, you must pay a $410 filing fee for Form I-765 and a$85 biometrics fee to USCIS. You can find a list of these and other filing fees on the USCIS Fee Schedule. If you paid your filing fees with a personal check and your account didn’t have enough money in when the payment was processed, your application will likely be “rejected for insufficient funds.”

To avoid this, you can pay your filing fees online with a debit or credit card, or you can pay with a money order or cashier’s check. If you’re struggling to pay the full filing fee, you’re not alone. Check our article on tips to help you afford USCIS filing fees.

Case Rejected Because I Sent An Incorrect Fee

The DACA renewal process is complex and can be quite confusing. If you misunderstood the required fees and submitted payment for the wrong amount, USCIS may have rejected your DACA renewal application. To remedy this, resubmit your application with payment for the appropriate amount. 

Case Rejections for Multiple Issues

Due to the complexity of USCIS applications, your DACA renewal may be rejected for multiple reasons. For example, if you used an old version of Form I-821D and submitted the wrong fee for Form I-765, you may receive two case statuses for rejection. Below are three common issue combinations:

  • Case Rejected For Incorrect Fee And Form Not Signed

  • Case Rejected For Incorrect Fee And Incorrect Form Version

  • Case Rejected For Form Not Signed And Incorrect Form Version

Familiarizing yourself with the common reasons for rejection above before submitting your application for DACA renewal can help you avoid making these mistakes.  

Where in the DACA Renewal Application Process Might I See “Case Rejected” as My Status?

Most commonly applicants see a rejection status immediately after filing one of the required forms or paying filing fees. Renewing your DACA status and work permit involves filing three forms:

  • Form I-821D: Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. This is the main application form.

  • Form I-765: Application for Employment Authorization. This is the application for a work authorization, better known as a work permit

  • Form I-765ws: This worksheet accompanies Form I-765.

The processing time for DACA renewals varies widely based on the accuracy of your filing and the current state of processing for immigration benefits, and DACA specifically. You can find the most recent processing times information on our DACA processing times page, which we update regularly using USCIS’s processing time information

It’s also important to note that DACA is often tied up in court proceedings, which can affect who is eligible to apply. You can get the latest DACA news here. 

How Can I Track USCIS Case Status Changes?

Once you’ve submitted an application to USCIS to renew your DACA status, check your USCIS account online regularly for status updates.

You can check your case status on USCIS.gov by entering the receipt number, which is the 13-character identification code issued by USCIS. This number can be found on any correspondence USCIS sends regarding your application. Whether you are renewing DACA benefits, trying to obtain a work permit, or applying for advance parole, you will need this number to check the status of your application

Remember that USCIS will also mail out an official notice explaining the status change. These notices often have more information than your online account, but they take longer to get to you.