If you have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, this may be the first time in a very long time that you can now request to travel outside of the U.S. and return legally. Applying for a travel permit known as "Advance Parole" allows you to leave the United States temporarily and maintain your DACA status and reenter through U.S. Customs using the I-512L document.
This process is not guaranteed, however, and involves some potential risk. This article will discuss the potential risks and how to apply for Advance Parole as a DACA recipient.
Will individuals who receive Deferred Action be permitted to travel outside of the country?
Yes, but only if they first apply for and receive a special travel document known as an “Advance Parole document”. Generally, Advance Parole is only granted for travel relating to humanitarian, educational, or employment purposes, and requires an application fee. However, by departing the country, however, immigrants who were unlawfully present for more than 180 days after their 18th birthday could face legal obstacles re-entering the country or obtaining Lawful Permanent Residence (“Green Card”) in the future.
In addition, USCIS advises that immigrants who are subject to a Final Order of Removal should seek to have their cases reopened before traveling outside the country.
Our immigration law office in Los Angeles has successfully helped hundreds of DACA recipients obtain travel permit and reenter the United States after temporary travel abroad. Contact us for a free consultation and see how we can help you!
Who is eligible to apply for Advance Parole as a DACA recipient?
In order to be granted a travel permit from the U.S. Government, the need to travel outside the country must be more than simply wanting a vacation. Your need to travel outside of the U.S. must be for one of the following reasons:
- Urgent humanitarian purpose, which can include medical assistance, to attend a family member's funeral, birth of a child, visiting a sick relative, or some other urgent family-related matter.
- Educational purposes, including taking part in a study abroad program or doing academic research
- Employment purposes, including overseas assignments or client meetings, interviews, conferences, training and travel needed to pursue a job with a foreign employer in the United States.
If you are unsure as to whether your reason for requesting advance parole on DACA, contact our experienced immigration lawyers now for a free consultation.
What are the risks of traveling with Advance Parole as a DACA recipient?
Being the beneficiary of an approved DACA application is not enough by itself to allow you to leave the U.S. and be admitted back upon your return. You should never attempt to travel outside of the U.S. without first applying for and receiving your Advance Parole travel document. If you leave the United States with just DACA status and no travel permit you will be denied entry back into the United States and your DACA status will be cancelled. This is basically "self-deportation", so please avoid doing so!
It is important to note, that being approved for Advance Parole does not necessarily guarantee your safe return either. The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer whom you will be greeted by at U.S. Customs can deny your entry if he or she thinks you are "inadmissible" for any reason.
It is encouraged to have representation by a U.S. immigration attorney to ensure your approval of Advance Parole and your safe return to the U.S. Contact our experienced DACA lawyers now for a FREE consultation.
What Is the USCIS Filing Fee for Advanced Parole for Someone Who Is Approved for Deferred Action?
The filing fee for Form I-131, Application for Travel Permit is $360 and must be paid to the Department of Homeland Security in a check, cashier's check or money order.
How Long Does It Take to Obtain an Advanced Parole If My Deferred Action Has Been Approved by USCIS?
Once USCIS receives the application for Advance Parole it tries to process them as expeditiously as possible, especially in circumstances where the requested date of travel is approaching. We encourage our clients to give at least 90 days from the date of applying to the date of intended departure. We have had success in obtaining travel permits for DACA recipients in as little as 4-6 weeks. However, there is no processing time for these types of requests and it can take up to 4 months or longer for approval.
If you or a loved one has questions about the Advance Parole travel permit for DACA recipients, contact our Los Angeles immigration office now for a FREE consultation!