What is DACA?
Before understanding how to qualify for Advanced Parole for DACA Recipients, it is important to first understand what DACA is. DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. This is a U.S. immigration policy that provides temporary relief from deportation and allows for work authorization to certain young undocumented immigrants. DACA is not considered a permanent legal status, but it does allow for an individual to apply for a driver’s license, social security number, and a work permit.
Who is Eligible for DACA?
According to USCIS, applicants must meet the following major DACA requirements:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012, meaning that:
- You never had a lawful immigration status on or before June 15, 2012, or
- Any lawful immigration status or parole that you obtained prior to June 15, 2012, had expired as of June 15, 2012;
- Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
For further information on DACA requirements and eligibility, click here.
Obtaining Advanced Parole for DACA Recipients
It is important for individuals to understand the specifics of traveling while applying for DACA. Applicants are reminded not to travel outside the United States until their DACA request has been approved. Applicants or recipients are also reminded not to travel outside of the United States unless being given the proper approval for travel. Individuals who disregard this reminder risk the chance of losing their DACA status. Lastly, at the borders, inspections will be done. There is always the possibility that you could be denied entry upon return even if you were approved to travel outside of the United States.
How to Travel With DACA
Once an individual has obtained their DACA status and wishes to travel outside of the United States, an individual must apply for permission that is called “Advance Parole.” This allows for individuals to travel, study, or work abroad and return back to the United States lawfully. While there are many benefits to traveling with DACA, there are also many disadvantages such as getting suck outside the U.S., limited time approved for travel, cost of $360 to apply and not guaranteed to be approved.
As suggested by ILRC, is how to travel safely with Advance Parole:
1. Consult with an immigration attorney before leaving the country!
2. DO NOT miss the deadline for returning listed in your Advance Parole approval notice.
3. Leave extra time for your return to accommodate any unexpected travel delays.
4. Bring your Advance Parole approval notice and DACA approval notice with you.
5. Leave copies of your approval notices with a close relative or representative in the U.S.
6. Keep a list of emergency contacts with you.
Qualifications and Eligibility to Travel With DACA
In order for USCIS to approve an application for travel with DACA, an individual must be able to prove that the travel is for the purpose of “humanitarian, education, or employment” purposes. An advance parole screening sheet for DACA recipients posted by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is needed to be filled out completely and submitted to be considered.
At Schehr Law PLLC we offer free consultations and affordable payment plans. The immigration process can be long and stressful, it is important to reach out to an attorney who has experience in this area. Please do not hesitate to reach out for more information or if you have any questions at all.