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Emergency Advance Parole for DACA Recipients


Advance Parole is a process in US immigration law that allows immigrants to leave the US and re-enter lawfully. If you are a recipient of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and have an emergent need to travel outside of the US, you may be eligible for emergency advance parole. Keep reading to learn more about eligibility and the application process. 

Who is eligible?

DACA holders can apply for advance parole to travel for three reasons: educational, employment, or humanitarian. Urgent humanitarian reasons may include attending a funeral overseas, visiting a sick relative, caring for an immediate relative, and other compelling and emergent situations. Employment reasons include traveling for a work assignment through your US employer or attending a work conference. Educational eligibility for travel includes study abroad programs or academic research overseas.    

Receiving emergency advance parole also has an additional benefit, beyond being able to travel. Upon re-entering the US withy our advance parole document, you will be inspected and admitted into the US by CBP. This means that you will have a documented and valid entry into the US, which could open the door to adjusting your status to receive a green card and beginning the path to citizenship, in some circumstances.

Applying for emergency advance parole is a fairly straightforward process. Here's how to do it:

  • Request an Infopass appointment with USCIS. You or your attorney will call USCIS and be persistent until you speak to a live human, ideally a Tier-2 supervisor. Once you reach a customer service representative, you will explain your need for emergency travel and will likely be scheduled for a callback later that day (or within 1-2 days) from a T-2 officer. Once you receive your callback, you will need to explain your need for the Infopass appointment. If the officer approves your request, they will schedule the appointment at your local USCIS field office. 
  • Arrive at your appointment at your specified time.
  • Bring all required documents. 

What you will need to complete and bring to your appointment:

  • Form I-131, Application for travel document. (Note: you can file this form in-person at your Infopass appointment);
  • Supporting evidence of the emergency - bring lots! This may include medical records, doctors letter(s), photograph of sick relative, death certificate, etc. Make sure to provide English translations, if applicable;
  • Evidence of relationship to person you’re visiting (i.e. birth certificate), if applicable;
  • Filing fee of $575;
  • Two passport photos;
  • Your passport.

What to expect? 

You will meet with a USCIS adjudicator and review your application at the USCIS field office. They may tell you that they need to check with their supervisor before they can approve your application. That’s okay - you will get a call back pretty quickly, maybe the next day, confirming that the emergency advanced parole is going to be issued. You will then need to go back down to the field office to pick up your advance parole document. You are then able to travel outside the US, as long as you have your approved document and valid passport.

Many DACA recipients have traveled on advance parole without issue, but you should always be very careful that there are not any other reasons that would prevent you getting back into the US smoothly, like a criminal record or other issue. It’s a big deal to cross the US border at this stage even with the advance parole, so you must make sure everything is very clear. International travel with DACA should only be considered in true emergencies and urgent situations.

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