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I have DACA, can I travel outside the United States?

Generally, Yes!

At Kuck Immigration Partners we have been helping our DACA clients obtain a travel permit, also known as Advance Parole, for several years now. If you have DACA and have not taken the opportunity to travel abroad, we’ll briefly explain how it works.

First of all, simply having DACA does not mean you can leave the U.S.; the travel permit needs to be approved before any trip can take place. There are three reasons to request Advance Parole:
1
  1. Humanitarian – to attend funeral services for family members, visit family members who are ill, or to seek medical treatment
  2. Educational – to pursue a study abroad program or academic research
  3. Employment – to attend trainings, conferences, business meetings, or other foreign assignments

Advance Parole is a great opportunity to visit family abroad, but it can also provide a significant benefit in obtaining permanent residence in the U.S.

In 2012, a case decided by the Board of Immigration Appeals allowed individuals who came into the U.S. with Advance Parole to adjust to legal permanent residence even if their initial entry was unlawful. This process would avoid the requirement of traveling to the country of origin to be interviewed at the consulate before obtaining permanent residence.

Let me give you an example:
  1. John came to the U.S. undocumented as a young child and qualifies for DACA
  2.  John obtains DACA and also Advance Parole
  3.  He visits his ill grandmother outside the U.S.
  4.  John has a family member who can petition him, like a U.S. citizen spouse or child
  5.  Upon his return to the U.S., John would be inspected and admitted by an immigration official
  6.  Because of that legal entry, he can now apply for residency from the U.S.
Now, I must caution you. Not everyone who has DACA should travel outside the U.S., it will depend on your criminal and immigration history. Consult with an immigration attorney who can determine if Advance Parole is the right option for you.

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