Attention Dreamers: Advance Parole Is Still An Option
For those who are currently protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) Program, travelling abroad on advance parole is still an option and could potentially put you on a shorter and smoother path to a green card.
What is DACA advance parole?
Advance parole for DACA was put in place in 2012 by the Obama Administration. Under the different presidential administrations, the program has at times been suspended. As of November 2022 however, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services (“USCIS”) is still accepting applications. This immigration benefit allows certain individuals to travel outside of the U.S. and then be legally admitted back into the country upon return.
USCIS will grant advance parole to DACA recipients who have demonstrated their need to leave the country for one of the following purposes:
Humanitarian: Such as traveling to obtain medical treatment, to visit an elderly or sick family member, or attending the funeral of a family member.
Employment: Such as going on an overseas assignment, conference, interview, work meeting, or training.
Educational: Such as conducting academic research or doing a semester abroad as a DACA student.
How Do You Apply?
To apply for advance parole, you must complete and file Form I-131 “Application for Travel Document” with USCIS and include evidence supporting your reasons for travel. For example, if you will be travelling to visit a sick relative, you should include medical records and evidence regarding your relationship with that relative.
As of November 2022, the filing fee for Form I-131 is $495 and the processing times for Form-131 can range from 8 – 12 months.
How Can Advance Parole Help With My Green Card Process?
Once you return to the U.S. on advance parole, you will have a legal entry into the country and may be eligible to apply for a green card in the U.S., if you are married to a U.S. citizen or have a U.S. citizen son or daughter who is 21+. This process is called “adjustment of status” and is a much faster path to a green card than having to process your case through the U.S. Consulate in your home country and attending your interview abroad. Consular processing is typically the only option for individuals who do not have a legal entry into the country,
Tips for Traveling With Advance Parole
Here are some quick tips to consider prior to travelling on advance parole:
- Make sure you consult with an immigration attorney prior to applying for advance parole and leaving the country, so that you are aware of any risks in your case.
- Don’t miss the deadline for returning to the United States that you have listed on your advanced parole. Staying past that date might prevent you from returning.
- Bring a copy of your DACA approval notice, as well as the approval notice for your advance parole.
- Make sure you have a list of your emergency contacts with you.
In short, as long as you respect the terms of your advance parole, there is no reason why you should be prevented from returning to the United States. However, some precautionary steps should always be taken to prevent any worst-case scenarios.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss a potential DACA Advance Parole case with our office. (312) 971-7221.