Can the DACA Recipients Travel Abroad Without Advance Parole?

Travel Documents for Deferred Action RecipientsAfter receiving deferred action status, an undocumented immigrant in the United States can remain in the country and work there for US employers legally. Similarly, certain American states have announced that they can also obtain driver’s licenses. The next question that comes to the minds of undocumented immigrants who receive deferred action status is, Can I legally travel abroad after receiving deferred action status?

The answer to this question is yes, but all the deferred action recipients may not be permitted to travel abroad. You may be permitted to travel abroad legally after you are granted deferred action status and to travel abroad, you will have to file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document along with $360 and obtain an advance parole document. However, all the deferred action recipients may not be granted advance parole documents and permission to travel abroad and only if the purpose for travel is justifiable and if you seek to travel for humanitarian or employment purposes, you may be granted an advance parole document.

At the same time, you need to remember that you can apply for a travel document only after you are granted deferred action status and you must not leave the country after submitting Form I-821D for deferred action and without obtaining an advance parole document. In case you travel abroad after filing your petition, your deferred action request will not be considered by the USCIS. Moreover, while applying for deferred action status, you will have to submit few documents to establish your eligibility and you will have to demonstrate that you were present in America on August 15th, 2012, the date on which President Obama implemented the deferred action program. Hence, you must have been living in America for five years and must not leave the country until you receive deferred action status.

Nevertheless, after being granted deferred action status, you may prove that you need to travel abroad for a genuine reason and apply for an advance parole document and travel abroad for a short term. However, requests for advance parole documents will be considered by the USCIS on a case-by-case basis. You can apply for an advance parole document to travel abroad, even if you have been granted deferred action status after you have been ordered deported. In this case, you will have to request the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), to reopen your case, before leaving the country. Similarly, you may travel abroad only after the EOIR accepts your request and reopens your case.

Many undocumented immigrants who qualify for deferred action status believe that the country will permit them to travel abroad legally after they are granted deferred action status. Though the deferred action recipients will be permitted to travel abroad, they need to remember that there are limitations.