Advance parole is a process that allows someone inside the U.S. who wishes to travel abroad to obtain permission in advance that lets them to re-enter the U.S. When they re-enter with this special authorization it is known as being “paroled” into the country. DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival) recipients who need to travel abroad for humanitarian, educational or employment purposes may apply for advance parole. Prior to doing so, however, it is very important to understand the process and risk factors. Each individual case is different! The information contained in this community resource flier is not legal advice, nor does it replace consultation with a licensed immigration attorney or DOJ (Department of Justice) accredited representative.
Categories of Travel
USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) will currently only grant advance parole to DACA recipients if the travel abroad is one of the following categories:
Humanitarian (for example, to obtain medical treatment or visit or care for a sick relative)
Educational (for example, participation in a study-abroad-program)
Employment (for example, work-related conferences or client meetings)
Please note: Traveling purely for leisure or vacation purposes does not fall into any of the permitted categories listed above.
It is important for applicants to understand that a grant of advance parole does not guarantee re-admission into the U.S.! Traveling outside the U.S., even after obtaining advance parole, can impact the applicant’s ability to return to the U.S. and may render them ineligible for certain forms of immigration relief.
All applicants should consider consulting with a licensed immigration lawyer or DOJ accredited representative prior to travel with advance parole. In particular, individuals with prior exclusion, deportation, or removal orders, individuals who have been present in the U.S. without authorization when they were 18 years or older, and have accrued unlawful presence, and individuals with certain kinds of criminal convictions, should carefully assess the risks of travel with a licensed immigration lawyer or DOJ accredited representative.
Logistics of Applying for Advance Parole
Applicants may apply for advance parole by filling out Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, including a copy of a photo id, including proof of their most recent DACA approval, supporting evidence demonstrating their need for travel, two passport photos taken within 30 days of filing their application, and the $575 application fee.
Applications and supporting evidence are reviewed by officials individually, on a case-by-case basis. Official documentation (from medical professionals, educational institutions, or employers) is suggested when possible. It is important to note that if any documentary evidence provided is not in English, it must be accompanied by a certified translation.
Other Considerations in Applying for Advance Parole
Applicants should note that USCIS will typically grant a minimum of 30-45 days of advance parole and the burden is on the applicant to show they require more time. Generally, USCIS will not grant advance parole for more than a year, however, in some circumstances, USCIS may grant advance parole for multiple entries where the applicant has demonstrated a need for multiple entries.
Applicants are expected to disclose any travel outside the country on their subsequent DACA renewal and should clearly explain that they traveled pursuant to a grant of advance parole in a letter along with their renewal request. They should also expect to include supporting documentation related to their travel along with their renewal requests. Therefore, DACA recipients who receive advance parole should keep originals of their (1) Form I-512L, Authorization for Parole of an Alien into the United States; (2) Form I-94, Arrival or Departure record (if they receive one from CBP (Customs and Border Protection)); (3) Form I-131, Application for Travel Document; (4) Form I-797, Notice of Action or document from ICE granting deferred action; (5) passport stamps; and (6) travel tickets.