Can DACA Recipients leave the country?

Hundreds of thousands of individuals who were brought to the United States as children have been able to benefit from the DACA program, providing them the opportunity to live, attend school, and work in the United States. Throughout their time in the country, a DACA recipient may be presented with the need to travel outside of the U.S. either for personal reasons or in relation to their career or education. Recipients of DACA may only travel outside of the United States if they have been granted Advance Parole. Advance Parole is a conditional and temporary document that allows a non-permanent resident, such as a DACA recipient, to leave and reenter the United States without losing their status.  Before coming to talk to an immigration lawyer in Tallahassee or elsewhere in the U.S., familiarize yourself with potential bases for Advance Parole.

In order to be eligible for Advance Parole, your reason for travel must fall within one the following categories:

  • Humanitarian: To obtain medical treatment, attend funeral services for a relative, visit a sick relative, or other family-related emergencies.
  • Educational: Academic research or study abroad programs
  • Employment: Obtain training abroad, conferences, overseas assignments, meeting with clients, or other work-related circumstances.

In addition to the Advance Parole application, you must provide documentation that supports your stated reason for travel. Most importantly, a DACA recipient should not attempt to leave the US without Advance Parole because doing so will likely result in denial of reentry and cancellation of DACA status.

Unfortunately, having Advance Parole does not guarantee reentry into the U.S. as a Customs and Border Protection officer may still deny you entry if they deem you “inadmissible.” Some possibilities for not being admitted back into the United States include health and security reasons or outstanding orders of removal or deportation. In the latter case, it may result in your inability to return to the U.S. for up to ten years. Due to the risks involved with traveling with Advance Parole, it is highly advised to contact an immigration attorney to assist you in applying and securing your travel in order to ensure your ability to reenter the United States without delay. Our Tallahassee immigration attorney is experienced in the process of applying for Advance Parole and is available to assist you in choosing an option that is appropriate for your unique situation and planning a course of action.