Trip Tips: Travelling

Trip Tips: Travelling with Advance Parole through DACA.

If you initially entered the United States without authorization, traveling on advance parole can help you fix your immigration status more easily in the future. If you have decided to travel and received advance parole from USCIS, below are several tips that will help prepare you for the process of going abroad.

  • Applying for Advance Parole
    • If this is with regards to emergency travel in the next couple months or you have a sick relative abroad that you need to visit for humanitarian reasons, you can apply for advance parole at the local USCIS field office in San Francisco in person. Many Berkeley students have done so successfully in the past by taking their complete, prepared advance parole application and filing fee to the local USCIS office at 444 Washington Street for same-day approval. Infopass appointments are encouraged, but not required.
      • For humanitarian travel abroad, a doctor’s note outlining the relative’s health, and proof of relationship to sick relative (birth certificates), or a death certificate if the family member has passed away, is usually required evidence for approval of advance parole. All documents that are not in English need to be translated, and our legal team has the expertise to do this in-house.
      • The local USCIS office has also approved advance parole, in limited cases, for emergency employment-based travel abroad such as work-related conferences. This would require a letter from an employer.
      • The local USCIS office is not approving advance parole for educational reasons at this time due to a national directive. However, if you have already applied for advance parole with USCIS for a study abroad program and have been approved, please contact your attorney with regards to using the approval to travel abroad.
    • Things to take to the local field office: Prepared I-131 advance parole application with two passport photos, and filing fee of $360, evidence of need to travel abroad, your DACA work permit and approval notice, your current passport, and California ID/driver’s license
    • Be sure to stay within the dates of approved travel on your advance parole document.
    • When applying for advance parole, we suggest that you give yourself a few extra days on either end of your trip to allow for contingencies. Example: If my conference or program goes from December 15, 2016 to January 10, 2017, I may want to apply for advance parole from December 10, 2017 to January 15, 2017.
    • One application for multiple trips. If you have multiple trips planned, you can apply for advance parole for these trips in one application. Example: I have been approved for a research project that involves several trips to one country or visiting multiple countries. I can list all of these country visits in ONE Form I-131 with an explanation for the multiple trips.
  • Leaving the U.S. & Travelling to Your Destination
    • For your travel to country of origin.
      • If you plan to travel to your country of origin, the only document you need for entry is a passport from that country that is valid for six months after the date of travel.
    • For travel to a third country.
      • If you are travelling to a place that is NOT your country of origin, you will need to comply with any visa requirements of that country as they pertain to someone with your nationality and country of citizenship.
    • If you have any questions about the visa requirements, please talk with your attorney:
      • Example: I am a Salvadoran national with DACA travelling to Mexico. I will need a visitor visa required for a Salvadoran to enter Mexico. The best place to look for this information is the consulate website for the destination country, in this case, Mexico.
  • Returning to the United States
    At this time, while students can still go abroad, students should not plan to be abroad after January 19, 2017 because both DACA and advance parole can be scraped as discretionary programs with a new President in office. As such, all students who go abroad or who are abroad, should return to the United States before the new President comes into office. We will update this with new information, if anything changes.


  • Re-entry documents. In order to be fully prepared for any questions you may receive from Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), we suggest that you carry with you the following original documents:
    • A passport from your country of origin that is valid for at least six months after the date of travel;
    • Advance parole document;
    • Evidence of reason for the trip abroad;
    • Employment authorization card;
    • A copy of your DACA approval notice;
    • State I.D. or driver’s license; and
    • Your attorney’s business card with contact information.

    Make copies of the documents above, keep a set with you, and leave one with someone you trust in the United States in case you lose the originals.

Re-entry questioning.
A CBP officer will likely as questions about your trip abroad when you are re-entering the U.S., such as:

  • What was the reason for your trip abroad?
  • For how long were you gone?
  • What countries did you visit and where did you stay?

A CBP officer may also ask questions about your residence in the United States, such as:

  • Where do you reside in the U.S.?
  • How long have you resided in the U.S.?
  • What do you do there?

You should be prepared to answer these questions and show documents that provide evidentiary support.

Proof of re-entry. If you are returning to the United States over a land border, be sure that an immigration officer at the port of entry inspects you and stamps your passport. This proof of re-entry is evidence that you complied with the terms of your Advance Parole and may also be useful to you in the future if you ever apply for permanent residency through a U.S. citizen spouse, parent or child.

East Bay Community Law Center. Contact us at: