Higher education institutions can play a critical role in helping certain Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients become eligible for important immigration benefits by supporting opportunities for them to travel abroad temporarily using “advance parole,” a policy that allows certain noncitizens, including DACA recipients to obtain legal permission to reenter the U.S. in advance of traveling abroad. Because advance parole allows DACA recipients to reenter the U.S. legally, it allows some DACA recipients to overcome immigration barriers that would have previously prevented them from adjusting to a more permanent immigration status.
Higher education institutions can support DACA recipients on their campuses (students, staff, and faculty) who are seeking to utilize these benefits. Such support can include advertising study abroad opportunities to DACA recipients, educating staff that manage study abroad programs about advance parole, helping DACA recipients apply for advance parole by connecting them with legal resources and attorneys, setting up educational programs abroad that specifically cater to DACA recipients, or partnering with external organizations that have existing advance parole travel programs.
Advance parole is an administrative procedure that allows certain noncitizens inside the U.S. seeking to travel abroad to receive advanced authorization to reenter the U.S. after temporarily traveling abroad. To travel abroad using advance parole, DACA recipients must have:
- A valid employment authorization document (EAD);
- A valid passport from their country of citizenship; and
- A qualifying education, employment, or humanitarian reason for travel.
After an individual applies and is approved for advance parole, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues an advance parole travel document to travelers before they depart the U.S.