Students with DACA Abroad
NOTE: Due to the recent announcement from U.S. leadership regarding the DACA program, we regret that we do not recommended DACA students to participate on an Education Abroad program that would take them outside the U.S. We are happy to work with any DACA student to find an alternative option within the U.S.
If you would like to contact an Immigration Attorney to discuss this further and get legal counsel you can contact a local attorney here: immigration attorneys in the area.
As a student with DACA, you are eligible to study abroad. That said, there are several questions you will want to ask yourself and several considerations to think through. You will also want to consult with an immigration attorney. Everyone’s situation is different and an immigration attorney will be able to walk through your specific situation and give you the information you will need to determine if this is the right opportunity for you. In addition, we will need to keep a close eye on possible changes to DACA after the inauguration of the new president on January 20, 2017, which may or may not make going abroad with DACA riskier.
- Legal Considerations
- Does the program date overlap with your DACA renewal expiration?
- Do you have access to legal support for the Advance Parole application?
- Have you consulted legal counsel to determine if any pre-existing legal issues would affect your ability to re-enter the United States (grounds for inadmissibility)?
- What happens if there are political changes while you are abroad? Could your DACA status be jeopardized?
- Financial Considerations
- DACA students do not qualify for federal aid. What types of state or private aid might be available to you?
- Oregon state funds and private scholarships can assist in funding. What funds can you access?
- DACA students will want to be sure to calculate all associated costs, i.e. the cost of applying for Advance Parole
- Program Considerations
- Timing of the program
- Does it fall in line with DACA/Advance Parole application timing?
- You must be accepted to a program prior to applying for Advance Parole
- Long-term vs. short-term programs
- Affiliate/exchange programs vs. faculty-led programs – financial responsibility and timing differential
From US Citizenship Immigration Services website (USCIS):
“If you want to travel outside the United States, you must apply for advance parole by filing a Form I-131, Application for Travel Document and paying the applicable fee ($360). USCIS will determine whether your purpose for international travel is justifiable based on the circumstances you describe in your request. Generally, USCIS will only grant advance parole if your travel abroad will be in furtherance of:
- humanitarian purposes, including travel to obtain medical treatment, attending funeral services for a family member, or visiting an ailing relative;
- educational purposes, such as semester-abroad programs and academic research, or;
- employment purposes such as overseas assignments, interviews, conferences or, training, or meetings with clients overseas.”
From the Customs and Border Protection website (CBP):
“Please note that Advance Parole does not guarantee admission into the United States. Aliens with Advance Parole are still subject to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspection process at the port of entry.”
Portland Community College Resources
- Portland Community College’s DREAM Center located at Rock Creek provides a safer space resource center for the PCC Undocumented/DACAmented community
- PCC’s Resources for Undocumented and DACA Students
- Frequently asked questions about DACA at PCC
- American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) “Find a Lawyer” page
- Catholic Charities of Oregon Immigration Legal Services provides immigration legal services to low income immigrants and refugees (you do not need to identify as Catholic to access their services)
- Immigration Counseling Service Oregon immigration group – a non-profit immigration law firm
- National Immigration Project – search by state
Click any of the following links for more information and resources:
- Consideration for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (USCIS site)
- Portland State University Sanctuary Campus Information – PSU information and resources for students with DACA and undocumented students
- Students with DACA – Pomona College information on studying abroad with DACA and further resources
- My (Un)Documented Life -“Up-to-date Information & Resources for Undocumented Immigrants”
- CalPoly information for students with DACA studying abroad