Travel Advisement for Undocumented Students
NYU's Office of Global Services advises that undocumented students do not travel outside of the U.S. due to potential challenges facing reentry — even those currently covered by DACA.
Please note that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is only accepting applications for Advance Parole, for current DACA recipients.
If you have decided to travel despite our advice to not do so, and already have Advance Parole from USCIS, below are several tips that may help prepare you for the process of going abroad.
Leaving the U.S. and Traveling to Your Destination
For travel to your 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 traveling 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.
- If you have any questions about the visa requirements, please talk with your attorney or the Legal Services Program.
- Example: You are a Salvadoran national with DACA traveling to Mexico. You 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 U.S.
- Prepare your 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 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.
- Prepare for re-entry questioning. A CBP officer will likely ask questions about your trip abroad and about your residence in the United States 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?
- Where do you reside in the U.S.?
- What do you do there?
- You should be prepared to answer these questions and show documents that provide evidentiary support.
- Be sure to get 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 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 family member.
This information is for your reference only. This advisory is not legal advice and does not substitute for the advice of an immigration expert.
Source: Legal Services Program of the International Human Rights Law Clinic, UC Berkeley School of Law.