Studying abroad as a DACA recipient can be complex and requires careful consideration. Prior to participating in a study abroad program, we recommend speaking with an immigration attorney and your school’s study abroad office to fully understand the potential risks and requirements.
In addition, we recommend you consider the below:
- Impact on DACA Status: Traveling outside the U.S. can have an impact on a DACA recipient’s status and reentry into the country.
- Advance Parole: A DACA recipient may be able to participate in study abroad programs if they have a valid Advance Parole document. However, obtaining an Advance Parole document can be a complex and lengthy process, and not all DACA recipients are eligible. To obtain an Advance Parole document for a DACA-mented student, visit this website: https://www.immigrationhelp.org/learning-center/how-do-you-apply-for-advance-parole-as-a-daca-recipient (It’s important to note that Advance Parole does not guarantee entry into the U.S. upon return, and that travelers with Advance Parole are still subject to inspection by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.)
- Immigration Laws of the Host Country: The immigration laws of the host country may also affect a DACA recipient’s ability to study abroad. It is important to research the requirements and procedures for international students in the host country.
- Visa requirements: Some countries may require a student visa for DACA recipients to enter and study, which may be difficult to obtain without a valid passport or government-issued ID.
- Entry restrictions: Some countries may have restrictions on entry for individuals without a valid immigration status, which could impact a DACA recipient’s ability to enter and study abroad.
- Renewal of DACA status: Renewing DACA status while abroad may also be challenging, as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services may not have a presence in the host country.
- Travel Restrictions: It is important to be aware of any travel restrictions or restrictions on entry due to COVID-19 or other reasons, as these may impact a DACA recipient’s ability to travel and study abroad.
- Support Networks: It is important to consider the availability of support networks, such as the school’s study abroad office, local student organizations, and community resources, to help with the transition to a new environment.
- Personal Safety: The safety and security of the host country is also an important factor to consider, as it may impact a DACA recipient’s ability to live and study in a foreign country. DACA recipients may face additional challenges when traveling abroad, particularly if they are traveling to a country that is not friendly to the policies of the United States government. This is because DACA provides only deferred action, not lawful status, and does not provide a valid travel document.
We recommend for DACA-mented students to carefully consider these and other factors before making the decision to study abroad. It is key to consult with an immigration attorney and your school’s study abroad office to understand the potential risks and requirements involved in studying abroad.
For more information on any of these topics feel free to reach out to us via phone (480) 874-0100, on our contact us page, or follow us on Instagram @ibsabroad and send us a direct message! We would be more than happy to chat with you!