Returning to the U.S. by Air. If you enter through a U.S. airport, you will pass through the U.S. Immigration and Customs. You will be processed in the “Visitor” or “Resident” line, and you can ask an officer once you’re there if you are not sure. It is likely that a Customs and Border Protection officer will escort you to a separate room for secondary screening. There, a CBP officer may ask additional questions, check your belongings (including electronics), and finish processing your re-entry.
Returning to the U.S. by Land. If you travel to the United States by land (such as by car over the U.S.-Canada border or U.S.-Mexico border), you will have to present your advance parole and supporting documents. They may ask you to park your vehicle and step inside the inspection building to complete the U.S. admission process.
In either case, whether you enter the U.S. via air or land, be sure that you have all of your original documents ready with you for processing and any questions from CBP. Keep in mind that this process can take up to several hours.
What to consider before reentry:
- Since the U.S. admission process may take up to several hours due to different factors, be as prepared as possible. This includes:
- Consider the destination of your returning flight based on previous DACA recipients’ experiences with CBP in certain locations. You will go through the inspection process at the first airport you land in the U.S.
- Try to not book a layover so you don’t have to worry about missing a second flight. If this is not possible, be sure to give yourself additional time for any subsequent airline connections.
- Make a list of all emergency contacts — hard copy, not on the phone. Try to have an immigration attorney or congressional staffer in your district as an emergency contact. Carry their business card(s) if possible.
- Let a family member(s) know of your anticipated time of departure and arrival before traveling since you may not be allowed to use your cell phone until you clear customs.
- Use the restroom before inspection and keep water and snacks with you.