An advance parole (AP) document allows non-U.S. citizens who are living in the U.S. to temporarily travel abroad and re-enter the country. Before leaving the U.S., noncitizens, including DACA recipients, MUST obtain an AP document.
DACA recipients can request AP only if they will travel for employment, humanitarian, or educational reasons. Currently (July 2023), it takes about four to eight months for USCIS to process a mailed AP application. But if a DACA recipient needs to travel urgently for humanitarian reasons, they can apply for emergency AP in person at their local USCIS field office.
Note: Requesting emergency advance parole is not a substitute for delaying your Advance Parole application. This should only be used for emergency situations. To avoid delays in your travel plans, mail in your AP application about 8 months before your intended travel dates.
DACA recipients have applied for and obtained an AP document to travel for an emergency humanitarian purpose. Some examples include:
Talk to an immigration lawyer who can explain your specific risks of traveling outside the U.S. and coming back. USCIS may grant a DACA recipient an advance parole document even if it is not in the applicant’s best interest to travel abroad. If you need general information about AP, check out this guide.
Important Note: USCIS grants DACA recipients advance parole at its discretion. When USCIS field officers review emergency AP applications, they have the power to decide whether the travel need is urgent. The USCIS field office may not approve your emergency AP application and may tell you to apply with USCIS by mail.
Call the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283. (Please note that it may be hard to get through the automated system and speak with a human.) Tell them you need an in-person (or “InfoPass”) appointment for an “emergency advance parole document” because you need to travel as soon as possible. Be prepared to summarize the urgent humanitarian reason for which you must travel abroad. USCIS will then call you back within three working days to schedule an in-person appointment at your local USCIS field office.
Take your complete application with you to your in-person appointment. After checking in, you will meet with a USCIS officer at one of the windows at the front of the waiting room. Your emergency advance parole request will be granted or denied at the time of the in-person appointment. If you are granted emergency advance parole, you will need to pay the $575 filing fee. The easiest way to do this at a field office is by credit or debit card; the field offices do not accept money orders.
Be Your Best Advocate
This will be your only opportunity to explain why you need your advance parole document immediately. Practice explaining in one or two sentences the nature of the emergency.
Every USCIS field office and supervisor exercises their discretion in approving or denying emergency advance parole. Even if you present evidence that your case is an emergency, the field office may not issue you an advance parole document and may direct you to file your application by mail with the USCIS service center.
If you decide to apply for emergency AP again, you can update your evidence to demonstrate why you have an urgent need to travel. You will then have to go through Steps 2 and 3 above.
Use All Your Resources
There are ways to advocate for yourself even further:
Applying for advance parole is exhausting, both emotionally and financially.
Remember to take care of yourself before, during, and after the AP process. See here for mental health resources to help you during this.
Emergency advance parole costs the same as a non-emergency I-131 application — $575.
No. EMERGENCY I-131s are filed in-person at your local USCIS field office. DACA recipients may apply for non-emergency advance parole by mailing their application to the address indicated on this page under “Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)”. For more information on how to file a non-emergency advance parole visit this guide.
If you are denied emergency advance parole, you will be directed to apply for non-emergency advance parole by mailing an application to USCIS. If you have additional evidence supporting your urgent need to travel, you may apply for emergency AP at the field office again, keeping in mind that the same field office will decide whether or not they grant you an advance parole document. For a guide to applying for non-emergency advance parole see here.
Currently, the case is back in a U.S. District Court where it awaits a decision from Judge Hanen. There is a “stay” that allows existing DACA recipients to continue renewing their DACA authorization. It is likely that this stay will remain in place while the case moves up to the appeals court and then the Supreme Court. USCIS affirmed that it will continue to adjudicate DACA recipients’ advance parole applications. See more on the court case here.
If your application for advance parole has been approved, you can plan on traveling while we wait for a decision from the federal court in Texas. If a decision comes out while you are traveling abroad, please check the USCIS DACA FAQs for updates.
USCIS field offices can grant expedited processing for an advance parole document to individuals who:
If you find yourself in this situation, you can call USCIS for an in-person appointment (or InfoPass) at your local field office for the purpose of “urgent travel with an advance parole document.”The USCIS field officer may grant an advance parole document at the appointment, request the service center to expedite their decision, or tell the applicant to wait for a decision. USCIS may also request the DACA recipient to file a new I-131 in person and pay another filing fee then and there, although some USCIS field offices don’t do this in practice.
Evidence: To support a decision on a Form I-131 that was already filed, applicants can include documents that support the expedite criteria and the immediate need for a decision, such as documenting a relative’s illness or death, a flight booking, date of an event for which they need to travel abroad, cost of program to travel abroad, etc.
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