ToolKit: Studying Abroad With Advance Parole Under Uncertain Times

These are some recommendations we have for you to prepare after you have been approved to study abroad with advance parole. At this time, while students can still go abroad, students should not plan to be abroad after January 19, 2017 because both DACA and advance parole can be scraped as discretionary programs with a new President in office. We recommend that all students who go abroad or who are abroad, should return to the United States before the new President comes into office. 

  1. Make sure your advance Parole was approved: In New York City, you can get tons of legal resources for free. CUNY Citizenship Now! is currently one of the most active places where you could get access to legal support for advance parole. They help all members of the community even if you are not a CUNY student. Request an one-and-one meeting by emailing them at citizenshipnowinfo@cuny.edu Please, be clear, concise and use “Advance Parole Information” as your subject. 
     
  2. How to finance your trip? Funding is critical to assure that you are not putting yourself at risk of a financial crisis. Thus, create an online fundraising account for people to support your efforts. The below outlets are the most useful but differ in fees. Use the one you are more comfortable with, but we recommend that you save as much money as you can.
     YouCaring: No site fees  
    GoFundMe: It will deduct a 5% fee from each donation that you receive. 
    You can see more options HERE
     
  3. Write your Biography - Why people should give you money? It is recommended that any online fundraising account has at least one short paragraph to let people know why they should donate. We recommend that you are honest and talk about: who you are, why you want people to help you? What is the purpose of your trip - help advance you academically, professionally, etc. See some examples here: Help Jesus become a LGBTQ Researcher & Reconnect with his Roots & South Korea. Study. Discover. Dream.
     
  4. Ask for Support: Get all your contacts into an excel sheet and personally email them and ask for their support. There are hundreds of students asking for the same opportunities so you want to make sure that you are clear with your outreach. In other words, reach out to people outside of immigration organizations. I.e., if your professional aspirations is to become a doctor, send your request to all the pre-medicine, biology, or chemistry school programs and student friendly places related to your field of interest. Go above and beyond of your current network! 
     
  5. Program Information: Give your parents and people you trust your trip itinerary and contact information to make sure they are aware of your whereabouts. 
     
  6. Departure To Your Destination

    Traveling to 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.

    Traveling 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 and country of citizenship. If you do require a visa, ask the study abroad office which type of visa you will need. Then, take initiative and go to that country’s consulate and ask what the requirements for the visa are. 
    Note: Please, talk to an attorney for all your questions regarding visas, entry requirements and all legal questions and always carry information about advance parole and DACA as many offices are still not familiarized with the terminology.  Make sure everyone understands what you are talking to them about.
     
  7. Return Recommendation: Re-entry documents to have with you - Carry the original and copies of the documents below to be prepared for any questions you may receive from Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), 
     - 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.
    Note: 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.

    Re-entry questioning: A Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officer will likely place you in ‘secondary inspection’ and 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 in the United States?
    Note: Try to remain calm, be prepared to answer these questions, be direct (keep your answers simple), only answer what they ask you, and show documents that provide evidentiary support.

    IMPORTANT: Get proof of re-entry (I-94s): 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 such as a U.S. citizen spouse, parent or child.
     -  You can also obtain your proof of lawful entry online
     
  8. Make Copies of ALL Documents: Use phone apps like FastScanner to save all documents you sign or need during this whole process.