Study Abroad and DACA

Purpose of this webpage

(a) to clarify requirements of advance parole

(b) to offer a recommended timeline of tasks

(c)  to lay out factors to consider

(d) to explain if study abroad participation impacts Washington State’s SB5194 residency requirements.  

What is Advance Parole (AP)? AP is permission granted by the Department of Homeland Security allowing certain noncitizens to temporarily travel outside the U.S.A. and return lawfully.  

DACA recipients may apply for ‘Advance Parole’ to seek legal permission to travel abroad and then return to the U.S.A.  

Advance Parole Steps

Abbreviated Advance Parole Checklist

For a comprehensive understanding of the process, continue reviewing this webpage

    Required Documentation  

    1. You must have a current, valid DACA grant 

      • You cannot apply for AP while your initial DACA request is pending or if your DACA has expired.  

    2. Employment authorization document 

    3. Passport from your country of origin

    Qualifying Reason to Travel Outside the U.S.A.  

    Do you have a qualifying reason for travel abroad based on one of the following categories?  

    • Educational purposes: study abroad programs, academic research, student athlete traveling for sporting events 

    • Employment purposes: overseas assignments, interviews, conferences, trainings, or client meetings  

    • Humanitarian purposes: travel for medical treatment, attend funeral services for a family member, or visit an ailing relative  

    Seek legal counsel  

    Before choosing to apply for AP, Evergreen suggests you consult a qualified immigration attorney as it is important to consider the potential legal, practical, and personal effects of travel abroad. Be sure to disclose any of the following information to your attorney as it may affect your ability to travel.  

    List of immigration attorneys in the PNW

    • Prior order of deportation/removal or case in immigration court 

    • Any criminal convictions (even if there was no impact to DACA eligibility)  

    • Immigration-related fraud or misrepresentation to the government 

    • Prior departures from the USA without permission to re-enter 

    • DACA renewal timeline 

      • Plan to be in the USA to apply for DACA renewal and for your biometrics appointment. Do not travel during the time that your DACA expires.  

    Checklist Before Legal Consult 

    1. Most recent DACA application 

    2. All DACA approval notices  

    3. Employment Authorization Document 

    4. Valid passport 

    5. All prior immigration records  

    6. All prior records from tickets, arrests, charges, and convictions  

    7. Information on the study abroad program (possible sources listed below) 

    Apply for Advance Parole  

    Evergreen recommends you apply for Advance Parole as far in advance as possible and at least 3 months prior to your date of departure.  

    Be sure to review detailed information, such as where to file, fees, special instructions, on the USCIS I-131 website

    What do you need to apply for AP?  

    • Fill out the Advance Parole application: USCIS Form I-131 

    • Write a statement of purpose explaining in detail your purpose for traveling abroad and intended dates of travel 

    • Gather documentation* of your reason for travelling. This may include any of the following: 

      • Letter from educational institution confirming program participation  

      • Document showing enrollment in classes/course registration  

      • Syllabi  

      • Acceptance letter from the university and/or overseas institution or program  

      • Program-specific information (dates, locations, itineraries, lodging, etc.)  

      • Letter(s) from professors  

      • Degree plan  

      • Research proposal  

    • A copy of your DACA Approval Notice or work permit 

    • A copy of an official ID, such as EAD card, state ID card, or valid passport  

    • 2 passport-sized photos  

    • $575 filing fee payment payable to the “Department of Homeland Security” 

    *Connect with the Office of International Programs & Services to determine which documentation you can include 

    Receive Advance Parole  

    You must be granted Advance Parole BEFORE leaving the USA. You should receive form I-512L, which will be needed to re-enter the USA.  

    Re-entering the U.S.A. on Advance Parole  

    Upon return, you will go through Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Inspection. Make copies of any initial AP application documents, your I-512L, your passport ID page, and visa (if required for travel). Leave a copy with a trusted source, like an attorney, and keep one copy with you. To prepare for any CBP questions, carry the following documents: 

    • Your passport from your country of origin; it should be valid at least six months after the date of return  

    • AP documents  

    • Evidence of reason for trip 

    • Employment Authorization Card  

    • A copy of DACA approval notice 

    • State ID or driver’s license  

    • Your attorney’s business card or contact information 

    Where will re-entry be processed? Immigration and customs processing takes place in the first USA airport you arrive. Those with AP can go through the visitor or residence/citizen lines, either way, you must speak to an officer. Since AP takes extra administrative steps, you will likely be escorted to a separate room for processing. This does not mean you’re being detained. Processing can take several hours, and connecting flights should be scheduled with this in mind.  

    What questions might the officers ask? They will likely ask questions about your trip (ex: the reason for travel, duration of travel, countries visited and addresses where you stayed).  

    What documentation is given at re-entry? Make sure to get a keep proof of lawful re-entry (a stamped copy of your AP document and/or stamp in your passport). Once you get through customs, you can print your I-94 online, which demonstrates proof of lawful entry into the USA.  

    What are the risks of re-entering with AP?  

    • AP does not guarantee re-entry to the USA 

    • People who are inadmissible are not allowed to enter the USA due to their immigration history, criminal history, or other reasons. If you are inadmissible, USA officials could deny you entry to he the USA, even if you have a valid AP document.  

    • It is possible that re-entry could be denied at the discretion of the CBP Officer you encounter 

    • Your AP document could be revoked while you are outside the USA 

Recommended Timeline

About a year prior (or earlier) to your intended study abroad departure  

  • Ensure you have a valid passport from your country of origin that will not expire until at least 6 months after your return to the USA 

  • Make sure your DACA approval is current and will not expire during the time that you intend to study abroad.  

6-12 months prior to your intended study abroad departure 

  • Meet with the Evergreen Office of International Programs & Services ( to discuss your interest in study abroad, financing options, logistical matters, and how the office can provide documentation for a “qualifying reason to travel abroad” 

  • Consult with legal counsel  

6-9 months prior to your intended study abroad departure 

  • Connect with program administrators to learn about any nuanced information that may impact your experience  

  • Apply to your study abroad program of choice  

Once you receive program acceptance (no later than 3 months prior to intended date of travel)  

  • Apply for Advance Parole  

  • Prepare for your time abroad 

    • Square away your financial support 

    • Prepare and make copies of all documentation  

    • Review webpage for more details  

    • Complete requirements from your study abroad program  

International Travel and SB5194 

According to Senate Bill 5194, students’ residency classification “shall remain unchanged in the absence of evidence of a sufficient quantity and quality to satisfy the institution to the contrary.” (WAC 250-18-025) Therefore, if you are a student who has gained residency through this bill, studying abroad will not impact your WA state residency status. You can access in-state tuition during and after your study abroad experience. All Evergreen residency questions should be directed to Thomas (Randy) Kelley, the Director of Veteran Services Office.  

Additional information and resources specifically for DACA and Undocumented students can be accessed at Undocumented Student Resources

Juanita Hopkins: undergraduate students/para español
CAB 227
Book an appointment here

Luis Apolaya Torres: graduate students/para español
SEM II E-3135

Trina Griffis: financial assistance
LIB 1200