Individuals, including those with DACA, who entered the U.S. without permission, can’t easily get lawful permanent status (or “green card”), even if they have a close U.S. citizen family member who can petition for them. This is because they are “inadmissible” due to their unlawful U.S. entry. However, many people with DACA who take an authorized trip (with what is called “advance parole”) outside of the United States can become eligible for lawful permanent residence through a family petition after they re-enter the U.S. Please keep in mind that many other things can make someone “inadmissible” and you should always consult with an immigration attorney before applying for any form of immigration relief and before leaving the country.
Who can benefit from “Advance Parole”?
A DACA holder whose last U.S. entry was without permission AND (1) who is currently married to OR (2) who in the future might marry a U.S. citizen, can benefit from traveling outside of the U.S. with advance parole. Once DACA holders receive permission to travel abroad through “advance parole”, travel outside the U.S., and re-enter the U.S., they are no longer inadmissible based on an unlawful entry. Advance parole is similarly beneficial to parents with DACA who have U.S. citizen children who may petition for their parents when they are at least 21 years old. After a DACA recipient enters the U.S. on advance parole, she may be able to become a green card holder through a family member’s petition.
What is “Advance Parole”?
Advance parole allows a person inside the U.S. to receive advanced permission to re-enter the U.S. after making a trip abroad. It’s important to remember that a DACA recipient must apply separately for advance parole. A DACA recipient who leaves the U.S. has no lawful way to come back unless DHS has granted an advance parole application in advance. Leaving without advance parole will also result in the termination of a DACA recipient’s DACA approval. As such, it is important to consult with an immigration attorney if you are interested in advance parole. Given the uncertainty of the November 2016 election, DACA recipients with advance parole may want to consider departing and returning to the U.S. before January 20, 2017 when the new president is inaugurated.
 An unlawful entry is just one of the things that might make someone “inadmissible.” Be sure to consult with an immigration attorney before applying for advance parole.