Advance Parole for DACA/DAPA Does Not Forge Path to Citizenship

AILA“Advance parole” is permission granted to certain classes of aliens to reenter the U.S. after traveling abroad. Recently, several Congressional members have claimed that DHS has created a new method to citizenship through granting advance parole to recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). The American Immigration Lawyers Association has since fired back, rejecting this claim as a “gross and misleading exaggeration.”

DACA and DAPA recipients cannot apply for advance parole unless and until DHS has determined whether to defer action in their case, and they cannot travel until they receive advance parole. To apply for advance parole, an individual must file an application with USCIS stating the purpose for his or her trip abroad and must pay a $360 filing fee. The government grants these applications on a completely discretionary basis; thus, not every application will be granted.

In reality, most DACA or DAPA recipients do not have either the requisite qualifying relatives in the U.S. or meet regulatory requirements to meet eligibility for a U.S. Green Card. Currently, only the spouses, children or parents of U.S. citizens would qualify for adjustment of status. In the case of parents and children, an applicant is only preliminarily eligible if 1) he/she is an unmarried child of a U.S. citizen and under the age of 21, or 2) he/she has a U.S. citizen child who is at least 21 years of age. Beyond the relationship component, one must also show they have not worked without authorization or failed to maintain a lawful status since entry, among other requirements.

This case serves as a great reminder that you shouldn’t believe everything you hear in the news. Especially where there is a degree of controversy involved, be prepared for inaccuracies.

If you have any questions about advance parole and believe you may be eligible, please call Berardi Immigration Law today to schedule a consultation.

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