DREAM Deferred Action and Advance ParoleA common question that is being asked these days by DREAMERS is whether they can apply for permission to travel in addition to permission to work. The short answer is no. While at some point, USCIS anticipates allowing applicants to travel, it’s still too early in the process. Applicants may apply for advance parole only after being granted Deferred Action. Advance Parole allows an alien to re-enter the United States from a trip abroad without, in effect, abandoning his/her adjustment of status application. It is applied on Form I-131, and is granted only if the applicant can set forth humanitarian, educational, or employment reasons supporting the request. It is not a free pass to travel when and wherever one wants for whatever reason one wants. At this point, DREAMERS are not allowed to submit the request with the I-821D. Moreover, USCIS has made clear that requests will be granted on a case by case basis, which brings us to the larger point that just because someone qualifies for Deferred Action does not automatically mean one will be granted it. Deferred Action is a discretionary decision made by officers adjudicating requests from a Service Center. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, with the totality of circumstances being taken into consideration. Deferred Action is certainly not a right or entitlement in any sense. Amidst all the excitement, it is important to acknowledge and appreciate that you still have to demonstrate why you merit an exercise of discretion. While this is the best news on the immigration front that we have had in years, everybody still needs to keep their heads on their shoulders and approach this sensibly. There are many issues out there that some may not realize even exist. Check out the website, www.njimmigrationattorney.com, in the next couple of days for a future article on problem issues that complicate a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Application.
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