How to apply for early entry under DACA?

In my column This week's Consulta Migratoria® answers a reader's question.

Each case is different and the answers vary depending on each person's immigration history.

Here I provide general answers to your questions. Please consult with an immigration attorney to receive personalized legal advice before starting any procedure.

I am Guatemalan and I am enrolled in the DACA program. I recently returned from Mexico after traveling with an immigration parole. The parole was given to me to travel to Guatemala. I am married to a citizen and I want to apply for my permanent residency in the U.S. Is this possible? -Maria G.

Maria, I do not have enough information about your case to give you a complete answer. But you should proceed with caution before applying for permanent residency. In your question you say that you were given an advance parole for Guatemala, however, you traveled to Mexico.

You must carefully review the application you submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to obtain the advance entry permit and the reasons you gave for wanting to travel to Guatemala. Also, you must examine the reason why you traveled to Mexico with the permission the government gave you to travel to Guatemala.

Several classes of immigrants can obtain an early entry permit, including those who are applying for adjustment of status or received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Temporary Protected Status, a U visa or a T visa, among others.

In the case of DACA enrollees, USCIS may extend an advance entry permit if the applicant wishes to travel for educational, employment, or humanitarian reasons.

Possible humanitarian reasons include travel for medical treatment, to be present at a family member's funeral or to visit a sick relative.

Vacation travel is not a valid reason to apply for early entry under the DACA program.

To apply for an early entry permit under DACA you must use the Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. Currently, there is a fee of $360 to complete the process.

Anyone who is on DACA must apply for an advance entry permit before traveling outside the United States after August 14, 2012.

The moment a person with DACA travels abroad without an advance entry permit, the legal protected status granted by DACA will be automatically terminated.

Individuals who have had immigration or criminal arrests or those with deportation orders should not leave the country without first consulting with an immigration attorney.

Maria, hopefully you did not lie on your application for early entry because this could affect a future application for permanent residency.

If it is determined that you acted properly in your past immigration proceedings and in your travel abroad, you may be able to apply for permanent residency in the United States if you meet all the requirements, including being married to a U.S. citizen and having entered the country legally.

Please consult with an immigration attorney before beginning any immigration proceedings.

For more information and immigration tips, read my blog

Send your questions to Include detailed information about your situation to better answer your questions.

Nelson A. Castillo, Esq. is an immigration attorney and author of The Green Card: How to obtain permanent residency in the United States. He is a past president of the Hispanic National Bar Association and current president of the Los Angeles Westlake South Neighborhood Council. Dr. Castillo's office can be reached at (213) 537-VISA (8472).

The purpose of this column is to provide general information. There can be no guarantee or prediction as to what will be the outcome of the information presented by Dr. Nelson A. Castillo. The information should not be taken as legal advice for any individual, case or situation. Consult with an immigration attorney for personalized legal advice before beginning any immigration proceedings.