Now that you read my first blog on How to Travel Abroad as a DACA Student, you now have an idea of the steps to take if you’re planning to study abroad.
One of the first things you need to figure out is whether you will file the I-131 by yourself or an attorney. Here’s my recommendation, if you can do it yourself, I highly recommend that. I made the mistake to file with an attorney paying a total amount of $3,000. This is why, when I first decided to file for an I-131 there was no information of any student who had traveled abroad as a DACA student. The program was fairly new, even when I would call USCIS they wouldn’t know much about how the process worked, and every time I called they would tell me something different. I was a bit afraid of filing my myself and messing it up so I decided to have a lawyer do it for me. I thought that by having them submit it, it would get easily approved… but it didn’t. It’s important to note that I was applying for two countries in one form; I was applying to study abroad in France but I was also applying to go visit my grandparents in Argentina.
I requested to stay in Paris where I’ll be studying abroad for 4 months until the first week of January but they only gave me permission to stay until Dec 23rd, just a few more days after my classes are over (Dec 17th). I could have visited my grandparents in Argentina after I got my advance parole July 27th, but the gap was too small considering the fact that I’ll be leaving to Paris the August 25th. They told me if I want to visit my grandparents I would have to apply again… which means paying a $360 fee again :'(
February 18 – My lawyer’s office sent out my application to USCIS
February 23 – My application was received
February 27 – USCIS sent out a receipt notice letter to my house
May 8 – USCIS sent me a letter requesting more evidence
June 24 – Sent out the evidence requested
June 29 – USCIS request for evidence was received
July 27 – I received the official Advance Parole