When does a trip abroad break continuous residence?
According to the DACA guidelines, if an applicant made one or more “brief, casual and innocent” trip abroad prior to August 15, 2012, their continuous residence will not be at risk. An absence is considered “brief, casual and innocent” when:
- It was short;
- Its duration was reasonable for its purpose;
- It was not because of an exclusion, deportation or removal order;
- It was not because of an order or grant of voluntary departure; and
- The purpose of the absence and your actions while outside the U.S. were lawful.
If you did travel abroad for any reason after coming to the U.S. and prior to August 15, 2012, this must be disclosed on your application and you must provide evidence that the trip(s) qualified as brief, casual and innocent.
What about trips after August 15, 2012?
Potential candidates for Deferred Action must not have made any trips abroad after August 15, 2012, either before or after submitting their applications to USCIS.
Once you have been granted Deferred Action, it may be possible to obtain a travel document known as an Advance Parole, to enable a trip overseas for certain very specific purposes.