Can I Visit Puerto Rico with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)?

Author Inez Woods

Posted Feb 6, 2023

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Puerto Rico is a beautiful island full of opportunities for travel and exploration, but can someone with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) visit the island? The answer is yes and there are several important steps any DACA recipient should take before planning to visit Puerto Rico.

The first step is to understand what the U.S Department of Homeland Security (DHS) considers to be a “valid” form of immigration documentation and how it relates to your particular situation. DACA holders are considered “lawfully present,” meaning they are in the United States legally, but do not have permanent resident status in the country. DHS considers Form I-797C, Notice of Action or Notice of Approval and Form I-797A, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Credential as valid documents for travel purposes. It's important to keep in mind that DACA does not provide any immigration benefits outside of the jurisdiction in which the individual attained their authorization. This means that travel outside this jurisdiction requires additional documentation such as an advance parole document or a visa from the country you plan on visiting.

In order to get approval from DHS to enter Puerto Rico as a DACA holder, individuals must submit an advance parole request along with original confirmation of their DACA approval and supporting documents such as passport photographs, proof of identity and other biographical information requested by DHS. If successfully approved for advance parole by DHS, individuals may then book their flight to Puerto Rico with their approved advance parole visa. Any travellers must ensure that they make their travel plans with reasonable lead time given processing times at U.S embassies overseas may vary according to security screening procedures used. With these steps completed properly, any individual with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is able to visit Puerto Rico upon successful approval from DHS!

Can I take a vacation to Puerto Rico with DACA?

Puerto Rico may seem like an exotic and much-desired getaway for those living in the United States, but those with DACA status should think twice before booking their flight. U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) is responsible for the lawful entry of foreign visitors and returning U.S. citizens to the United States, which includes Puerto Rico due to its varying citizenship status as a subsovereign territory of the United States. Admittedly, Puerto Ricans are US citizens and thus, can travel freely to the US mainland without a visa or passport, but this does not apply to those with DACA status who are not US citizens and instead, have a temporary legal presence in the US.

Unfortunately, most airlines will require travelers going from the empty states to Puerto Rico have either a U.S. passport or valid Permanent Resident Card (green card), so anyone with DACA will likely be denied boarding at their point of departure at a minimum even if they were able to successfully pass through customs at their destination airport in Puerto Rico. Furthermore if you were somehow able to sneak by and make it into Puerto Rico based on your existing documentation there is no guarantee that CBP would allow you back into the US should you choose to take a return flight back home again at any point.

There are however various waiver options available through DHS including I-601A provisional waivers of unlawful presence that allow certain individuals who are subject to 3 or 10 year bar due failing to leave when their authorized stay lapsed (222a(b)(2). These waivers can be filed informally when submitting nonimmigrant visas for travel however it would require extensive knowledge of complex immigration laws and regulations making them not just difficult but potentially risky option for emergent travel purposes specifically related with any possible trips to visit family or other reasons involving personal affairs in Puerto Rico. Thus In summary, USDA suggests strongly advises against any kind travel by air from US mainland directly into Puerto Rico by any non-citizens including holders of DACA given potential risks involved concerning potential unwarranted scrutiny by airline personnel or US Customs & Border Protection officials regarding visitors’ statuses especially when reentering back into stateside upon departure unless you have some other identity such as possessing a valid green card or U.S citizen passport even then it may not guarantee avoiding additional questioning still depending on circumstance ultimately making such travels just too risky overall nonetheless these situation constantly evolves so it’s best always check with both USCIS & your air carrier prior flying as well especially now when people are under heightened scrutiny..

What type of travel documents are required for DACA holders going to Puerto Rico?

Traveling to Puerto Rico as a DACA holder requires some special considerations. Although Puerto Rico is a US territory and passport-free travel is allowed, there are still documents needed in order to traverse the island.

The first document required for DACA holders is an I-797C Notice of Action Form, which should be issued by the individual's immigration authority. This document is generally used as a form of identification and proves that the holder has deferred action status from the Department of Homeland Security.

The second piece of documentation needed is a travel authorization (Form I-512L). This form grants permission from USCIS for DACA holders to leave the United States and reenter on an approved advance parole. In addition, it authorizes travel to Puerto Rico but does not grant admission once there. Trusted traveler periods may also be utilized, so it's best to check how long these may last before departing the US.

Proof of identity will also be needed in line with US customs regulations – usually a government-issued ID card or passport will suffice. It’s also important to take into account any applicable visa requirements while traveling not just within Puerto Rico itself but in other parts countries nearby such as Cuba or The Dominican Republic if these forms of travel are planned.

With these essential documents in hand, DACA holders can feel confident heading out on their adventures within Puerto Rico knowing that they have sorted all their papers for this exciting journey abroad!

What rules and regulations do DACA holders need to follow to travel to Puerto Rico?

Traveling to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico as a DACA holder is possible under certain conditions, but due to the ever-changing landscape of immigration law, it is important to remain informed.

The first guideline that DACA holders must fulfill before they can travel to Puerto Rico is current legal status. DACA holders cannot travel outside of the United States if they do not have valid status and a valid employment authorization document (EAD). DACA beneficiaries must also have an unexpired passport and travel document issued by their country of origin, obtained through their local embassy or consulate.

To enter Puerto Rico, DACA youth must show proof that they are eligible for admission into the U.S., including any DREAMer or Deferred Action programs. They may also need to provide proof that they are up-to-date with all taxes, fees and other requirements for foreign travelers.

Those traveling from the mainland may need to bring additional documents when attempting to reenter the United States after their trip since the Department of Homeland Security sees the island differently than other places in the U.S.; for example, those reentering through Miami or another Florida port of entry will likely need additional documentation beyond their passport and EAD card. Moreover, federal officials may apply a strict inspection process when allowing individuals with DACA status entry into any U.S.-regulated landing strip in Puerto Rico upon arrival or departure from international ports as well as on American Airlines flights between Puerto Rico and San Juan's international airport Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (LMM).

Depending on where one is traveling on the island, it may be necessary to check with local laws concerning residency requirements due to Puerto Rico’s autonomous political geography; individuals should exercise caution if attempting to stay in any part of the country which is not considered part of its contiguous federal jurisdiction; additionally, ports of entry should have a helpful transit desk inside where travelers can ask questions about specific rules related to ITIN numbers and other visa information prior to arrival in order remain compliant with all applicable regulations while traveling in order to secure one's safe return home Don't forget to contact your local consulate for further guidance!

Are there any restrictions on travel to Puerto Rico for DACA holders?

Travel restrictions on foreign soil can be confusing and inconsistent, and Puerto Rico is no exception. With a unique status as an unincorporated territory of the United States, Puerto Rico has unique travel restrictions for DACA holders that make the rest of the unincorporated territories stand in stark contrast.

Fortunately for DACA holders, the US citizenship and Immigration Services have lifted many of the traditional travel restrictions for those with deferred action status. US citizens and lawful permanent residents do not need advance permission to travel to Puerto Rico and so DACA holders are allowed to follow the same guidelines.

However, there are still some limitations. DACA holders can only travel outside of the US for educational or employment purposes if granted Advance Parole by an approved immigration official. This document will provide eligibility for re-entry back into the US at a later date. Further, individuals cannot arrive in Puerto Rico with a passport from their home country as this could contribute to risk of deportation from US authorities while in Puerto Rico.

For any DACA holder looking to explore beautiful Puerto Rico without traveling too far from home, they are encouraged to familiarize themselves with regulations surrounding advance parole prior to making any plans. Knowing how to contact local immigration officials, staying up-to-date on changing restriction policies, and documenting past trips abroad are all key ingredients to a successful trip when traveling on posed deportation status in any part of the United States or its territories including but not limited to beautiful Puerto Rico!

Are DACA holders allowed to enter Puerto Rico without a visa?

The question of whether Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) holders are allowed to travel to Puerto Rico without a visa is a complicated one. Traditionally, holders of DACA are not required to possess visas for travels within the United States and its territories, but the decision on whether an individual could enter Puerto Rico without a visa remains an individualized one.

Understanding whether DACA holders are allowed in Puerto Rico depends partially on the underlying purpose of the individual’s intended travel, as well as the particular immigration status that holds. For example, some DACA holders, who are nationals or citizens of countries other than Mexico or Canada, may be required to possess valid visas, even for travel across U.S. territories due to restrictions mandated by their host nations. However, those with an underlying green card through DACA—deemed “Green Card Visa Waiver Program”—are exempt from this requirement provided they have a validly issued unexpired Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

Ultimately, decisions regarding which individuals may travel to Puerto Rico without a visa is generally determined when they physically present themselves at the port of entry by customs and immigration officials in Puerto Rico itself. At this time, individuals can present valid documentation that reflects their lawful immigration status issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This includes permanent resident cards; valid unexpired non-immigrant visas and re-entry permits; EADs; and documents showing parole status and/or application for adjustment of status. Inspectors at ports of entry will make determinations based on these documents upon which individuals may be admitted or refused entrance according to existing laws and regulations related to immigration in U.S. territories like Puerto Rico

Inez Woods

Inez Woods

Writer at Snngr

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Inez Woods is an experienced content creator who has been writing for various publications for over a decade. She has a passion for storytelling and loves to explore different topics, from travel and lifestyle to health and wellness. Inez's writing style is engaging, informative, and relatable, making her articles enjoyable to read for people from all walks of life.

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