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Undocumented & DACA

The Davidson College Office of Education Abroad seeks to assist all students wishing to pursue an off-campus experience during college. While you never have to disclose your status to anyone at any time, know that there are options for off-campus domestic study if you are not able to travel internationally, such as Liberal Arts in Silicon Valle, Davidson in Washington, and (hopefully) others in the future. In addition, you also may wish to take advantage of virtual international, intercultural education experiences such as the Global Competence Certificate (see below) that have been growing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Education Abroad Advisers are available to discuss your unique situation and review program possibilities, and any information you disclose will be held strictly confidential.

Students eligible to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, may soon be able to participate in an international experience. While the program was rescinded on September 5, 2017, a December 4, 2020 decision from Judge Nicholas George Garaufis requires the U.S Department of Homeland Security to reinstate DACA and begin accepting first-time requests, renewal requests, and applications for advance parole.

According to NAFSA: Association of International Educators, individuals are eligible if they:
  • were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • came to the United States before reaching their 16th birthday;
  • have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  • were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making their request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  • entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or their lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
  • are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
  • have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
  • are at least 15 years of age at the time of applying for DACA benefits (some exceptions apply).

NAFSA also recognizes that “deferred action is a discretionary benefit for individuals who would otherwise be removable from the United States, [and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services] will decide applications on a case-by-case basis. . . . [Additionally], DACA advance parole adjudication reentry to the United States could never be guaranteed, even with advance parole authorization and the approval of a university or education abroad office. NAFSA strongly encourages individuals who wish to assess their eligibility for DACA-related benefits seek the advice of an immigration attorney or recognized/accredited organization or representative to weigh this risk before departing the United States on a study abroad program. Individuals should also be aware of immigration scams [and visit the USCIS website] for tips on filing forms, reporting scams and finding accredited legal services.”

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