Advance Parole Conversation Starters: Talking to Friends and Family about My Trip

Themes/Topics: Law & Policy

Geography: California, National

Audience: Undocumented Youth

Use these conversation starters to open up a dialogue with your loved ones about your travels, expectations for how you will communicate with them, and what to do if something goes wrong.

I’ve been thinking about traveling outside the U.S. on Advance Parole because…

  • I have always been curious about what life outside of the U.S. is like.
  • I want to take advantage of this opportunity to explore a new place.
  • I have been aching to see my family members outside of the U.S.
  • My career and educational opportunities shouldn’t be confined to the U.S. only. I want to explore what a life outside of the U.S. would look like for me and what opportunities are available.

​​Staying in touch with you while I’m away is very important to me. If I travel abroad, here’s how I’d like us to communicate…

  • We can commit to talking every day or several times a week via phone calls, video chats, or messaging.
  • We can share pictures and important moments to stay updated about each other’s lives.
  • (If friends/family are also undocumented) I understand that you cannot travel like me and that is not fair. I hope that through our communication during and after my trip, I can share as much of my experience with you as possible.

Traveling with Advance Parole involves some risk that I won’t be able to re-enter the U.S. Would you be willing to be part of my support team in case I run into issues when I go through Customs? Let’s talk about what that would entail…

  • Legal: If I run through some hurdles through Customs on my return to the U.S. Would you be available for me to call you for legal advice? I will be landing at (location and time). What is your contact information?
  • Mental health: Traveling with Advance Parole is anxiety-provoking both to and from the U.S. I could really use someone via phone or text who can listen to me and help me practice mindfulness/calm my anxiety.

Traveling with Advance Parole is not just a solo experience. Your family is indirectly involved, too. They may feel stressed or anxious that you may not be able to return. And in some cases, such as if they depend on you financially, they may be concerned about how their needs are met while you’re away. Here are some ways you can spark conversation with them to start thinking about a preparedness plan for when you are abroad:

  • Who else can support you if I am not able to or if, for some reason, I am unable to return to the U.S.? Who can you turn to when you need help?
  • What can we do to prepare so that you feel comfortable before I travel?
  • How can I support you while I’m abroad?

Here are some things your peers might say to you before, during, and after your Advance Parole trip:

  • How will you document your experience?
  • I’ll miss you.
  • Can you come speak to my students about your experience when you return?
  • What if you can’t come back?
  • Take lots of pictures!
  • Is it worth it?
  • Advance Parole can help you adjust status in the future.
  • Can you get me something while you’re abroad?

This resource is part of the Advance Parole project. To learn more, visit

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