Whether you’re seeking security, stability, or a wider set of possibilities, if you are undocumented in the U.S. and curious about what life in another country could be like, you are not alone. The U.S. is not the only country in the world where you can achieve your dreams. For years, undocumented individuals have sought and obtained security, wellness, and educational and professional opportunities outside the U.S. Although it is not an easy path, it is one worth exploring.

This project is designed to familiarize you with the important considerations of pursuing a future outside the U.S., so that you feel empowered to make the decision that best suits you. The following five modules cover distinct phases of the process from initial exploration, to selecting an immigration path, considering close relationships, adjusting to life abroad, and understanding your options for returning to the U.S. The modules consist of reflection prompts, conversation starters, stories from formerly undocumented individuals who have left the U.S., and an overview of important legal information.

Keep in mind that these materials are intended to get you started, but they are by no means a complete blueprint. Each individual’s circumstances are unique. Make sure to seek the additional time, resources, and support you need to decide whether a life outside the U.S. is right for you.

Click to Explore Topics

Imagining Life Outside the U.S.




This module is designed to guide you through a process of self-reflection and visioning about your life in the U.S. and the possibilties of a life abroad.

Stories

"Imagining a Life Without Fear in Canada" "Going Home is Not a Failure"
"Finding a World of Opportunities Outside the U.S." "Returning to Peru On My Own Terms"

Conversations

"What made you consider pursuing a life outside the U.S.?" "How was your life in the U.S. limited by your status?"
"What advice would you give to those considering a life outside?" "Did you have hope for an eventual path to citizenship?"

Resources

Click here to access the following resource. JOURNAL: Imagining Life Outside the U.S.
Use this journal to reflect on your life in the U.S and imagine what living abroad could look like for you.
Click here to access the following resource. AFFIRMATIONS: For Those Who Are Considering Leaving the U.S.
Consult this resource as a source of encouragement when you are feeling overwhelmed by process of considering a life outside the U.S.
Planning Where to Go




This module is designed to help you identify personal, professional, and educational opportunities outside the U.S., as well as determine what immigration options are available to you.

Stories

"Returning Home to Peru" "Going to Europe to Study Science"

Conversations

"How did you choose which country to live in?" "What role did intuition play in your decision to leave the U.S.?"
"What advice would you give to those considering a life outside?" "How do you feel now when you think back on your decision to leave the U.S.?"

Resources

Click here to access the following resource. GUIDE: Overview of Possible Immigration Options Outside the U.S.
Read this resource to learn about the different options for leaving the U.S. that are available to you.
Click here to access the following resource. CHECKLIST: Preparing to Leave the U.S.
Use this resource to prepare a timeline of tasks to accomplish before leaving the U.S.
Relationship Considerations




This module is designed to guide you through a process of self-reflection on how leaving the U.S. would impact your important relationships, as well as support you in initiating conversations on the subject with your loved ones.

Stories

"When You Can't Hug Your Daughter" "Coming Back to the U.S. After Seven Years in Peru"

Conversations

"What was it like to leave your loved ones behind?" "How did your family react to your decision to leave?

Resources

Click here to access the following resource. JOURNAL: Thinking About My Relationships Before Leaving the U.S.
Use this journal to reflect on how leaving the U.S. would impact your important relationships.
Click here to access the following resource. CONVERSATION STARTERS: Talking to My Relationships About Leaving the U.S.
Use this resource for support initiating conversations with your loved ones about leaving the U.S.
Adjusting to Life Outside the U.S.




This module is designed to support you during your adjustment to living outside the U.S.

Stories

"Arriving in Europe for the First Time" "Straddling Peruvian and American Culture"

Conversations

"How did you adjust to life in a new country?" "How did your expectations compare to the reality of life abroad?"

Resources

Click here to access the following resource. AFFIRMATIONS: For Those Who Have Left the U.S.
Consult this resource as a source of encouragement when you are feeling overwhelmed by your decision to live outside the U.S.
Click here to access the following resource. OVERVIEW: Complete List of Life Outside the U.S. Resources
Find all the resources created and gathered for the Life Outside the U.S. project.
Returning to the U.S.




This module is designed to inform you of the important factors you will need to consider while planning to re-enter the U.S.—whether temporarily or permanently—once you have left the country.

Stories

"Coming Back to the U.S. After Seven Years in Peru" "Getting a Waiver to Return to the U.S. from Europe"

Conversations

"Did returning to the U.S. feel like a possibility when you left?" "How did the possibility of returning affect your decision to leave the U.S.?"

Resources

Click here to access the following resource. GUIDE: Returning to the U.S. After Leaving
Read this resource to learn about the important factors to consider while planning your return/visit to the U.S. after leaving the country.
Click here to access the following resource. OVERVIEW: Complete List of Life Outside the U.S. Resources
Find all the resources created and gathered for the Life Outside the U.S. project.
Click here to access the following resource. OVERVIEW: Complete List of Life Outside the U.S. Resources
Find all the resources created and gathered for the Life Outside the U.S. project.
Video Playlist Button VIDEO PLAYLIST: Life Outside the U.S. Stories
Watch all of the Life Outside the U.S. stories.
Video Playlist Button VIDEO PLAYLIST: Life Outside the U.S. Conversations
Watch all of the Life Outside the U.S. conversations.
Click here to get email updates. Get Email Updates About Life Outside the U.S.

🥳   Watch the Launch Party hosted on January 12 ⇨

Credits

  • Project Leads: Beleza Chan, Alejandro Espinoza, and Katharine Gin
  • Participants: Aliana, Beleza, Berenice, Clara, Geidy, Karen, Kelly, My Ford, Nancy and Sadhana
  • Editor: Claire Calderón
  • Designer: Grace Yeo
  • Filmmakers: Citizen Film
  • Audio Editor: Kjell Nordeson
  • Legal Advisor: Dan Berger, Marilia Zellner