Header Image, Diversity and Access

Undocumented and Immigrant Students

Welcome Students!

The UC Davis Global Learning Hub welcomes all students, from all countries and in all immigration statuses, to participate in our global learning programsWe partner with the AB540 and Undocumented Student Center at UC Davis and the UC Immigrant Legal Services Center to provide resources and support for undocumented and immigrant students, and promote access to global learning opportunities within the U.S. and abroad. For global learning programs that require travel, we recommend connecting with a qualified immigration attorney and the AB540 and Undocumented Student Center (or campus equivalent) due to the potential risks involved with travel and the rapid changes affecting immigration policies.

Immigration Legal Support

Global Learning Programs

For a full list of our various global learning programs, including on-campus and local options, visit Global Learning Pathways or our Programs Search Tool.

Study Abroad International Programs

Students with DACA status may be eligible to travel internationally with advance parole. Those without advance parole and undocumented students without DACA can still participate in global learning opportunities in the U.S. and virtually (see U.S. Study Away and Campus-based Programs and Virtual Programs below). Study abroad international programs snapshot: 

Note on Advance Parole Application Processing Timelines: The UC Immigrant Legal Services Center recommends students start the advance parole process for study abroad at least nine months before their program start date, which may be before students are able to start their program applications

What do I need to study abroad?

All students should follow the normal application and pre-departure processes for their study abroad program. However, there are additional documentation requirements related to entry and exit of the United States and the study abroad destination country that are specific to undocumented and DACAmented students, and students who are not U.S. citizens. The information below is provided as general legal information and does not constitute specific legal advice.

An undocumented student participating in a program abroad must have: 

  • Permission to Travel Abroad: Depending on your immigration status, there may be limits on your ability to travel abroad and return to the U.S. Students with DACA can apply for advance parole to obtain permission to travel before leaving the United States. As of July 2022, DACA and advance parole applications are taking around 4-7 months to process and have filing fees associated with the application. The UC Immigrant Legal Services Center recommends students start this process at least nine months before their program start date, which may be before you are even eligible to start your program application.

Resource Highlight: UC Immigrant Legal Services Center's FAQ: Advance Parole for DACA Recipients

  • Visa: A visa for entrance to your study abroad destination may be required depending on your length of stay, destination country and passport issuing country. If possible, students are highly encouraged to research entry to their destination country before enrolling in a program. Contact a Global Learning Hub advisor to discuss visa requirements for your program.
  • Valid Passport: A passport is required for all air travel overseas, both for entry into the destination country and for re-entry into the U.S. Be sure that your passport is valid for at least six months after you plan to return to the U.S. Some airlines will not allow you to board if this requirement is not met. Consulates in California: A-L and M-Z.

Resource Highlight: ACLU's Know Your Rights: Enforcement at the Airport

Note on AB 540 Eligibility

AB 540 is a tuition exemption given to certain non-resident students by the State of California qualifying them for in-state resident tuition and fees. AB540 can’t be used for travel abroad. AB 540 does not grant special privileges for travel, nor does it affect a person’s immigration status under federal law. For more information about AB 540, visit the AB 540 page on the AB 540 and Undocumented Student Center website. If you are interested in studying abroad, you should consult with an immigration attorney and the AB 540 and Undocumented Student Center (or campus equivalent) to determine your individual risk level for leaving the U.S.

U.S. Study Away and Campus-based Programs

Global learning takes many forms and impactful global experiences can occur in all locations around the globe. In fact, we know that many UC Davis students come to campus with valuable global and intercultural engagement skills developed through lived experiences such as immigration. The Global Learning Hub is proud to support student participation on a variety of U.S.-based programs and on-campus experiences which do not require international travel.

As with all travel, traveling within the U.S. requires preparation and research. You can consult with an immigration attorney and the AB540 and Undocumented Student Center (or campus equivalent) to determine your individual risk level for traveling within the United States. U.S. study away and campus-based programs snapshot:

What do I need to study away in the U.S.? 

Depending on the program, you may be required to present: 

  • Valid ID: Visit the Identification page on the TSA website for a list of valid IDs. 
    • For UC Davis USA Study Programs only, other acceptable IDs besides a passport include a driver's license, state-issued ID, or permanent resident card.
    • Residents of California must have the California REAL ID by May 3, 2023 to travel on aircraft domestically. For more information about the REAL ID, visit the REAL ID page on the AB540 and Undocumented Student Center website.
  • Other Documents: e.g., employment authorization document for internship programs.

Resource Highlight: Immigrants Rising's Guide for Undocumented Individuals Traveling in CA

Virtual Programs

Many of the skills and experiences that support effective global and intercultural engagement can also be developed through virtual global learning, which does not require international travel. Virtual programs snapshot: 

Financial Resources

The Global Learning Hub is committed to supporting all students in their pursuit of global experiences. We encourage students to apply broadly to all relevant sources of funding.  

  • UC Davis students participating in UC Davis study abroad or away programs can apply for the UC Davis Study Abroad Awards (awards range from $500 to $2,000).  
  • UC Davis students applying for any global learning program can reach out to the AB540 and Undocumented Student Center for information on grants, scholarships, and assistance with related legal fees. California Dream Act applicants can receive full coverage for USCIS filing fee costs for DACA and advance parole applications. 
  • Use the Funding Search Tool to research additional funding options. 
  • Non-UC Davis students should contact their home campus study abroad offices and undocumented student centers to find out what funding options are available to them.

Peer Perspectives

Mental Health Resources and Support

Getting Started

  1. Identify your global learning goals.
  2. Research global learning opportunities through the Global Learning Hub.
  3. Meet with an immigration attorney for legal advice and support.
  4. Meet with a Global Learning Hub Advisor to discuss next steps.
  5. Meet with a financial aid advisor to discuss your funding options.
  6. Chat with your support system about your plans.

Contact Information

A Message to Students, Parents, Guardians and Families

We hope that all UC Davis students will have a global education. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to support your student. We are here year-round to help your student select a program, prepare for travel if they opt to do so, and get the most out of their programs. More resources on the Welcome Parents page.