A month after Chen Guangcheng escaped his house arrest in Shandong province, Chen, along with his wife and two kids, have finally boarded a United Airlines flight to Newark Liberty International Airport, just outside New York City.
Chen's escape and arrival at the US Embassy in Beijing where he stayed under the protection of US officials spiraled into an international incident and has proven embarrassing for China.
Chen is due to arrive into the US early evening and has been granted enrollment at New York University to study law.
Until his escape April 22, Chen suffered almost 19 months of illegal house arrest in his home village in east China's Shandong province. That often-abusive detention followed a four-year jail term that his lawyers say authorities trumped up to stop him pursuing cases such as the thousands of local women forced to have abortions and sterilizations to meet China's one child policy.