USA and the UK
What is Advance Parole?
Advance Parole is a travel document that gives the traveler permission ahead of time to re-enter the United States without compromising their immigration status or ongoing immigration application. For example, individuals who are in a period of “adjustment of status” from a nonimmigrant status to a lawful permanent resident will need to apply for an Advance Parole document if they need to leave the United States for a temporary period of time and return without abandoning their pending application for a green card and the immigration benefits that come with it.
Who needs to obtain Advance Parole?
Anyone who wishes to travel abroad without compromising their U.S. immigration status will need to obtain an Advance Parole document before traveling abroad. If the individual travels outside of the United States without a valid Advance Parole document, that person can be denied entry into the United States, lose their valid immigration status, and any immigration benefits afforded to them through their specific U.S. immigration policy.
The following individuals are highly recommended to apply for Advance Parole before traveling outside of the United States:
- Individuals who currently have a pending green card application (Adjustment of Status applicants)
- Individuals who have been granted or have a pending application for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
- Asylum seekers in the United States or those who have a pending application for asylum
- Individuals who have a pending application for temporary resident status under Section 245(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)
- Individuals who have been granted T nonimmigrant or U nonimmigrant status by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
- Individuals who have been granted humanitarian parole by the USCIS or Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
- Individuals who have received benefits through the Family Unity Program
- DACA recipients
Who is ineligible for Advance Parole?
USCIS approves applications for Advance Parole on a case-by-case basis. Applications can be denied due to ineligibility for the following reasons:
- The applicant has been residing in the United States without valid immigration status after entering the country unlawfully several times
- The applicant already has a valid re-entry permit or refugee document
- The applicant is a J visa holder or another visa that has a foreign residence requirement
- The applicant is a beneficiary of a private immigration bill approved by Congress
- The applicant is currently in the middle of removal proceedings (deportation)
For more information regarding your eligibility for Advance Parole, especially if you maintain a complicated immigration status in the United States, it is highly recommended that you consult with an experienced immigration attorney before leaving the country.
Who doesn’t need Advance Parole?
In addition to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents of the United States, there are some individuals who are in the U.S. under certain valid visas who do not need an Advance Parole in order to travel in and out of the United States. If you are waiting for an adjustment of status while USCIS processes your I-485 form, you do not need an Advance Parole document under the following circumstances:
- You are a temporary work under a valid H-1 visa or are the dependents of a temporary worker (H-4 visa holder)
- You are an intra-company transferee under a valid L-1 visa or are the dependents of the transferee (L2 visa holder)
- You are in the U.S. under a K-3 Spouse visa or K-4 Dependents Visa
- You are a spouse or child of a lawful permanent resident (V-1, V-2 visa, or V-3 visa)
Individuals who fall into these circumstances must present a valid H, L, K or V nonimmigrant visa to be allowed entry into the United States.
Application for Travel Document
Applying for an Advance Parole travel document is fairly simple and involves the following steps:
- Complete Form I-131 (Application for Travel Document)
- Pay the government filing fee
- Gather supporting documents
- Submit Form I-131
Form I-131 (Application for Travel Document) can be found online. You can submit this form online by creating a MyUSCIS account on the official website of the USCIS or download the paper application and mail it to the designated USCIS lockbox. Before sending it off, it is important that the form is properly signed and is the latest updated version of the form.
Those who are filing from outside of the United States must first obtain permission to file Form I-131 from their local U.S. Embassy or Consulate. To do this, the applicant will need to set up an appointment at their nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate and make the request in person.
Documents needed for Advance Parole
When you apply for an Advance Parole travel document, you will need to include supporting documents along with the I-131 Form. These documents may include the following:
- Your receipt notice from USCIS (If you have filed Form I-485 for an adjustment of status)
- Two passport-style photographs
- Any USCIS-issued document documenting current legal immigration status (ex, an approval notice like Form I-797)
- A copy of a government-issued identification document (ID) (ex. a passport, driver’s license, employment authorization document, etc)
- Marriage certificate (if the application for Advance Parole is based on spouse’s pending green card application)
- Child’s birth certificate (if the application for Advance Parole is based on a pending child green card application)
- Any evidence explaining the reasons for travel outside the United States
- Receipt of filing fee payment
- Evidence that the trip is for educational, employment, or humanitarian purposes
Any documents that are not in English will need to be translated by a certified translator.
What is the cost for Advance Parole?
To apply for an Advance Parole document, applicants will need to pay a $575 filing fee for Form I-131. The filing fees can be paid online by debit or credit card or paid with a money order, personal check, or cashier’s check. You must pay the fees ahead of time as service centers are not able to process credit card payments. All checks must be payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. All fees are final and non-refundable.
How long does it take to get Advance Parole?
Advance Parole applications are usually processed within 3-5 months. The processing time could take longer if there are any mistakes in the application, if the application was sent to the wrong USCIS office or if the USCIS is experiencing significant backlogs.
If you find yourself in a situation where you need Advance Parole sooner rather than later, you can apply to have your application expedited. Expedited applications are processed within 30 days. However, in order to expedite an application, the applicant must demonstrate to USCIS that they have valid reasons to ask that their application be sped up. This can include:
- The applicant has suffered financial losses to either their company or themselves
- The applicant is in an emergency (based on the discretion of the USCIS, an emergency request is normally processed on the same day)
- The applicant is requesting expedition for humanitarian reason
- The applicant is affiliated with a non-profit organization that is going abroad for cultural or social interests that benefits the U.S. and requests an expedited application
- The request for an expedition is made by the Department of Defense (DOD) of another government agency
- The USCIS made an administrative error
- Any other circumstance that the applicant can demonstrate qualifies for expedited processing
Traveling outside the U.S. with Advance Parole
It is important to consider that with all the changes to U.S. immigration law every day, people who are adjusting their status or under certain immigration programs such as Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) or those under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) should carefully plan and secure the proper travel documents before traveling abroad. Failure to do so could result in a loss of immigration status or even denied entry into the United States.
If you are concerned that your U.S. immigration status might be put in jeopardy by traveling outside the United States, then it is important that you first consult with an immigration lawyer before applying for Advance Parole and leaving the country. Those needing Advance Parole to re-enter the United States after travel outside the country will need to have received their travel document before leaving the country.
It should be noted that the Advance Parole travel document is usually valid for travel up to one year. However, the USCIS can revoke the permit for any reason. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you only travel outside the United States if it is crucially necessary.
What is a Refugee Travel Document?
If you are a refugee or an asylum seeker in the United States, then you may need a Refugee Travel Document instead of an Advance Parole travel document. This travel document will allow the refugee or asylee to return to the United States after traveling abroad.
The application process for a Refugee Travel document is the same as the application process for Advance Parole. Both are also valid for 1 year. However, the filing fee for a Refugee Travel Document is different and includes the following costs:
- Refugee Travel Document filing fee: $135 (for those over 16 years old), $105 (for children under 16 years old)
- Biometrics Services fee: $85 (required for applicants aged 14-79 years old)
Can IAS help me with my Advance Parole Application?
Over the years, our trusted immigration law firm has helped many people navigate the complicated world of the U.S. immigration system including advance parole applications for those who need to travel temporarily abroad without losing their pending adjustment of status.
Our services are tailored to your individual immigration needs, ensuring that you receive the highest standard of assistance for your issue. The services we offer include:
- Advice sessions
- Application assistance
- Document and application checks
- Fast-track application services
- Appeal assistance
Get in touch with us today at +1 844 290 6312 to find out how we can best help you. We are here to help you online, over the phone, or in person.
Last modified on November 22nd, 2021 at 9:15 am
Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.
Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Fast Track Package
Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.
Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.
The Advice Package
With our untimed Advice Session, our professional immigration lawyers will review your case and provide you with comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.
The Application Package
With our Application Package, your dedicated caseworker will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your legal advisor will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.
The Appeal Package
By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.