When valid non-immigrant visa holders within the United States apply to adjust their status to be an immigrant by applying for permanent residency, they can simultaneously apply for an advance parole with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). An advance parole acts as an authorization to travel abroad. However, if the applicant travels out of the country while it is still pending approval, USCIS may deny the application.
On visas like H, K, L or V, the applicant demonstrates an intent to not immigrate to the US. However, if he decides otherwise, he has to apply for a “adjustment of status” via Form I-485, an application for permanent residency. This invalidates their existing visa. In such circumstances, should they have to travel out of the country, an Advance Parole gives them permission to re-enter into the US. It is imperative to travel only once this has been approved. Else, USCIS may consider it ‘abandoned’ and deny re-entry.
However, there are exceptions as to when one may travel out of the country without a valid advance parole despite having a pending I-485 and yet continue to maintain a visa status. These are –
- H-1 (temporary worker) or H-4 (spouse or child of a H-1)
- L-1 (intra company transferee) or L-2 (spouse or child of a L-1)
- K-3 spouse or K-4 child of a US citizen
- V-2 spouse or V-3 child of a lawful permanent resident.
Who Can Apply for Advance Parole?
All non-immigrants who:
- have an application for adjustment of status (Form I-485) pending;
- have been admitted as a refugee or have been granted asylum;
- have been granted benefits under the Family Unity Program;
- have been granted Temporary Protected Status;
- have an asylum application pending;
- have an emergent personal or bona fide reason to travel temporarily abroad, especially applicable to applicants under the deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA). This includes instances like-
- Educational purposes, such as semester abroad programs or academic research;
- Employment purposes, such as overseas assignments, interviews, conferences, training, or meetings with clients; or
- Humanitarian purposes, such as travel to obtain medical treatment, attend funeral services for a family member, or visit an ailing relative.
Who Can Not Apply for Advance Parole?
Non-U.S. citizens are not eligible for Advance Parole if they are:
- In the United States without a valid immigration status;
- In possession of a previously issued re-entry permit or refugee travel document which is still valid, unless it was returned to USCIS or it is demonstrated that it was lost;
- An exchange alien subjected to the foreign residence requirement;
- The beneficiary of a private bill;
- Under removal, deportation, exclusion or rescission proceedings.
- Asylee or refugee who has not filed an application for adjustment of status.
In order to apply for advance parole, Form–131 has to be filed out. Advance Parole on Path2USA.com delineates the entire process of filing for Form I-131 including fees structure, application filing locations as well as other vital information pertaining to the application of the advance parole.