USCIS Travel Documents: Advance Parole

Recently, unpredictable changes to Immigration Law has made travel outside of the US extremely risky for foreign nationals. Lawful non-immigrants with pending Adjustment of Status (AOS) or refugees/asylees with pending immigration applications may face circumstances that demand travel outside the United States. Upon return to the US, foreign nationals with pending immigration applications, who previously held lawful status, are at risk of inadmissibility. However, individuals with pending applications for certain immigration benefits can apply for Advance Parole, which allows a foreign national reentry into the US under certain circumstances.

Who should apply for Advance Parole?

Non-Immigrants who have applied for AOS should apply for advance parole before leaving the country, otherwise USCIS will abandon the pending AOS application upon the applicant’s departure from the US unless the applicant is eligible to return the US in a different visa category. Non-immigrants in lawful status can request Advance Parole before leaving the country, and approval takes several months. Non-immigrants with parolee status can re-enter the US without needing to apply for a visa. For example, if an H-1B worker with a pending AOS plans to travel abroad, and is not certain if they will receive approval reentry through a H-1B visa or if their visa application will be approved by the US Consulate, then they should apply for Advance Parole. If an approved H-1B worker leaves for a trip abroad and has applied for, and received, Advance Parole before departure, the worker can re-enter into the US through Advance Parole.

Does Advance Parole Guarantee Entry?

 No. Advance Parole, like visas into the US, do not guarantee entry. Customs and Border Patrol may deny entry for many reasons. Advance Parole expires a year after approval, therefore the re-entry privileges will no longer be valid upon its expiration.

How do I Get Advance Parole Approval?

Due to the chaotic nature of current re-entry regulations, travelers with pending adjustment of status should receive consultation before leaving the US. We at Sharma Law Offices are available to provide additional guidance to those with further questions.