What Should You Know About Advance Parole to Travel Abroad?
Every green card applicant must be aware that green card application takes longer to get processed. Waiting time for the green card based on the USCIS service center processing your application.
During these waiting times, if any emergencies arise and the applicant has to visit out of the united states, if any applicant leaves their application in the middle and visits out of the united states, their application will be canceled by USCIS.
In such a case, the applicants will first require filing advance parole, and if applicants obtain the physical document, they will only be granted to visit outside the United States. To know further information about the advance parole, continue reading the guide.
You can check our Marriage Green Card USA Guide to know more about how you can apply for a marriage-based green card to live with your spouse in the United States.
What is Advance Parole?
When an applicant applies for a green card from within the United States, that type of application is known as adjustment of status. Advance parole is defined as the type of travel permit that grants the adjustment of status applicants to travel outside the United States for a certain period and return to the United States without harming the process of green card application.
In order to apply for advance parole, the candidates need to fill the application form I-131, an application for travel document with the USCIS. In addition, those green card applicants who are willing to travel outside the United States for some specific reason which may include the wedding of the siblings, business meetings, funeral of the family member, need to acquire advance parole prior to leaving the United States.
Why apply for advance parole is essential?
If you plan to take an abroad trip while your green card application is to be processed by USCIS, you will require requesting advance parole. In case you did not apply for advance parole and leave the United States without Advance Parole, you will abandon your green card application. If USCIS abandons your green card application, you will have to again apply for the green card application from the very first step, which will take your extra time and be expensive for you. To avoid this kind of situation, you need to apply for advance parole with USCIS. Before applying for advance parole, ensure that you are eligible for it.
What are the eligibility criteria for Advance Parole?
USCIS approves your application for a travel permit, depending on your case. You get eligible to request advance parole if you fulfill any one of the below-given requirements.
- Only those applicants are eligible to apply for the advance parole who had already submitted adjustment of status green card application by filing an Adjustment of Status Application (Form I-485).
- Prior to applying for advance parole, you will require ensuring that you have applied for temporary protected status (TPS).
- You will have to submit an asylum application, or you are yourself an asylee to get eligible to apply for advance parole.
- You get eligible to request advance parole if your temporary resident status application is to be processed under section 245 (A) of the immigration and nationality act (INA).
- You get eligible to apply for advance parole if USCIS provided you TPS, T nonimmigrant or U nonimmigrant status.
- Another situation when you get eligible to apply for advance parole is if USCIS or Customs and Border Protection (CBP) provides you the humanitarian parole under Section 212 (d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
- If you have received benefits through the family unity program, then you get eligible to apply for advance parole.
- DACA applicants are eligible to apply for advance parole.
Who are not eligible to apply for Advance Parole?
In comparison, you do not get eligible to apply for advance parole if you fall under any one or more category given below:
- Those applicants who are living in the United States without any immigration status after visiting the United States unlawfully several times are not eligible to apply for the advance parole.
- If you already hold a valid re-entry permit or refugee document, then you do not get eligible to apply for advance parole.
- If you hold a J visa or any of the Visa having foreign residence requirements, then you won’t be able to apply for advance parole.
- In case you are the beneficiary member of the private immigration bill passed by Congress.
- You do not get eligible to apply for advance parole if you are about to deport from the United States.
- If you are presently an asylum seeker or a refugee, you are not applying for adjustment of status to a green card.
- If any time in the past, you enter the United States unlawfully and you submit the advance parole application if it gets approved by USCIS, then also you won’t be able to re-enter the United States. If you stay in the United States unlawfully for the period of 180 days to one year, then the US government will ban you from entering the United States for three years, and if you stay in the United States without any status, then the US government will ban you from entering in the US for ten years. So always ensure not to make such mistakes.
- Suppose any time in the past and present, if you stayed in the United States without any status. You need to consult the immigration lawyer for guidance regarding what to do in such a situation.
To know more about re-entry permit you can refer to our Complete Guide Re-Entry Permit Process
Who do not need Advance Parole to re-enter the U.S.?
If even after being ineligible to apply for the advance parole, you leave the United States when you aren’t granted to re-enter the country. Those international migrants holding a valid visa can again enter the United States depending on their immigration status. However, you had the option to travel outside the United States without carrying advance parole while your green card application is pending only if you fall under any of the given categories:
- A temporary worker having a valid H-1 visa or the child or spouse of the temporary worker H-4 does not require applying for advance parole to travel outside the United States while USCIS is processing their green card application.
- A transferee of the intra-company holding a valid L-1 visa or a child or spouse of the transferee holding an H-2 visa does not require applying for advance parole to visit outside the United States while the USCIS is processing their green card application.
- A spouse of a US citizen holding a K-3 visa and a child holding k-4 visa do not need to apply for advance parole.
- A spouse of a permanent resident holding V-2 visa status and child (v-3) visa status
When you are aware that if you need to apply for advance parole or not, you can start applying for advance parole status based on the type of immigrant status.
Step by step application process to apply for advance parole
The process of advance parole application is straightforward. In this application, you are first required to complete the application form known as form I-131 application for a travel document. Once you are completed filing the official application form, you will need to prepare the supporting documents and the required fee for the application and then submit all the paperwork together to the USCIS. Let’s discuss the process of advance parole application in detail:
Step 1 – Complete Form I-131
An application form I-131 is that application form where the procedure of advance parole begins. It is also known as an application for a travel documents. Without completing and signing this form, you cannot submit this form to the USCIS. You have two options through which you can complete this form, either through online mode by signing up to MyUSCIS account or through the offline mode by downloading the updated version of the application Form I-131 directly from the official USCIS website. Then fill up all the details asked in the form.
Step 2: Gather fees & supporting documents for Form I-131
Once you have completed the application form I-131, the next step is to prepare the required documents and be ready with the filing fee that needs to be submitted to complete the advance parole application process. Some of the required documentation that you need to submit along with your application form I-131
- Receipt notice that you have received from USCIS after submitting the application form I-485 in case your application is pending
- You are required to submit two passport size photos.
- You will also need to submit a USCIS issued document that mentions your present immigration status; the document can be approval notice form I-797.
- The applicant needs to submit the government-issued identification card containing your date of birth, photo and name. The document can be anything from passport, driver’s license to employment authorization document.
- You will require submitting the marriage certificate only if you are applying for advance parole on your spouse’s behalf till his/her green card application is pending.
- You must submit a valid childbirth certificate if you are applying for the advance parole application on behalf of your child while his/her green card application is to be processed by USCIS.
- It’s better to present the proof mention about your travel outside the US. This will help the applicant to get advance parole.
- Also, you will be required to pay the filing fee of $575
Ensure to choose translation Services in USA that can easily translate you foreign language documents in English.
Step 3: Submit complete Form I-131
The last step involving the advance parole application process is submitting the application form I-131 and its supporting document to USCIS. You have two options through which you can submit your application form to USCIS, either online or by mail. If you are willing to submit your application form online, then you will require creating your MyUSCIS account and submitting the application directly from your account.
Those applicants who are willing to submit their application form through the mail will require sending their application packet directly to the relevant USCIS mailing address. The mailing address depends on from where you are applying for the application and what mail service you are using to file the application form. Those advance parole applicants whose adjustment of status for green card application are still pending must send their application package to any USCIS lockboxes in Chicago, Phoenix or Dallas. You can get the relevant USCIS mailing address by visiting the USCIS official website.
In case of applying for application form I-131 from overseas:
In case you are submitting the application form I-131 from foreign country, then you’ll first require contacting the local US embassy or consulate to get permission. Then, you will have to schedule an appointment with the nearest US embassy or consulate to make the request in person. By visiting the state department website, you can get the US embassy and consulate.
What is the cost of Advance Parole?
There are most of the immigration application form that asks for the filing fee from the applying applicants. The US government uses the application fee to recover all the costs involved in processing your application. Similarly, to file the advance parole application, you will require paying filing fees of $575. Those applicants who cannot afford this application filing fee can request the fee waiver by filling up the application form I-912.
There are multiple ways through which you can pay your filing fee; you can either use a personal check, money order, cashier check or credit card. If you are making payment through check, always remember all the checks should be made in favor of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In case you are paying the application filling fee through the credit card, Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions, along with your application form I-131 paperwork. USCIS will only process your credit card payment if you submit the form G-1450.
Irrespective of which payment mode you are choosing to pay the application fees, always ensure that once you have submitted your application, you have $575 with you. If not, then USCIS will deny your application if your application process is getting delayed because of the pending filing fees.
What is the time taken to process the Advance Parole application?
The estimated time taken by USCIS is between 3 to 5 to get processed. Assuming that you have done everything in the right order, i.e., you have properly completed your application and mailed it to the relevant USCIS mailing address, and USCIS has received your application package. Your application process might take longer than the estimated processing time as it also depends on the USCIS service center managing your case. You can get the estimated time to process your application by visiting by USCIS website.
Can applicants get advance parole quickly during the time of emergency?
During the time of any emergency, you can get your advance parole quickly. There is no such exact time about how quickly you get the advance parole during the time of emergency. Depending on the emergency situation, USCIS can quicken your application process and reduce the application processing time down to 30 days. To reduce the advance parole application processing time, you will have to prove to USCIS that you actually fall under any one of the given situations:
- Your company has suffered a financial loss
- During the time of emergency where your presence is of utmost importance(which includes the funeral immediate relative).
- Due to Humanitarian reasons
- You can expedite your advance parole application processing time if you are associated with the non-profit organization asking for the expedited application for social interest or culture to benefit the United States.
- If your application expedite request is made by the Department of Defense or any other US government agency to promote national interest.
- The processing time of your application will be reduced if USCIS made any administrative error.
USCIS will provide the emergency advance parole after determining the type of emergency. In order to apply for the emergency advance parole, you will require visiting the local USCIS Field office and also bringing the following documents:
- Duly filled application form I-131
- Required filing fee
- Proof that supports your emergency situation
- Two passport size photos
The application for the emergency advance parole generally gets processed on the same day if everything goes well.
What things should you keep in mind while traveling with Advance Parole?
Even after completing and submitting your advance parole application, you cannot travel outside the United States until you obtain a physical travel document. As mentioned, the estimated time taken to process an advance parole application is 3-5 months.
Generally, advance parole documents grant you to go for the abroad trip. Additionally, USCIS has the complete right to revoke your travel permit if they find anything suspicious. This happens, and you are still outside the United States, then you cannot return to the United States till you apply for a valid visa or any other document that grants you to re-enter the United States.
When you plan to go on the abroad trip, you should always remember the date of the interview and biometric appointments. Though travel document allows you to go for the abroad trip for a year and if you do not regularly return to the US, you might miss important appointment which, if you not attended might affect your green card application. So always follow the guidelines given by the USCIS in your appointment notice if you feel that you are at the risk of missing some important appointments.
The same is the case for receiving the documents provided by USCIS to your provided mailing address. For this also you are required to make some arrangements before you travel abroad, or you can also update the mailing address by contacting USCIS.
Can applicants safely travel in the Advance Parole?
Yes, it is absolutely safe to travel outside the United States with advance parole while your green card application is to be processed by the United States, and this travel permit will prevent USCIS from abandoning your green card application. Even after obtaining advance parole to travel outside the United States does not guarantee that you will be allowed to re-enter the United States. Department of homeland security has the complete right to revoke your travel permit if they find anything suspicious. That is why it is essential for every applicant to travel outside the United States only during the time of extreme emergency while their green card application is in process.
If you live in the United States for a long time without valid immigration status, you will be at risk of getting barred from re-entering the US for three-ten years.
How long can you stay out of the US on advance parole?
With advance parole, you are granted to stay outside the United States for one year from the date of issue. But always remember Department of Homeland security has the right to terminate your advance parole anytime.
How do I check my i-131 status?
In order to check your form I-131 application status, you can use the USCIS online status checker. To check the status, it is important to have the receipt number, which you can find on the notice you received after USCIS accepted your advance parole application.
When is the right time to apply for Advance Parole?
You can apply for advance parole prior to leaving the United States. If you fail to do this, it might terminate your green card application and prevent you from re-entering in the United States.
No doubt applying for advance parole involves a straightforward process but still hiring an immigration lawyer makes your work even easier.
Check our detailed green card guide to get complete details about the things you should know about green cards.