Advance Parole is a travel document issued by USCIS which authorizes applicants with a pending Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status to lawfully return to the United States after international travel.
A pending I-485 will be considered abandoned if you leave the US unless you return with a valid Advance Parole Document.
Advance Parole does not guarantee that you will be allowed to reenter the United States, especially if you are subject to any grounds of inadmissibility. At the airport or border, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer will make the final decision about whether to allow you to reenter the United States. Please contact our office if you have any questions or concerns about grounds of inadmissibility including unlawful presence in the US, entry without inspection, and criminal records.
How to Apply for Advance Parole
You will need to submit a Form I-131, Application for Travel Document and submit it to USCIS. Filings must be submitted directly to USCIS along with two passport-style photographs. Online applications are not accepted at this time.
The filing fee and necessary supporting documentation will vary depending on the type of application. More information can be found on USCIS's Form I-131 page.
How to Use Your Advance Parole
You will receive your Advance Parole travel document by mail after USCIS has approved your application. You may receive a standalone I-512L travel document or a combination Employment Authorization-Advance Parole card. You must wait for the Advance Parole to be approved. You will not be able to rely on a pending Form I-131 for entry to the US.
You will present the Advance Parole along with your passport when entering the US Airlines can accept an advance parole document instead of a visa as proof that you are authorized to travel to the United States. You will need to return while the Advance Parole is still valid.
An advance parole document does not replace your passport. It also does not replace entry documents you may need for entry into other countries. You should confirm the entry requirements for any country you plan on visiting before departing the US.
After you have been admitted by CBP with your Advance Parole, you will no longer maintain the nonimmigrant status you previously held before your departure from the US. For example, someone working in R-1 status with a pending I-485 will no longer be considered as being in R-1 status upon their entry. Rather, that person would be considered as having entered as a parolee. This means that an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card is necessary for any employment once in the US.
There is an exception for those in H and L nonimmigrant status that allows them to travel internationally while their Form I-485 is pending. This means that Advance Parole is optional as long as you maintain your L-1/ L-2 or H-1B/ H-4 nonimmigrant status while the I-485 is pending.
Renewing Your Advance Parole
Advance Parole travel documents are generally approved for one year at a time but may be valid for up to two years. You will be eligible to re-apply as long as your Form I-485 is still pending. To re-apply, you will need to complete and submit a new Form I-131. You should not travel until your renewal is approved.
Please contact the Law Offices of James D. Eiss to schedule a consultation if you have questions or concerns about your Advance Parole, including potential inadmissibility issues to the United States.