Understanding Advance Parole

February 27, 2016

“Is it ok for me to travel outside the United States?”

A frequently asked question by clients is whether it is safe to travel outside the United States while an application for adjustment of status is pending.  The answer is no, not without advance permission from the government in the form of an advance parole document.  If an adjustment applicant leaves the country without obtaining advance parole, he or she will usually be deemed to have abandoned the green card process.  Applicants for advance parole in this category have to demonstrate a need to travel for “urgent humanitarian reasons” or in furtherance of a “significant public benefit” which can include a personal or family emergency or a genuine business reason.

Advance parole is also required for recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to travel outside the United States.  Overseas travel for this group of applicants is possible for educational purposes such as study abroad or research projects, employment purposes such as meetings, conferences, or training, and humanitarian purposes such as medical treatment, funeral services, or visiting a sick relative.  Travel for vacation is not a valid purpose.  Deferred action will be automatically terminated if a recipient departs the U.S. without first obtaining an advance parole document from USCIS

Important to note is that a grant of advance parole is not a guarantee that an individual will be readmitted to the United States.  The government makes clear that a separate, discretionary decision is to be made by a Customs and Border Protection officer at the time of an application for admission to the U.S.

For a free consultation on obtaining an advance parole travel document, please contact our office today.

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