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USCIS Urges Applicants to Get Advance Parole Prior to Traveling Abroad

A May 29, 2009 update put out by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) warns visa applicants that they must obtain Advance Parole before they traveling outside of the U.S.

What is Advance Parole?

It is essentially a permission slip to allow visa applicants and other aliens to be able to return to the U.S. after traveling outside the country. Without Advance Parole, individuals can have a very difficult time returning to the U.S. As a result, their pending visa applications can be denied or closed.

Who needs Advance Parole?

As a visa applicant, you need Advance Parole if:

1. You have an application for legalization pending.
2. You have an application for adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent U.S. resident pending.
3. You have an application pending to seek relief under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act pursuant to Section 203.
4. You have an application pending for asylum in the United States.
5. You are classified as under Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

How do you obtain Advance Parole?

Applicants need to fill out Form I-131. You can find this at the USCIS website under the heading “Immigration Forms.” It’s also referred to as “Application for Travel Document.”

What else do you need to know about Advance Parole?

• Applicants should plan in advance. It takes around 90 days to process I-131 Forms.
• Illegal aliens may be barred from re-entry even if they do obtain Advance Parole. That said, immigration law is nuanced in this regard. An illegal alien may or may not be granted Parole, depending on how long he or she has been in the U.S. See the USCIS website for details.
• Refugees and asylum seekers may not need Advance Parole – instead, these individuals may need a Refugee Travel Document. Form I-131 (see above) can be used to apply.
• Refugees and asylum seekers may have to complete other requirements, like biometric processing, before they may travel abroad.