Advance parole is an immigration travel document that can make it very easy for immigrants seeking asylum or permanent residence to leave and re-enter the United States without harming their pending immigration applications. Leaving the country while awaiting a green card or asylum hearing, even if you have been in the United States legally, could lead to being refused entry upon your return. Worse, your pending immigration application would be rejected due to “abandonment”.
Advance parole is received by filing Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. For non-emergency travel, it can take several months for the form to be processed by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and a decision to be reached, so it is strongly suggested to plan ahead. For emergency travel, such as a death in the family, medical concerns, or extreme business hardships, USCIS may issue a same-day advance parole document after an appointment at a local field office. For emergency advance parole to be considered, applicants should bring a completed and signed Form I-131, the correct filing fee, two passport-style photos, and evidence of the emergency to their appointment.
It is important to note that advance parole does not guarantee re-entry into the United States. Similar to a visa, everyone who is not a US citizen is subject to an immigration review prior to being admitted into the country. Some common reasons for being denied admission, even while possessing a valid advance parole document, include legal status expiring prior to reentry or previous unlawful presence in the country.
When seeking advance parole, the most important things are completing the Form I-131 accurately, submitting it with the appropriate evidence with enough time to receive the travel documents prior to leaving the country, and completing biometrics capture at an Application Support Center (ASC) prior to departure. If you are an immigrant to the United States and are planning to travel outside of the country, an experienced immigration law firm can help you determine if seeking advance parole is right for your situation. If advance parole would be of benefit, the immigration lawyers at the Law Offices of Scott Warmuth can help you complete the process quickly and accurately. We provide free consultations at 888-517-9888.