Advance Parole is a discretionary travel authorization granted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which allows certain individuals to travel abroad and return to the U.S. without a visa or jeopardizing their immigration status.
It should be noted that being granted Advance Parole does not guarantee that you will automatically be allowed to reenter the US. This is because the Customs and Border Protection officers at the location you will be reentering the US from (referred to as your “port-of-entry”), have the ultimate authority to determine your admissibility back into the US.
Who is Advance Parole available to?
Individuals eligible for Advance Parole may include:
- DACA Recipients: These individuals are beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and may apply for Advance Parole to travel abroad for humanitarian, educational, or employment purposes.
- Persons Awaiting Adjustment of Status (i.e., green card applicants): This refers to individuals who have a pending application for adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR). Having an Advance Parole document allows them to travel internationally while their adjustment of status application is being processed, without it being deemed as though they abandoned their application.
- Other Categories: While DACA recipients and green card applicants are perhaps the largest group of applicants, Advance Parole is available to other types of applicants, including refugees, asylees, and persons on certain employment-based visas.
Purposes for Granting Advance Parole
Advance Parole is not granted for those seeking to travel for pleasure or vacation; rather, it is generally granted for the following purposes:
- Educational purposes: This includes traveling abroad to conduct academic research, or participate in certain educational activities.
- Employment-related purposes: This includes traveling for work-related reasons, such as attending international conferences, business meetings, or training sessions.
- Humanitarian purposes: This includes travel required for urgent humanitarian reasons, such as getting medical treatment, attending a family funeral, or other emergencies.
Forms, Fees, and Processing times
- Forms: The primary form for applying for Advance Parole is Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. Additionally, green card applicants will generally be required to file a Form I-134 (Declaration of Financial Support).
- Fees: The filing fee for Form I-131 Advance Parole Applications is currently $575.
- Supporting Documentation: Applicants must provide evidence to support their stated purpose for traveling, such as letters from employers, educational institutions, or medical professionals, to substantiate the grounds under which they are applying.
- Processing Times:, While it generally takes 90 to 120 days to process applications, per the USCIS website, due to the high volume of applications, delays may be expected.
Traveling with Your Advance Parole Document
Once your Advance Parole document is granted, there are specific guidelines and best practices that you should follow when traveling abroad. Failure to adhere to these can result in complications in, or denial of, your seeking to reenter the US. Therefore, some things to consider when traveling on Advance Parole include.
- Always keep the original copy of your Advance Parole document with you.
- Adhere to the specific purposes for which the Advance Parole document was granted (i.e., educational, employment-related, or humanitarian).
- Carry with you any supporting documentation that could substantiate that you are traveling consistent with the reasons for which your Advance Parole was authorized, such as letters from educational institutions, employers, etc.
- Be prepared for questioning by immigration officers at your port-of-entry, as they will be evaluating your eligibility for readmission.