Is It Safe to Travel with Advance Parole

Updated on August 11, 2023
At a Glance: Advance Parole is a document that allows individuals to enter the United States legally for a specific purpose. It serves as permission to enter the country when someone is in the process of seeking permanent residency. To apply for Advance Parole, you need to submit Form I-131 along with the filing fee. The processing time can take several months. Once granted, Advance Parole allows multiple entries to the U.S. within a year, but certain appointments must be attended. Traveling while on Advance Parole carries risks, as it could lead to the denial or delay of the adjustment of status application.

Once you get a green card and can obtain permanent residency in the United States, you gain various rights. But can you travel freely and enter the United States without any issues before you become a permanent resident? There is a thing known as Advance Parole – still, is it safe to travel with Advance Parole? You can find out the answer by reading the following paragraphs.

What Is Advance Parole?

Advance Parole is a document that allows someone to enter the U.S. for a certain reason. It offers you permission to enter the country legally.

Basically, let’s say you’re an immigrant and you’re stopped at the U.S. port by Customs and Border Patrol for inspection, and paroling hasn’t been emitted yet. If you’re in this situation, you’re still an applicant wanting to be admitted to the U.S., so you will have to wait to obtain your document to be a permanent resident.

Therefore, when USCIS gives you Advance Parole, you are allowed to go to any U.S. port of entry so you can get parole into the United States. Since you don’t have a visa, the document will serve as a replacement and will be accepted. You still need your passport, though.

How to Apply for Advance Parole

If you want to get Advance Parole, there are a few steps you need to take to get it. First things first, you will need Form I-131, which you will complete and then submit. Known as the Application for Travel Document, this has to be submitted together with the filing fee, which is $575.

About 90 days is the amount of time you will have to wait for USCIS to process your advance parole application. If you are in the United States already, then you need some documents and supporting evidence if you want higher chances to have the application accepted.

Here’s what documentation you should provide:

  • A copy of the U.S. consular letter of appointment that you received (in case you have to apply for a visa in Canada)
  • A copy of your USCIS receipt for the Green Card pending petition (in case you have to apply for Adjustment of Status)
  • Documents that can validate the present status you have in the country
  • Proof that shows how your current circumstances require you to receive an advance parole document
  • Two passport-style photographs taken during the last 30 days
  • Your official identification documents together with a photograph
  • Proof that shows your trip has to happen for employment, humanitarian or educational purposes

However, if you are not in the U.S. and want to apply for advance parole, and you are eligible to apply for it, then you should also include supporting evidence. The proof has to be submitted with the following documents:

  • A copy of your passport’s identity page
  • A complete Form I-134 together with the right documents
  • If applicable, a statement that talks about why you cannot obtain a U.S. visa
  • An official document that serves for identification, as well as a photograph
  • Some sort of description of an urgent humanitarian need or a relevant public benefit with documents of your need that will help handle the expedited nature. You also require some details that explain how long the parole will be needed.
  • If applicable, a statement that talks about why you’re unable to get inadmissibility waiver Copies of USCIS, a consulate or U.S. Embassy decisions about your immigration applications or petition

DACA Advance Parole Fees

To file Form I-131 for Advance Parole, the fee is $575. To submit your application, you must submit a cashier’s check in this account with your application.

Advance Parole Processing Time

Generally, it takes 3 to 5 months for your Advance Parole application to be processed but may take longer depending on how much of a backlog there is.

How Long Can You Stay Outside the U.S. on Advance Parole?

Normally, when Advance Parole is granted, it allows the person to enter the U.S. multiple times within a certain period. It will last for as long as the adjustment of status application is processed and completed. It doesn’t exceed one year though, as the USCIS policy says so. So, you are allowed to stay outside the U.S. for one year.

At the same time, you have to be in the U.S. for some appointments, such as the biometrics one and the interview. They will take place a few months after you submit your application, so make sure you don’t miss them. Otherwise, you put the entire application at risk, delaying the process and granting you adjustment of status much later than you may want to.

Is It Safe to Travel with Advance Parole in 2021?

Although possible, leaving the U.S. while on advance parole can be risky as well. Usually, those who leave the country while their application is pending are considered to have abandoned their petition, so that would mean the entire process would be stopped. There are a few exceptions to this, though, with one of them being advance parole.

But even with advance parole, if you travel outside the States, there could be a mistake that overthrows your entire application and will push back your Green Card application. As your adjustment of status application will be denied, you will have to apply again, which will take even more time. The processing time is pretty long, and your application could be pushed back 1-2 years.

What’s even worse is that there are also situations when not even advance parole will allow you to re-enter the U.S. You can apply properly and obtain the actual document before leaving, and the risk would still be there. This document doesn’t entitle you to U.S. parole. It’s just there to let you travel to a U.S. port of entry to ask for parole into the country. So, it’s not the advance parole document that grants you access into the States, but the CBP officer you meet at the port of entry.

Moreover, there is the likelihood of the Department of Homeland Security terminating or revoking your advance parole document while you’re not in the country. Believe it or not, but the USCIS and DHS have the right to do this at any given time. You should be aware of this, even if it won’t happen to you.

If this happens and you don’t take your other travel documents with you to be able to enter the U.S., then re-admission to the United States will be denied. What’s worse is that your adjustment of status application that is currently pending will be denied too.

Also, if you have an unlawful presence or overstaying problems, leaving the United States even in advance parole will not save you from the 3 or 10-year travel ban.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.