Advance Parole

Advance Parole

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What is an Advance Parole?

Advance Parole is a permission granted to certain non-U.S. citizens, allowing them to re-enter the U.S. after traveling abroad. 

This is particularly relevant for individuals who are in the process of adjusting their immigration status and have certain applications pending, such as applications for adjustment of status (Form I-485).

Here are some key points about Advance Parole:

  • Purpose: The primary purpose of Advance Parole is to allow individuals who are in the U.S. but not yet permanent residents to travel abroad for specific reasons, such as educational, employment, or humanitarian purposes, and then return to the U.S. without jeopardizing their pending immigration applications.
  • Eligibility: Eligibility for Advance Parole is often tied to specific circumstances, such as having a pending adjustment of status application, or other qualifying situations. 
  • Application Process: Individuals seeking Advance Parole need to file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, with USCIS. 
  • Approval and Travel: Once Advance Parole is approved, individuals can travel abroad for the specified purpose and must return before the expiration date on the Advance Parole document. It’s crucial to note that traveling without Advance Parole while an adjustment of status application is pending can result in the application being deemed abandoned.
  • Entry is not Guaranteed: While Advance Parole allows for travel, it does not guarantee re-entry into the U.S. The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the port of entry have the authority to inspect and determine the admissibility of individuals.
  • Dual Intent Visa Holders: The following visa holders can re-enter the U.S. without Advance Parole while their Adjustment of Status applications are pending: H-1, H-4, L-1, L-2, K-3, K-4, V-1, V-2 and V-3. In order to re-enter the U.S. these dual intent visa holders must have a valid visa and be in lawful nonimmigrant status.

Who is eligible for Advance Parole?

The following individuals who are currently physically present in the U.S. are eligible to apply for an Advance Parole:

  • Pending Adjustment of Status (Form I-485): Individuals with a pending application for adjustment of status (Form I-485). This includes those applying for family-sponsored or employment-based green cards.
  • TPS (Temporary Protected Status): Individuals with pending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) applications, or those who have been granted TPS.
  • Granted T Visa or U Visa: Individuals who have been granted T or U nonimmigrant status.
  • DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals): DACA recipients can apply for Advance Parole for educational, employment, or humanitarian reasons. Travel for vacation is not a valid reason for DACA recipients applying for an Advance Parole.
  • V Status: Individuals who have been granted V nonimmigrant status and need to travel outside the U.S. for urgent humanitarian reasons, personal or family emergency, or business purposes.

The following individuals who are located outside the U.S. are eligible to apply for an Advance Parole:

  • If you or someone else is outside the U.S. and need to visit the U.S. temporarily for an urgent humanitarian reason or for a significant public benefit.
  • You cannot obtain the necessary U.S. visa and required waiver of inadmissibility or consent to reapply for admission.
  • You were paroled into the U.S. with an Advance  Parole document and need to extend your stay in the U.S.

Who cannot apply for an Advance Parole?

The following individuals are not eligible to apply for an Advance Parole:

How to apply for an Advance Parole online

The process of applying for an Advance Parole (Form I-131) online involves the following steps:

Step 1. Create an online USCIS account if you do not have one.

Step 2. From the “My account” dropdown menu, select “File a form online”. Choose “Form I-131”.

Step 3. Carefully answer all of the questions and upload scanned copies of the documents requested. See the checklist of required documents below.

Step 4. Review your answers, make sure that all the requested documents are uploaded and submit the application. You will pay the filing fee online using a credit card. Note: If you have paid Form I-485 filing fees, you do not need to pay Form I-131 filing fee. If you are applying based on a pending adjustment of status, include a copy of the Form I-485 receipt notice.

Step 5. Download the Form I-131 receipt notice from “Your cases” – “Documents” – “USCIS Notices”. Hard copy notice will arrive by mail within a couple of weeks.

Step 6. Wait for USCIS processing: you can track the status of your case in your online account. If USCIS issues a Request for Evidence (RFE), you can upload your request to RFE directly to your online account.

Step 7. If approved, you will have access to approval notice in your online account. The original Advance Parole Document will arrive by mail. Carry this document with you when traveling outside the U.S. It is essential for re-entry.

Step 8. Re-enter the United States: Use the Advance Parole document to re-enter the U.S. before its expiration date. Keep in mind that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the port of entry will determine your admissibility.

How to apply for an Advance Parole by mail

The process of applying for an Advance Parole (Form I-131) by mail involves the following steps:

Step 1. Download the Form I-131:

  • Obtain the latest edition of Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, from the USCIS website.
  • USCIS will reject any outdated editions of Form I-131

Step 2. Gather Supporting Documents:

  • Collect all the necessary supporting documents (see the checklist below). Unless directed otherwise, submit only photocopies of the documents.

Step 3. Complete the Form:

  • Fill out the form accurately and completely. Sign and date the form in ink
  • USCIS does not accept computer-generated or stamped signatures
  • Fill out and submit Form G-1145 to receive an electronic notification (text message or email) containing USCIS receipt number 
  • Check out Form I-131 Instructions, How to Fill Out

Step 4. Filing fee payment:

  • Check the USCIS website for the most current filing fee
  • Note: If you have paid Form I-485 filing fees, you do not need to pay the Form I-131 filing fee. If you are applying based on a pending adjustment of status, include a copy of the Form I-485 receipt notice.
  • Acceptable forms of payment include: money order, personal check, cashier’s check or credit card payment (fill out Form G-1450)
  • If paying by check, the check must be payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Step 5. Mail the Application:

  • Once the form is completed and the supporting documents are gathered, filing fee payment is submitted, mail the entire package to the correct filing address (“Where to File” section).
  • If you are applying for Adjustment of Status, Form I-131 can be mailed together with Form I-485 application in the same package to the correct I-485 filing address.
  • It’s recommended to mail the application via express mail with a tracking number

Step 6. Check Application Status:

  • If you submitted Form G-1145 with your application, 1 week after the submission, you will receive a text message or email from USCIS with your Form I-131 receipt notice. Check your spam folder.
  • USCIS will mail the receipt notice 2-3 weeks after the submission date
  • You can track the status of your application online by entering the Form I-131 receipt number 

Step 7. Wait for Processing:

  • USCIS will process your application, and if additional information or document is needed, an RFE notice will be mailed to you. Once processed, you will receive a decision on your application by mail.
  • The original Advance Parole Document will arrive by mail. Carry this document with you when traveling outside the U.S. It is essential for re-entry.

Step 8. Re-enter the United States: 

  • Use the Advance Parole document to re-enter the U.S. before its expiration date. Keep in mind that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the port of entry will determine your admissibility.

Advance Parole filing fees

The filing fee for Advance Parole (Form I-131, Application for Travel Document) depends on your filing category:

Application category

Filing fee

Pending Adjustment of Status applications 
  • $0 (if filing with Form I-485, or you have already paid the Form I-485 filing fee)
Pending TPS or have been granted TPS status
  • $575
DACA recipients 
  • $575
T, U, V status holders
  • $575

If applying for an Advance Parole online, the filing fee can be paid online using a credit or debit card.

If submitting an Advance Parole application by mail, acceptable forms of payment include:

  • Money order
  • Personal check
  • Cashier’s check, or
  • Credit card payment (for credit card payments, fill out Form G-1450)

USCIS fees are subject to change, check the latest Form I-131 filing fee on the USCIS website.

Advance Parole checklist of required documents

The following documents must be submitted with your Advance Parole application (submit photocopies only):

Evidence required

Examples of acceptable documents

Completed and signed Form I-131
  • Download the most recent edition of Form I-131 on USCIS website
  • Answer all questions
  • Sign and date the form
  • Unsigned, undated or outdated editions of Form I-131 will be rejected by USCIS
G-1145 form (optional)
  • Fill out Form G-1145 if you want to receive a text or email from USCIS with Form I-131 receipt notice
  • Put a completed Form G-1145 on top of your application
Filing fee
  • $0 – No filing fee is required for pending Adjustment of Status applicants
  • $575 for DACA, TPS, T, U or V applicants
Official photo ID document An official photo ID document showing your photo, name and date of birth (front and back of ID).

Submit a photocopy of the following documents that clearly shows your face: 

  • Passport
  • Valid government-issued driver’s license
  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
  • State ID
  • Foreign ID
Two U.S. passport-style photographs
Proof of current status in the U.S.
  • Form I-485 receipt notice or file Form I-131 together with Form I-485 at the same time
  • Proof of pending or approved TPS status
  • Proof of DACA status
  • Proof of T, U, or V status
Copy of Previous Advance Parole Documents (if applicable)
  • If you have previously been granted Advance Parole, include copies of the documents
Intended travel documentation (for DACA applicants only) Proof that your intended travel abroad fits within educational, employment or humanitarian reasons:

  • Letter from school, college, university
  • Educational program enrollment documentation
  • Letter from employer
  • Letter from physician explaining the need for travel abroad
  • Proof of family member’s serious illness or death (medical records or death certificate)
Proof of urgent humanitarian or significant public benefit reason (only for applicants located outside the U.S.)
  • Detailed description of the urgent humanitarian or significant public benefit reason for which an Advance Parole is requested (include length of time for which parole is requested)
  • Documents supporting the urgent humanitarian or significant public benefit reason
  • Form I-134, Affidavit of Support
  • Form I-134 supporting documents (sponsor’s green card, U.S. passport, or U.S. birth certificate)
  • Statement explaining why a U.S. visa cannot be obtained
  • Statement explaining why a waiver of inadmissibility cannot be obtained
  • Copies of decisions made on nonimmigrant or immigrant petitions filed on behalf of the Advance Parole applicant
  • Applicant’s passport (biographic page)

How long will an Advance Parole be valid for?

The validity period of an Advance Parole document can vary based on the circumstances and the specific reason for travel. 

When USCIS approves an Advance Parole application (Form I-131), they typically specify the duration of the travel document. 

Here are some general considerations:

Adjustment of Status Applicants:

  • For individuals with a pending adjustment of status (Form I-485) application, the Advance Parole document is typically valid for 1 or 2 years.

DACA Recipients:

  • DACA recipients applying for Advance Parole may receive a travel document with a specific validity period, often based on the purpose of travel (e.g., education, employment, or humanitarian reasons).

Expiration Date:

  • It’s crucial to check the expiration date on the Advance Parole document. Individuals must return to the U.S. before the document expires to avoid complications at the port of entry.

Single or Multiple Entries:

  • Advance Parole documents can be issued for either a single entry or multiple entries (applicants can select “one trip” or “more than one trip” options on Form I-131).

Advance Parole processing times

According to the official USCIS processing times published on their website, it can take anywhere from 5.5 months to 17.5 months for an Advance Parole to be issued.

The average Form I-131 processing time depends on the USCIS service handling your application:

  • California Service Center – 12.5 months
  • National Benefits Center – 9 months
  • Nebraska Service Center – 5.5 months
  • Texas Service Center – 17.5 months
  • Vermont Service Center – 9 months

Processing times can vary based on factors such as complexity of the case, whether a Request for Evidence (RFE) is issued or not, and the workload at the specific USCIS service center.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information on Form I-131 processing times, you can visit the USCIS Processing Times page, choose “Form I-131” and select your service center. 

The service center handling your application can be found in the bottom left corner of Form I-131 receipt notice.

You cannot choose the USCIS service center that will process your application.

Can I travel outside the U.S. before Advance Parole is approved?

Traveling outside the U.S. before your Advance Parole is approved can have serious consequences, and is not recommended.

If you have a pending Form I-131 (Advance Parole) application, leaving the U.S. without an approved Advance Parole document may result in the abandonment of your application. 

This could lead to complications when you attempt to re-enter the country, such as denial to enter the U.S.

Here are some important issues to consider:

Abandonment of Application:

  • Leaving the U.S. without an approved Advance Parole document may be considered an abandonment of your pending application. This could result in the denial of your application.

Re-entry Without Advance Parole:

  • If you leave the U.S. without an approved Advance Parole document and do not have another valid visa, you may be denied re-entry into the U.S.
  • Individuals with pending immigration applications are required to obtain an approved Advance Parole before traveling outside the U.S.

Risk of Denial:

  • Even if you have a pending Advance Parole application, there is no guarantee that it will be approved. 
  • Due to COVID-19 caused backlogs, USCIS service centers do not always process Form I-131 applications in Adjustment of Status cases.

Specific Circumstances:

  • Certain individuals, such as those with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status, may be allowed to travel under limited circumstances. However, it’s crucial to understand the specific rules and potential risks associated with such travel.

Related Links:

Form I-131 – How to Apply for a Travel Document

Form I-131 Instructions, How to Fill Out