Advance Parole (AP) is a document or card issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) which allows certain non-residents and non-citizens to re-enter the U.S. after departure without the need for a visa. Examples of people who might qualify for Advance Parole include those who have an application for adjustment of status pending, those who have been admitted as a refugee or granted asylum or individuals in Temporary Protected Status. Foreign nationals who have filed for Adjustment of Status need to be particularly certain to obtain AP before traveling, as otherwise their adjustment application is deemed abandoned.
Most people who obtain Advance Parole submit their application at the same time as applying for Adjustment of Status, as the filing fees are generally waived when doing so. If an Advance Parole application is submitted concurrently with an Adjustment of Status and Work Authorization Application, a “combo card” is issued. Combo Card simply means that the Work Authorization and Advance Parole permission are both issued on one card.
Test your “true or false” Advance Parole knowledge with these 10 common scenarios:
Advance Parole Statements:
- With an Advance Parole in-hand, I am guaranteed Re-entry to the U.S.
- Foreign nationals in the U.S. without current lawful status are ineligible for Advance Parole.
- If I am in H-1B status, and re-enter the U.S. using Advance Parole, I cannot extend my H-1B status.
- Advance Parole and a Re-entry Permit are the same thing.
- If I am in H-1B status with an Adjustment of Status Pending and fail to obtain an AP before traveling, my Adjustment of Status is abandoned.
- Advance Parole holders are not permitted to remain outside of the U.S. for over six months at a time.
- If I have accrued over one year of Unlawful Presence in the U.S., there is no point in obtaining Advance Parole, as I would automatically incur a ten-year bar upon departure from the U.S.
- I’ve accrued over one year of Unlawful Presence, read Matter of Arrabally and Yerrabelly, and have an easy path to adjusting my status after being paroled in.
- I obtained an Advance Parole document based on my pending Asylum application. A short trip to my home country wouldn’t be detrimental.
- Neglecting mail at my residence while traveling on Advance Parole could cost me my adjustment of status eligibility.
- False. Similar to a U.S. visa, there is no document that can guarantee entry to the U.S., as admission is determined on a case-by-case basis by Customs and Border Protection. Therefore, if you believe you may be inadmissible to the U.S., be sure to discuss your matter with an immigration attorney prior to departing the U.S.
- True. Only individuals in a lawful U.S. status are eligible for Advance permission to re-enter the U.S.
- False. If, upon re-entry, you resume your employment with your H-1B employer—and do not work pursuant to an EAD or with any other employer—then you will be permitted to apply to “extend” H-1B status.
- False. The two are different because: AP is only issued to a non-resident, whereas Re-entry Permits are issued to U.S. residents; AP comes in the form of a card or document, whereas a Re-entry Permit looks like a passport book; and finally, a Re-entry Permit is typically valid for two years, whereas AP is valid for one or two years.
- False. An important exception to the “travel with no AP = green card abandonment” rule, as long as the applicant has maintained H-1B status prior to departure, the I-485 is preserved if upon return to the U.S. if the H-1B holder continues working for their H-1B employer upon reentry.
- False. While it is true that the non-resident cannot stay outside of the U.S. longer than the duration of the AP card, the card is generally valid for up to a year or two.
- False. Under the Board of Immigration Appeals holding in Matter of Arrabally and Yerrabelly, 25 I&N Dec. 771 (BIA 2012) a foreign national who leaves the United States under Advance Parole does not incur the ten-year bar.
- False. First, refer to #1, above. Second, Matter of Arrabally and Yerrabelly only cure certain Unlawful Presence grounds, but AP may not guarantee admission if other grounds of inadmissibility apply. Always seek the opinion of a qualified attorney before attempting travel if there are complications in one’s immigration history.
- False. Travel to the country of claimed persecution may have a detrimental impact on the foreign national’s asylum, adjustment and Naturalization applications.
- True. Even though Advance Parole travel is authorized, be sure someone is checking the mail back home. In the event that an Interview Notice or Request for Evidence arrives in the mail related to a pending Adjustment of Status, you will need to take action within a matter of weeks.