Generally, if you are a non-U.S. citizen and in the process of applying for a change of status or different immigration benefits, you need advance parole to re-enter the U.S. after traveling outside the country. If you require advance parole for your return, you must be approved before leaving the U.S.

Am I Eligible For Advance Parole?

In some cases, you may not be able to obtain advance parole. For example, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will not grant you advance parole, if you are:

  • Residing in the U.S. illegally; or
  • Subject to the foreign residence requirement as an exchange alien.

Do I Need An Advance Parole Document?

Certain situations may not require you to have advance parole. For example, if you hold an H-1B visa and have applied for permanent residency, you and your dependents may travel without advance parole. If you are unsure of whether you should apply, an immigration lawyer can help clarify your concerns. In most cases, you must obtain advance parole to re-enter the U.S. if you:

  • Filed an application for adjustment of citizenship status, but have not yet received a decision from the USCIS;
  • Hold refugee or asylee status and plan to travel to Canada temporarily to apply for a U.S. immigration visa; and/or
  • Have a personal or bona fide reason to temporarily travel outside of the U.S. (for an important event, such as a business deal or a visit to immediate family).

How Do I File The Advance Parole Form?

As with most USCIS Forms, an incomplete application will result in delays and possibly a denial. Therefore, you must include all the requested materials with your application. Some of the documents required for advance parole approval include:

  • A copy of any USCIS document demonstrating that you currently reside in the United States;
  • An explanation or other evidence showing the reason for your advance parole request;
  • A copy of the filing receipt from your application for adjustment of status or asylum, if status change is the basis of your advance parole eligibility; and
  • A copy of your consular appointment, if you are traveling to Canada for an immigrant visa.

What If My Application Is Denied?

If you receive a denial letter, it will contain instructions on how to appeal. You must send your appeal to the same office that made the original decision. Although your appeal will eventually be sent to the Administrative Appeals Unit in Washington, D.C. for review, sending your appeal and fee directly to this office will result in delays. In most cases, you have 33 days from the time you receive the denial to appeal by filing a USCIS Form I-290B.

Do I Need A Lawyer?

An immigration attorney will be able to help you with your advance parole application, appeal, and/or renewal (if necessary). She can also answer any questions you have about advance parole and other immigration proceedings.