Advance Parole

Advance parole is most commonly used when someone has Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status, pending.  If you depart the United States while your I-485 application is pending without first obtaining advance parole, your case will be denied, unless you fit into a narrow exception for those maintaining certain non immigrant statuses.Do I need advance parole if I am flying from the continental United States to Puerto Rico?  What about Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, or the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands?
No, advance parole would not be needed if you travel directly between parts of the United States, which includes Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Swains Island and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), without entering a foreign port or place.

Can I travel outside of the U.S. when my application for advance parole is pending?

If you travel outside the United States while your Form I-485 application is pending and you do not have a valid advance parole, your case may be denied for abandonment.  There is a narrow exception for individuals maintaining certain non immigrant statuses.  

I have an emergency and need to leave the country, but do not have advance parole.  What can I do?

If you are experiencing an extremely urgent situation, you may visit your local USCIS field office to request an emergency advance parole document.  When visiting a field office to request emergency advance parole, you should bring the following items:

  • A completed and signed Form I-131, Application for Travel Document
  • The correct I-131 filing fee or receipt of a pending Form I-131 
  • Evidence to support the emergency request (e.g. medical documentation, death certificate)
  • Two passport-style photos.

I’m going on a cruise, do I need advance parole?

Maybe - it depends on where you are going on your cruise.  As discussed in question one above, if you are traveling directly between two parts of the United States (e.g., between Florida and Puerto Rico), an advance parole will not be needed.  If you will be traveling to other countries or non-U.S. territories, advance parole would be necessary.  

I am in H-4 non immigrant status, have a Form I-485 pending, and am traveling abroad, do I need advance parole?

If the H status principal’s adjustment of status application is approved while you are abroad, you would no longer be considered to be in valid H-4 status.  In this situation, your Form I-485 may be denied for abandonment because you did not have advance parole. 
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: You cannot apply for advance parole while your request for deferred action is still pending. If you leave the United States while your request for consideration of deferred action is pending, your deferred action request will be denied.
Once USCIS approves your request for consideration of deferred action, you may file Form I-131 to request advance parole to travel outside of the United States. If you travel outside the United States without first receiving advance parole, USCIS will automatically terminate your deferred action. You must submit Form I-131 with specific documentation depending on the agency that deferred action in your case. If USCIS deferred action in your case, submit a copy of your Form I-797, Notice of Action. If U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deferred action in your case, submit a copy of the ICE order, notice, or letter. USCIS will only grant advance parole if your travel abroad will be for educational, employment, or humanitarian purposes. You must indicate the purpose on the Form I-131 as described below:
  • Educational purposes, such as semester abroad programs or academic research;
  • Employment purposes, such as overseas assignments, interviews, conferences, training, or meetings with clients; or
  • Humanitarian purposes, such as travel to obtain medical treatment, attend funeral services for a family member, or visit an ailing relative.
Travel for vacation is not a valid purpose.