Nov 4 2005
USCIS REMINDS APPLICANTS FOR ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS TO OBTAIN ADVANCE PAROLE BEFORE HOLIDAY TRAVEL ABROAD
U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) reminds individuals with an application for adjustment of status to that of lawful permanent resident, an application for relief under section 203 of the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA 203), or an asylum application, that they must obtain Advance Parole by filing Form I-131, Application for Travel Document (available online at www.uscis.gov), with USCIS before traveling abroad.
Advance Parole is permission to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad in order to continue processing for adjustment of status. Individuals must be approved for Advance Parole before leaving the United States. Individuals who have been granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) must also apply for advance parole if they want to travel abroad. Travel outside of the United States without Advance Parole has severe consequences and individuals who violate this law may be unable to return to the United States and their applications may be denied.
Applicants can apply for Advance Parole at a local USCIS district office or a USCIS Service Center. Processing time for Service Centers ranges from 90-150 days while local district offices vary from district to district. Applicants planning travel abroad should plan ahead due to the busy holiday travel season. For more information on Advance Parole see the USCIS Travel Advisory Questions and Answers Fact Sheet.
Under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, aliens who depart the United States after being unlawfully present in the United States for certain periods can be barred from admission to lawful permanent resident status, even if they have obtained Advance Parole. Those aliens who have been unlawfully present in the United States for more than 180 days, but less than one year are inadmissible for three years; those who have been unlawfully present for a year or more are inadmissible for 10 years. Aliens who are unlawfully present, depart the U.S. and subsequently reenter under a grant of parole, may nevertheless be ineligible to adjust their status.
USCIS urges all aliens with pending applications for adjustment of status, relief under NACARA 203 or asylum to consult an immigration attorney, immigration assistance organization accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals, the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283, or the USCIS web site: www.uscis.gov before making any foreign travel plans.