An Advance Parole Document is a form of temporary travel authorization. Nonimmigrants in the United States (such as adjustment of status applicants, TPS beneficiaries, refugees/asylum applicants, DACA recipients, etc.), to be able to return to the United States after leaving the country without risking their status, must obtain Advance Parole. The document they seek is called an Advance Parole Document. Advance parole functions as a visa when entering the U.S. A transportation company (airlines) can accept an advance parole document instead of a visa as proof that you are authorized to travel to the United States. An advance parole document does not replace your passport. In this article, we will take a closer look at Form I-131 Advance Parole, including what it is, who needs it, and how to apply for it.
What is Form I-131 Advance Parole?
Form I-131 is officially known as the “Application for Travel Document” that allows certain non-U.S. citizens who are not permanent residents to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad. Individuals who are not U.S. citizens and who are in the process of adjusting their status in the United States may apply for Advance Parole. This document is necessary because, without it, individuals who are not U.S. citizens and who are in the process of adjusting their status could be considered to have abandoned their application for adjustment of status by leaving the country.
Who Needs Advance Parole?
There are several types of individuals who may need to apply for Form I-131. These include:
- Individuals with pending adjustment of status applications: If you are in the process of adjusting your status to become a permanent resident, you will need to obtain Advance Parole if you plan to travel outside of the country while your application is still pending.
- Asylees and refugees: Asylees and refugees who have not yet become permanent residents may need to travel abroad for personal or professional reasons. In such cases, they need to apply for Form I-131 Advance Parole.
- Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients: Individuals who have been granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and wish to travel outside the United States must apply for Advance Parole to be able to return.
- Individuals with pending U visas: If you are a victim of a crime and have applied for a U visa, you will need to obtain Advance Parole if you plan to travel outside the country.
- DACA recipients: If you are a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and need to travel outside the United States for humanitarian, educational, or employment purposes, you will need to apply for Advance Parole.
Not every applicant to adjust status requires advance parole. USCIS regulations state that H and L nonimmigrants are not deemed to have abandoned a pending adjustment of status application after travel abroad provided they have a valid unexpired H or L visa to re-enter.
How to Apply for Advance Parole?
To apply for Advance Parole, individuals will need to complete Form I-131 and submit it to USCIS. The form can be filed electronically or by mail. Individuals will also need to provide documentation that supports their need for Advance Parole, such as evidence of their pending application for adjustment of status or evidence of an emergency situation. If an individual is applying for Advance Parole based on an emergency situation, they will need to provide documentation that shows the emergency and why it requires them to travel outside of the country. As of March 2023, the filing fee for Form I-131 is $575. However, the fee is subject to change, so make sure to check the USCIS website for the most up-to-date fee information.
Once the application is submitted, USCIS will review it and either approve or deny the request for Advance Parole. If the request is approved, the individual will receive an Advance Parole document that will allow them to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad.
Form I-131 Advance Parole is an important document for non-U.S. citizens who are in the process of adjusting their status in the United States. Without Advance Parole, individuals who leave the country may be considered to have abandoned their application for adjustment of status. By completing Form I-131 and providing the necessary documentation, individuals can apply for Advance Parole and obtain the travel document they need to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad. An Advance Parole Document is typically valid for one year from the date of issuance by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and may be for a single re-entry or multiple re-entries to the United States.
Reddy & Neumann, P.C. has been serving the business community for over 25 years and is Houston’s largest immigration law firm focused solely on U.S. employment-based immigration. We work with both employers and their employees, helping them navigate the immigration process quickly and cost-effectively.
By: Hari Subhash
Hari Subhash is a staff attorney at Reddy & Neumann, P.C. He works in the H-1B Department where he assists clients through all phases of the non-immigrant visa process.
Attorney Hari is a law graduate of the University of Pune. He subsequently received his LL.M from the University of Arizona, James E Rogers School of Law. He has over 10 years of experience as a lawyer in civil suits, labor and employment law, family law, personal injury, and ADR proceedings in India. During 2018 – 2022, he volunteered at Bankruptcy Assistance Center, Washington DC. Since 2019, he has been working as an attorney in the areas of immigration, bankruptcy, and personal injury in the United States. As an immigrant himself, he hopes to continue to play a role in helping individuals to start their journey in the United States lawfully and all it offers.