Advance parole refers to an immigration document issued to foreigners who are in the U.S. and undergo some immigration procedures. It is issued by the United Stated Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) with the purpose to allow a person to travel (leave and safely return to the U.S.) while their immigration application is pending. It is a must-have document for all potential immigrants, including Temporary Protected Status beneficiaries, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, asylees, refugees, and adjustment status applicants if they are to be permitted to re-enter the country after traveling abroad. The document serves the same purpose as a visa when seeking to enter the United States. However, it is not the same as the visa or re-entry permit because it is meant for non-permanent residents only (those who have not received a permanent green cards yet). People who fail to acquire advance parole before leaving the U.S. risk losing their immigration status.
Eligibility for Advance Parole
Advance parole is necessary for the U.S. aliens with the following:
• Pending adjustment status
• Asylee status
• Family Unity Program benefits
• Temporary Protected Status
• Pending asylum application status
Any potential immigrant with a valid reason to travel out of the United States on a temporary basis is also eligible for advance parole. However, non-immigrants may not qualify for this document if they are in the following circumstances:
• They reside in the United States with no valid immigration status
• They benefit from a private bill
• If, courtesy of the foreign residence requirements, they are exchange aliens
• They are under removal proceedings
Evidence Required to Apply for Advance Parole
An immigration lawyer can be handy in providing information about an applicant’s eligibility for acquisition of advance parole. However, whether the applicant hires the immigration attorney or not, the application typically involves filing a duly completed USCIS Form I-131 with a local USCIS office. The form is a travel application document, which must be accompanied with supporting documents, including the following:
• Applicant’s two identical photographs if he is in the United Sates at the time of application. The photos are not necessary if the applicant is outside the country because the United States Department of Homeland Security or the U.S. embassy abroad offices require the photos before issuance of the advance parole.
• Applicant’s copy of the official photo identity document, such as a permanent resident card, driver’s license, or passport identity page. A valid official photo identity document must contain the official names of the applicant, the applicant’s date of birth, and a photograph of the applicant.
Applicants with a pending adjustment of status (I-485) must demonstrate their acceptance by submitting I-797C Notice of Action.
Because of the complex nature of U.S. immigration policies, it is advisable to hire the services of an immigration lawyer in order to get the full information on all the requirements for the advance parole. The immigration attorney helps understand these policies, as well as the procedure a person needs to follow in applying for the advance parole.