1. What is a travel document and who needs one?
If you are not a U.S. citizen, you may need permission to return to the U.S. after traveling abroad. This permission is granted through a travel document. Travel documents are also given to foreign nationals who want to travel, but cannot get a passport from their country of nationality.
2. What is Advance Parole?
Advance Parole is permission for certain foreign nationals, who do not have a valid immigrant visa, to re-enter the U.S. after traveling abroad. Such foreign nationals must be approved for Advance Parole before leaving the U.S. If you have not obtained Advance Parole prior to traveling abroad, you will not be permitted to re-enter the U.S. upon your return.
3. Who needs Advance Parole?
As a foreign national in the U.S., you should, prior to departure, obtain Advance Parole if you have:
- Filed an Adjustment of Status application but have not received a decision from the USCIS
- Hold refugee or asylee status and intend to depart temporarily to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa in Canada and/or
- An emergent personal or bona fide reason to travel temporarily abroad
4. How do I file for Advance Parole?
You must file Form I-131, Application for a Travel Document, complete with supporting documentation, photos and applicable fees with the USCIS.
5. What are the documents required to file for Advance Parole?
The documents required for Advance Parole are:
- A copy of any document issued to you by the Service showing present status in the U.S.
- If you are basing your eligibility for Advance Parole on a separate application for Adjustment of Status or asylum, you must also attach a copy of the filing receipt for that application
- If you are traveling to Canada to apply for an immigrant visa, you must also attach a copy of the consular appointment
6. What is the purpose of obtaining Advance Parole?
The two purposes of obtaining Advance Parole are:
- It enables you to come back to the U.S. after traveling abroad without obtaining a visa to the U.S.
- It preserves the status of your application pending at the USCIS
7. What is the processing time for Advance Parole?
The Advance Parole processing time is generally around two months.
8. What is the validity period of Advance Parole document?
An Advance Parole document is generally valid for multiple entries into the U.S. for one year from the date of issue.
9. When should I apply for Advance Parole?
You must apply for Advance Parole before leaving the U.S. Failure to do so may cause you to lose permission to re-enter the U.S. and lead to the denial of any other applications.
10. Who is not eligible for Advance Parole?
You are not eligible for an Advance Parole travel document if you are a foreign national who is:
- In the U.S. illegally
- An exchange foreign national subject to the foreign residence requirement
11. Does Advance Parole guarantee me admission into the U.S.?
No, Advance Parole does not guarantee you admission into the U.S. Foreign nationals with Advance Parole are still subject to the immigration inspection process at the port of entry.
12. How can I check the status of my Advance Parole application?
You may check status by using VisaPro’s free visa status service.
13. How can I appeal a denial of Advance Parole?
If your application for Advance Parole is denied, you will receive a letter that will tell you why the application was denied. You will not be allowed to appeal a negative decision to a higher authority. However, you may submit a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider with the office that made the unfavorable decision. By filing these motions, you may ask the office to reexamine or reconsider their decision.
- A motion to reopen must state the new facts that are to be provided in the reopened proceeding and must be accompanied by affidavits or other documentary evidence.
- A motion to reconsider must establish that the decision was based on an incorrect application of law or USCIS policy, and further establish that the decision was incorrect based on the evidence in the file at the time the decision was made
14. What is the difference between Advance Parole and Re-entry Permit?
The differences between Advance Parole and Re-entry Permit are:
- Advance Parole is issued to a foreign national who does not have permanent resident status. A Re-entry Permit is issued to a permanent resident of the U.S.
- On the appearance, an Advance Parole document is a piece of paper with the foreign national’s photograph whereas a Re-entry Permit looks like a passport
- Advance Parole is like a visa to the U.S. while a Re-entry Permit is like a passport
- Advance Parole is valid for one year whereas a Re-entry Permit is valid for two years
15. Can travel abroad still have severe consequences, even if I have obtained Advance Parole?
Yes, if you depart the U.S. after being unlawfully present in the U.S. for a certain period, you may be barred from admission, even if you have obtained Advance Parole.
- If you were unlawfully present in the U.S. for more than 180 days but less than one year and depart voluntarily before the start of removal proceedings, you may be inadmissible for three years
- If you were unlawfully present in the U.S. for one year or more, you may be inadmissible for ten years