When you are present in the U.S. and have a pending petition for adjustment of status to a green card or a marriage-based green card, leaving the country can be a tricky proposition. Leaving the U.S. while your petition is pending case be risky, since it can result in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) concluding that you have chosen to abandon your petition and lead to your inability to reenter the country. Therefore, you probably should avoid leaving the country while your petition is pending except in the case of an emergency.
If you find yourself in this situation, you will need to obtain advance parole BEFORE leaving the country. Advance parole gives you permission to physically enter the country for a specific purpose, much like a visa. In this case, however, advance parole allows you to reenter the country while you have a pending adjustment of status petition without considering you to have abandoned your petition. When you have advance parole, you can present yourself at any U.S. port of entry to gain entrance into the country in the absence of a visa.
To apply for advance parole, you must submit Form I-131, Application for Travel Document and file it with USCIS, along with a filing fee. It takes USCIS about 90 days to process these applications, if not longer, so you should submit it in as far in advance of your trip as possible. You will need to submit various supporting documents along with your application, including:
· A copy of your receipt from USCIS showing that you have petition to adjust your status and obtain a green card
· Two passport-style photographs taken with in the last 30 days
· Evidence showing that your trip is for educational, humanitarian, or employment reasons
· Identification documents and evidence of your current immigration status
· Evidence indicating why your current circumstances warrant the issuance of advance parole
The immigration attorneys of Peek & Toland have the experience that you need when you are seeking any type of relief or benefit under federal immigration laws. We will determine the facts and evidence that are relevant to your case, evaluate your options, and help you decide the best course of action for your case. It is our intention to place you in the best position possible to achieve your goals. Contact our Texas immigration attorneys at our office today and learn how we can assist you through this complicated situation.