Texas Service Center Denies Advance Parole Applications

Advance parole is a permit for a non-citizen who does not have a valid immigrant visa, to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad. An airline can accept an advance parole document instead of a visa as proof that you are allowed to travel to the United States. However, an advance parole document does not replace your passport.

In the past, the federal authorities allowed advance parole applications for people who traveled abroad before their applications were approved.

However, in the fall of 2017 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) confirmed it was still denying travel from its Texas service center while the advanced parole form I-131 was pending

The stance ran contrary to a longstanding practice by the USCIS to allow international travel while an I-131 is pending, assuming the applicant had another means of being readmitted to the United States, such as an H-1B visa or an unexpired advance parole.

Texas center denies advance parole

Advance parole applications are denied

Usually, when an applicant for adjustment of status (form I-485) leaves the United States while an application is still pending, the I-485 is denied and the application is scrapped.

This is not the case if an adjustment applicant is in lawful L-1, L-2, H-4, H1B, K-3, K-4, or V status, and continues to be eligible for that status on return to the United States. In these cases, the application is not considered to be abandoned.

If an adjustment applicant travels overseas during when the I-485 application is pending, it is not typically denied as long as the foreign national has a valid, unexpired advance parole document that was approved prior to departing the United States.

The relatively new stance of I-131 applications being denied because the applicant traveled while an application was pending is of concern to immigration lawyers.

The new approach by USCIS may reflect President Donald Trump’s stance of reducing parole applications and approvals.

Advanced parole is on occasions confused with a reentry permit. Advanced parole is issued to an undocumented immigrant who does not have permanent resident status. A Reentry Permit is issued to a permanent resident of the United States. The two documents are very different in physical appearance. While Advance Parole is a single piece of paper bearing the individual’s photo, a Re-entry Permit looks like a passport.

Our Austin immigration attorneys can help with a wide variety of visa needs. Call us at (512) 474-4445.

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