USCIS: Petitioners on Advance Parole Can Travel Abroad With No Risk to Pending I-131 Requests
Persons with advance parole who recently filed renewal applications and then left the United States will no longer be denied their renewal applications upon their return, even when their original advanced parole was still valid.
Regarding “Emergency Travel”, USCIS now states on its website that: “At times, an individual may have an approved advance parole document while a second one is pending. Individuals may travel on the approved [advance] parole document, provided the document is valid for the entire duration of the time abroad. The pending Form I-131 will not be considered abandoned in this situation”.
This new regulation would eliminate the situation that was triggering denials under previous USCIS regulations, stating that “if you leave the U.S. during the pendency of the application you will be deemed to have abandoned it.” USCIS adjudicators are now consistently using information from the Arrival and Departure Information System, which identifies those who file advance parole applications and then leave the United States.
Earlier, when previous regulations were in the effect, in many cases applicants re-filed their parole applications, in many cases without a fee, resulting in more work for USCIS. In addition, if an individual did not receive a decision on the re-filed advance parole application before a planned trip, the applicant often would appear at a local USCIS field office to apply for emergency advance parole.
The change in USCIS policy does not address what happens to those who travel on an H or L visa while an advance parole application is pending. Based on the wording of the USCIS announcement, it appears that advance parole applications will still be denied if an individual travels on an H or L visa. Anecdotal evidence, although limited at this time, indicates that this is the current practice at USCIS.
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