Advance Parole is a travel document issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") to allow certain foreign nationals to apply for reentry into the U.S. after traveling abroad. Advance Parole is granted most often to those who have applications for permanent residence in process. If someone has a pending permanent residence application with U.S.C.I.S. and wishes to travel abroad, they must first obtain the Advance Parole document from USCIS or their permanent residence application will be considered abandoned.
In other very limited circumstances Advance Parole can be requested to bring a foreign national into the United States for a specific period of time, for example to receive medical treatment.
Not all individuals who have pending permanent residence applications, however, should apply for Advance Parole. If the foreign national did not have legal status before applying for permanent residence and he or she travels, even if they have an Advance Parole document they may not be allowed back into the U.S. For example, if the foreign national was unlawfully present in the U.S. for 180 days but less than one year before filing for permanent residence, if that person leaves the U.S. they will be barred from reentering the U.S. for three years. If the foreign national was unlawfully present for one year or more before applying for permanent residence and they leave the U.S., they will not be allowed to return to the U.S. for ten years. This is true even if the foreign national was given an Advance Parole document by U.S.C.I.S. Generally, U.S.C.I.S. will not grant an Advance Parole document to a person who may incur the 3- or 10-year bar if they leave the U.S., but U.S.C.I.S. does not always catch these cases and may by mistake issue an Advance Parole document to an applicant who really should not travel until they are a permanent resident. Anyone applying for Advance Parole, therefore, must first carefully review their own circumstances, preferably with an experienced attorney who specializes in U.S. immigration law, before traveling abroad using an Advance Parole document.
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DISCLAIMER: The confidential information provided in this memorandum is for information purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. This information is not intended to create an attorney-client or other relationship between Kuck Immigration Partners LLC and the recipient. The reader should consult with an immigration attorney before acting in reliance on any such information.