What is Advance Parole in immigration?
As stated by the USCIS, immigration parole allows an alien to physically leave and enter the U.S. for a specific purpose, where the alien has not been formally admitted but has filed an application for admission. Thus, if you have applied for admission but await your approval, the U.S. may advance you a paroled entry while you wait. You must almost always be already in the U.S. to apply for parole to leave and come back. The USCIS will only issue parole to aliens outside of the U.S. in extreme circumstances, such as in urgent humanitarian situations or for law enforcement and homeland security-related situations.
KEEP IN MIND: You cannot use parole and an Advance Parole Document to get around or avoid normal visa-issuance procedures. You must still apply for and get a visa.
Who can seek immigration parole?
You can seek immigration parole and an Advance Parole Document if you are in the U.S., you have a pending adjustment of status application (Form I-485), and you want to travel abroad for urgent humanitarian reasons, to further a significant public benefit, to attend a family emergency or bona fide business event. You can also seek parole if you have a pending TPS (temporary protected status Form I-821), have been granted TPS, or are on a T or U nonimmigrant status; but these aliens must meet the TPS requirements when returning to the U.S. There are several other situations that allow an alien to apply for parole, but they are rare and specific.
You can definitely not seek parole if you hold a nonimmigrant visa (e.g. a J-1) that is subject to the 2-year foreign residence requirement. NOTE: there are exceptions if you are eligible for adjustment of status to permanent residency or are in deportation proceedings.
The Advance Parole Process
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issues the paroles. This is a purely discretionary process, so an alien cannot claim entitlement to advance parole. If it chooses, the DHS may issue an Advance Parole Document to authorize the alien to appear at a port-of-entry to seek parole into the U.S. An alien’s airline or cruise-liner may accept the Advance Parole Document in lieu of a visa as an authorization for the alien to travel to the U.S. Don’t forget, you still need your passport!
You must fill out a Form I-131 for advance parole. You must include a copy of an official photo identity, a copy of all documents issued to you by the USCIS, an explanation and evidence showing the circumstances that warrant issuance of parole, a copy of the USCIS receipt of your adjustment of status application, a copy of the U.S. consular appointment letter (Canada only), and a copy of your DACA deferral if applicable, and evidence of your travel plans (tickets etc.), and evidence of your reason for leaving the U.S., showing the educational, humanitarian, or employment purpose. You must submit 2 identical color photos of yourself, with white background, glossy, and unmounted and unretouched. You must pay the $360 filing fee. No biometrics fee is required, but you will need to get your biometrics done. The USCIS will tell you when to go to your local USCIS Application Support Center for your biometric services appointment.
Again, the Advance Parole Document does not entitle an alien to entry. The U.S. customs agent must make a separate decision, at his or her own discretion, on whether parole will be made when you arrive. Further, the U.S. can revoke or terminate your parole at any time. If the U.S. revokes your parole while you are out of the U.S., then you won’t be able to return unless the USCIS issues you a separate valid visa for admission. Thus, there is a certain risk to using parole.
Abandonment of Adjustment of Status Without Parole
Also crucial is the abandonment effect of leaving the U.S. without parole. If you are in the U.S. when you apply for adjustment of status to permanent residency, and you leave the U.S. without first obtaining parole and a proper Advance Parole Document, then the U.S. will deem your adjustment of status application as abandoned.
However, this abandonment effect may not apply if you are in the U.S. under one of these excepted nonimmigrant visas: H-1 temporary worker, H-4 spouse of child of H-1; an L-1 intracompany transferee or L-2 spouse or child; a K-3 spouse or K-4 child of a U.S. citizen; or a V-1 spouse of V-2/V-3 child of a permanent resident.
It is crucial to note that a B-1/B-2 visitor is not excepted. You must obtain a proper Advance Parole Document if you plan to leave the U.S. and do not want to abandon your adjustment of status.
Other significant warnings
Even with parole, the U.S. can still deny your return. When you return, you will be deemed an “applicant for admission,” subject to inspection and denial, removal, and removal proceedings before an immigration judge. There are no entitlements or guarantees!
You should contact an immigration attorney if you need help with the process or have any questions whatsoever.
Miami International Attorneys, P.L.