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I filed a green card application. Should I apply for an Advance Parole and Employment authorization card?

By October 8, 2020March 16th, 2021Family Immigration, Immigration

If you are filing an Adjustment of Status application (either because a family member sponsored you or based on employment based petition), you may be wondering whether you should apply for a travel and work authorization and whether you should maintain your underlying non-immigrant visa status.

Example 1

You are in the U.S. on an H-1B visa. You got married and filed an Adjustment of Status petition. You want to maintain your underlying H-1B status and you may be asking when/whether you will be able to travel abroad and whether you can keep working for the company on your H-1B status after you file the Adjustment application.

In this case, you do not necessarily need to apply for the Advance Parole, as you may travel if you have a valid H-1B visa. Please see more on this topic when you click here. Additionally, you could also keep working for the H-1B company using your H-1B visa so you would not necessarily need to apply for an employment authorization.

Additionally, you could also file a new H-1B petition or extend your H-1B status with the same employer while your green card petition is pending. This means, that if you are in the U.S. on a valid H-1B status, you can file a green card petition and you do not need to necessarily apply for the Advance Parole and Employment authorization at all (but in some situations it may be a good thing to do).

Example 2

You are in the U.S. on an O-1 visa and you applied for a green card under the Eb-1A category. In this case, if you want to travel internationally while your green card is pending you would have to apply and get your Advance Parole card approved before you leave the U.S. as otherwise, your green card application would be deemed abandoned.

There is no exception like there is for the H-1B visa that you can leave the U.S. on the O-1 visa that you can leave the U.S. re-enter on O-1 visa while your green card petition is pending. Therefore, if you know that you will have to travel internationally while your green card petition is pending and you are in the U.S. on an O-1 status, you should apply for the Advance Parole.

Because you have an underlying O-1 status, you may not need the Employment authorization, but it may be a good idea to apply for it just in case you change your employer (the current processing time for the work authorization application is around 4-5 months, so if you change an employer while your green card petition is pending and you apply for a work authorization, you will have to wait a couple months until your petition is approved).

Additionally, once you enter the U.S. on your advance parole, you will be in a “parolee” status, and you will no longer be able to keep working using your O-1 visa. To sum up, in this scenario, it is definitely advisable to apply for an Advance Parole and work authorization when you initially file your green card petition.

Please see our blog post about Eb-1A green card when you click here.

Please click here to find out more about the Advance parole procedure.

Please click here to find out about the different marriage visa options.

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