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What is advance parole? When would I need to apply for advance parole?

By August 27, 2020March 16th, 2021Family Immigration, Immigration
Creative Commons photo by Wilerson S. Andrade - labeled for reuse.

If you are applying for a green card either through a family or employment basis, it may take several months (or even years, depending on your basis for filing the green card application) for USCIS to adjudicate your Adjustment of Status Application. If you plan to leave the U.S. while your adjustment of status application is pending, you will need to file a request for advance parole (Form I-131) with USCIS and have the application approved before you leave the U.S. Otherwise, USCIS will consider your Adjustment of Status application to be abandoned.

Are there any scenarios when I do not need to apply for advance parole?

Yes. You do not need to apply for advance parole if you are in the U.S. on an H-1 or L-1 status and you:

  • Have a valid H-1/L-1 visa (unless you are visa exempt);
  • Will remain eligible for an H-1 or L-1 visa after returning to the U.S.; and
  • Are coming to the U.S. to resume employment with the same employer.

Similarly, if you hold H-4 or L-2 visa and your Adjustment of Status application is currently pending, you do not need to apply for advance parole and can re-enter the U.S. on your H-4 or L-2 visa if:

  • The principal H-1/L-1 holder is maintaining his/her status;
  • You remain eligible for your H-4/L-2 status (e.g. you did not divorce the principal H-1/L-1 application); and
  • You have a valid H-4/L-2 visa (unless you are visa exempt)

Additionally, if your Adjustment of Status application is pending and you have a valid K-3 or K-4 visa, you can leave the U.S. and re-enter on your K-3/K-4 visa if:

  • You have a valid K-3/K-4 visa; and
  • You remain eligible for the K-3/K-4 visa.

What will my I-94 say if I enter the U.S. on advance parole?

If you enter the U.S. on an advance parole document, your I-94 will say “DA” – this means that advance parole was granted by the district office.

Please note that even if you have a valid advance parole card, the CBP officer has discretion to decide whether or not you will be admitted into the U.S.

Please click here to read our blog post “What should I know when entering the U.S. on Advance Parole?”

Please see our blog post on which members of your family you can sponsor for a green card when by clicking here and here.

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