Advance Parole Document: Explained

If you live in the United States but don’t yet have permanent resident status, you could run into trouble when you travel to another country and try to return. There is a risk that the U.S. government could bar you from reentry unless you’ve secured prior travel authorization in the form of an Advance Parole Document (Form I-512L).

It’s essential to have this document ready to go before leaving the country if you know you’ll need it when you return. In addition to being refused reentry, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) might deny your pending immigration applications based on your absence.

You can obtain an Advance Parole Document by filing Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, through FileRight. We’ll check your eligibility, prepare an error-free application packet, and mail it to you, ready to be signed and submitted to the USCIS.

Black suitcase next to woman’s hands holding a small red booklet and papers.
If you don’t have the correct travel paperwork, including an Advance Parole Document, you may have difficulty reentering the United States after leaving.

Who Needs an Advance Parole Document?

There are several different travel documents that an immigrant to the U.S. might need depending on his or her circumstances — a Reentry Permit, a Refugee Travel Document, or an Advance Parole Document. Any of these permits can be obtained by filing Form I-131, but an Advance Parole Document is a perfect choice if you:

●  Are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

●  Are currently present in the United States.

●  Do not have a valid immigrant visa.

●  Are waiting for approval on:

o   Form I-485 — Request for an adjustment of status to become a permanent resident, also known as a Green Card application.

o   Form I-589 — Application for Asylum or Withholding of Removal.

●  Are a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient.

●  Have been granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS), T or U nonimmigrant status, or have a pending TPS application.

You will need this document when returning home after traveling to any foreign country. For travel within the United States or to any of the U.S. territories — American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, or Puerto Rico — you don’t need special immigration travel authorization.

What to Submit with Your Application

When filing your Form I-131, you should also submit documentation and evidence to strengthen your case. If the USCIS denies your application, you will need to file again and pay another filing fee. To bypass this extra delay and expense, attempt to make your initial request as compelling as possible.

Send the following to USCIS with your application:

●  A copy of some form of official photo I.D.

●  Two photos of yourself taken no more than 30 days before submission. These photos should be headshot-style photographs like you’d see on a passport.

●  A copy of any paperwork that documents your current U.S. immigration status.

●  An explanation letter or other proof that your situation makes foreign travel necessary.

●  Evidence that your planned trip is for humanitarian (including family concerns), employment, or educational purposes.

●  A copy of your USCIS receipt showing that you filed Form I-485, if applicable.

●  If your travel is taking you to Canada to apply for an immigrant visa, attach a copy of the appointment letter from the U.S. consular.

What Happens After You Get Your Advance Parole Document?

When granting your Advance Parole Document, the USCIS will specify whether it is valid for single-use or multiple trips during a specified period (usually one year). This determination will depend on your immigration status and your reason for traveling outside the United States.

You can use your Advance Parole Document in the place of a U.S. visa, but you will still need a passport for international travel. Like a visa, an Advance Parole Document does not guarantee you the right to reenter the U.S. — your reentry is only allowed at the discretion of Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) inspectors at the port of entry.

Why You Should Apply with FileRight

With FileRight, preparing and submitting your Advance Parole application is easy and worry-free. Our I-131 filing package includes:

●  Immigration Instant Error Report — Our automated Error Report technology looks for common mistakes on your application, so you can correct them before sending in your packet.

●  Application Package Assembly — We will take all of your info and create a customized application packet ready to send to USCIS. This includes printing and organizing the paperwork, marking where you need to sign, and mailing it directly to you.

●  Prepaid envelope for mailing — We take the guesswork out of knowing which USCIS office is the right one to receive your application. Once you sign your forms, simply place the packet in the prepaid and pre-addressed envelope.

●  Personalized instructions — You will receive step-by-step instructions explaining what you need to do. This includes help with supporting documents and with the filing itself.

●  Live customer service  — We have bilingual customer service agents available to speak with you anytime to assist and explain our products and services.

●  Lawyer review — Qualified immigration lawyers will review your application and ensure it is ready to go.

Get Started with FileRight Today!

It is imperative that you have your Advance Parole Document before you travel outside the U.S. If you don’t allow enough time to get I-131 approval, you may jeopardize your current residency status and your opportunity to get a Green Card down the road.

Start your application with a quick I-131 qualification quiz to determine if you are eligible for an Advance Parole Document. There is no obligation or risk, so take the first step with FileRight today!

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