Advance Parole for Green Card Applicants
Expedited advance parole or the EAD advance parole combo card
In life situations happen whereby a person applying for adjustment of status may need to travel abroad for family or business reasons. However, if you are an applicant for adjustment of status and you voluntarily leave the United States before you get a green card, USCIS will believe you have abandoned your case unless you first obtained advance parole. You can either get expedited advance parole before you get employment authorization or you can get advance parole with your EAD advance parole combo card when you get employment authorization.
Advance parole is a re-entry travel document that allows green card applicants to leave the United States on an emergency or for humanitarian reasons and return while their application is still pending. The travel document is permission from the US government to leave the United Status and return to the status you had before you left.
When to file Form I131 Application for Advance Parole
You can apply for advance parole and a work permit at the same time you applied for adjustment of status or you may apply for advanced parole after filing for adjustment of status.
How to file
You file for advanced parole using USCIS form I-131 along with forms I-485 for adjustment of status. It is cost effective to apply for both employment authorization and advanced parole at the same time because there is no separate fee when these applications are made in conjunction with an adjustment of status. As a Las Vegas green card lawyer I almost always apply for advance parole for my adjustment of status clients. Some freebies are too good to miss!
The Combo Card – Advanced Parole Employment Authorization Document
If your application for advance parole and employment authorization are approved you will be issued a combo AP EAD document (Form I-766).
If you must travel before the normal processing of Form I-131 and I-765 you may contact your local field office or the USCIS National Customer Service Center to request expedited processing.
Traveling abroad – the unlawful presence bar
Under US immigration law foreign nationals who have 180 days of unauthorized stay in the United States are barred from admission for 3 years when they depart. And those who have one year of unauthorized stay are barred for 10 years when they depart. But traveling abroad on advance parole is not considered a departure that will trigger the 3/10 year bars. However as a precaution you should consult a good immigration lawyer before leaving the United States while your green card application is still pending to determine if you may have other bars to admission.
Returning to the United States
You must return to the United States before your advanced parole expires and in time to attend your adjustment of status interview. If your green card application was denied while you are outside the United States you will not be able to return using the advanced parole.