Understanding Advance Parole: A Key to Temporary International Travel

Understanding Advance Parole: A Key to Temporary International Travel


Advance Parole is a crucial aspect of U.S. immigration law that often remains under the radar for many individuals seeking to navigate the complexities of the immigration system.

This provision grants certain non-U.S. citizens permission to leave and re-enter the United States while their immigration status is pending or in the process of adjustment. In this article, we will explore what Advance Parole is, who is eligible for it, the application process, and its significance in the immigration landscape.

What is Advance Parole?

Advance Parole, often referred to as “travel permission,” is a discretionary benefit that allows certain foreign nationals to temporarily leave the United States and re-enter legally, even if they do not possess a valid U.S. visa.

This permission is primarily granted to individuals who are in the process of adjusting their immigration status, such as those applying for U.S. citizenship, green cards, or other forms of authorized stay.

Who is Eligible for Advance Parole?

Advance Parole is typically available to the following groups of individuals:

Adjustment of Status Applicants: Individuals who are in the process of adjusting their status to lawful permanent resident (green card holder) can apply for Advance Parole. This includes beneficiaries of family-sponsored, employment-based, and diversity visa petitions.

Asylum Applicants: Those who have applied for asylum and are waiting for a decision can request Advance Parole if they need to travel internationally for humanitarian reasons.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Beneficiaries: TPS recipients who need to travel abroad may be eligible for Advance Parole.

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Recipients: DACA recipients may be granted Advance Parole for educational, employment, or humanitarian reasons.

It is essential to note that Advance Parole is discretionary, meaning that not all applicants will be approved. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) evaluates each request on a case-by-case basis.

The Application Process

To obtain Advance Parole, eligible individuals must follow these steps:

File Form I-131: The application for Advance Parole is submitted using Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. This form can be filed concurrently with the underlying immigration application or separately, depending on the circumstances.

Provide Supporting Documentation: Applicants must include supporting documents to demonstrate the purpose of their travel and the need for Advance Parole. These documents can include a letter explaining the reason for travel, proof of pending immigration application, and any other relevant evidence.

Pay the Required Fees: USCIS charges a fee for processing the Form I-131 application. Fee waivers may be available for certain applicants based on their financial circumstances.

Biometrics Appointment: After submitting the application, applicants may be required to attend a biometrics appointment for fingerprinting and photographing.

Wait for Approval: USCIS will review the application and, if approved, issue the Advance Parole document.

Significance of Advance Parole

Advance Parole serves several critical purposes:

Family Reunification: It allows individuals in the immigration process to visit family members abroad without jeopardizing their pending applications.

Humanitarian Reasons: It permits travel for urgent humanitarian reasons, such as visiting a seriously ill family member or attending a funeral.

Education and Employment: DACA recipients and others can use Advance Parole to pursue educational opportunities or attend conferences and meetings essential to their careers.

Maintaining Legal Status: Departing the U.S. without Advance Parole can trigger immigration consequences, such as the “unlawful presence” bar. Advance Parole helps individuals maintain their legal status.


Advance Parole is a valuable resource for individuals navigating the complex U.S. immigration system. It offers opportunities for travel and essential life events while ensuring that applicants can return to the United States legally.

If you are in the process of adjusting your immigration status or have humanitarian reasons for international travel, exploring the possibility of Advance Parole could be a pivotal step in your immigration journey. Always consult with an immigration attorney or seek guidance from the USCIS website to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria and submit a strong application for Advance Parole.

Paul Sebastian

Paul Sebastian is an avid wordsmith and a dedicated storyteller who has been crafting narratives for over a decade. With a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing and a passion for exploring the human experience, Paul Sebastian infuses his writing with a blend of artistry and empathy that leaves readers both moved and enlightened.

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