You and your family are about to realize a lifelong goal: adjusting your status to permanent residency. But now you discover that you may have to travel overseas. Will this affect your chances of being approved for green cards?
Unfortunately, many applicants make the mistake of traveling while their Adjustment of Status—Form I-485—applications are being processed. If an applicant leaves the United States while his application is still pending, USCIS may assume that he has abandoned his application and even deny him reentry upon his return.
However, there are certain circumstances under which an applicant may travel while his adjustment of status application is being processed. The applicant may travel if he is in H or L visa status. Alternatively, he may seek advance permission – called advance parole, by notifying USCIS and demonstrating an unavoidable need to travel.
Here are a few things applicants should know about obtaining advance parole:
- Advance parole may be used for multiple entries into the U.S. during AOS processing. If your application takes longer than one year to be approved, you may need to re-apply for advance parole.
- Advance parole is only available to aliens who are living within the U.S. All applicants who wish to travel during AOS processing must apply for advance parole while they are in the U.S., and must remain in the country until advance parole has been granted.
- Advance parole applications generally take between 90 and 120 days to be approved. If the applicant can demonstrate a need to travel under exigent circumstances, he may apply for expedited advance parole.
- In some cases, use of an advance parole document for re-entry to the U.S. may jeopardize the non-immigrant status of an investor’s family members if they are not traveling with him.
At Jatoi & de Kirby, A.P.C., we know how important it is for you and your family to maintain your valid immigration status. Our immigration attorneys can advise you on how best to travel with a pending adjustment of status application, allowing you peace of mind as you conduct your business abroad. Contact us for more information.