If you are in the United States and have applied to adjust your status to that of a lawful permanent resident, your application will be deemed abandoned if you leave the United States without first obtaining an “Advance Parole Document.” Parole allows an applicant whose adjustment of status application is pending before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to physically enter the United States as a parolee and applicant for admission, on the basis of their pending application for adjustment of status.

Generally, in order to be granted advance parole, your travel outside the U. S. must be for “urgent humanitarian reasons” or in furtherance of a “significant public benefit, ” which may include a personal or family emergency or bona fide business reasons. Often the purpose of the trip must be documented and this documentation must be submitted along with the advance parole application.

Generally, your application for adjustment of status will not be deemed abandoned, even if you do not apply for an advance parole document before traveling abroad while an adjustment application is pending, if you currently are in one of the following nonimmigrant classifications, and remain eligible for and would be admissible in one of the following categories upon applying for admission at a port-of-entry:

  • An H-1 temporary worker, or H-4 spouse or child of an H-1;
  • An L-1 intracompany transferee, or L-2 spouse or child of an L-1;
  • A K-3 spouse, or K-4 child of a U.S. citizen; or
  • A V-1 spouse, or V-2/V-3 child of a lawful permanent resident.

Upon returning to the United States, the afore-referenced applicants must present a valid H, L, K, or V nonimmigrant visa and must continue to be otherwise admissible. If you do not have a valid or unexpired H, L, K, or V nonimmigrant visa, then you generally need to obtain an H, L, K, or V nonimmigrant visa at a U. S. Department of State visa issuing post.

Advance parole does not guarantee that you will be allowed to reenter the U. S., therefore, advice of an immigration attorney should always be sought before leaving the U.S. while your adjustment of status application is pending.

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