23 Aug New Trend: International Travel Before Grant of Advance Parole is Triggering USCIS Denial of Advance Parole Application
In a recent trend, USCIS has been denying Form I-131 advance parole applications for abandonment in instances where the applicant has traveled abroad during the pendency of the application. The pending Form I-131 application is being denied even if the applicant has a separate valid advance parole document or a valid H, K, L, or V visa to return to the United States. This is a dramatic shift from the longstanding policy, which allowed an advanced parole applicant to travel abroad while the case was pending, as long as the individual had other valid means of being readmitted to the United States.
In the denial notification, USCIS points to the Form I-131 instructions at page 6 where it states that “[i]f you depart the United States before the Advance Parole Document is issued, your application for an Advance Parole Document will be considered abandoned.” In the past, USCIS has approved advance parole renewal applications for individuals who travel abroad during the pendency of the application with a valid Advance Parole Document or a valid H, K, L, or V visa.
This recent shift in policy has the ability to affect applicants who have a pending application for adjustment of status and have been traveling to and from the United States on valid Advance Parole Document or a valid H, K, L, or V visa. If you are planning on traveling internationally on a valid Advance Parole Document or a valid H, K, L, or V visa and have a pending I-131 advanced parole application with USCIS, we strongly advise you to postpone your international travel plans until your I-131 advanced parole application is approved.
I.A. Donoso and Associates will continue to track this development and provide updates as more information become available.
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