Advanced Parole (Travel Document) and Emergency Travel
This USCIS document is not a visa. It is a "Travel Document" generally used by four types of travelers.
When an I-485 Adjustment of Status Is Pending to Become a Permanent Resident
As part of the Adjustment of Status process a work permit, employment authorization document (EAD) and travel document, advanced parole (AP) applications are generally submitted. Without it, travel is restricted during the approval process, which can take up to 1 year.
By Permanent Residents Who Will Be Outside the U.S. for One Year or More
and Need a Reentry Permit
Becoming a permanent resident carries with it the obligation to live and work in the U.S. on much more than a casual basis. Trips outside the U.S. are tolerated and it is recommended to return to the U.S. every 6 months but the real test looks to the intent to leave this country. Extended stays overseas beyond 1 year manifest the intent to forfeit the permanent residency. This can be avoided by securing a reentry permit prior to departure. It is processed the same as a travel document.
By Asylees and Refugees Who Need to Travel
Once granted asylum or refugee status, any and all travel outside the U.S. requires a travel document before departure.
Advanced Parole Submission Process
Application is completed with USCIS Form I-131, all accompanying documentation and paying all required filing fees. A biometric appointment will be required. A pending permanent resident can only get it in the U.S. Leaving the U.S. without it will void the pending Adjustment of Status. As a reentry permit it can be obtained, before traveling in the U.S. or later at a U.S. consulate overseas. We always stress to have it in your physical possession before leaving. Better safe than sorry. Asylees and refugees can only get theirs in the U.S.
Processing time normally takes less than 90 days. Once received, it is valid for multiple trips abroad for a two-year period. Upon return it is best to present this travel document (advanced parole), passport and green card or other visa documents for inspection. Finally, it will be not be valid if during the trip overseas forbidden travel countries such as Cuba and North Korea were visited.
Emergency Advanced Paroles
In extraordinary circumstances of sickness, injury, death or extreme financial emergency the applicant can apply for the Advanced Parole at the local USCIS office.
Submission Process for Emergency Advanced Parole
A properly executed USCIS Form I-131, two photographs, the required filing fee and detailed documentation of the emergency such as medical documentation or a death certificate are required.
During an application for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the applicant cannot apply for or use an advance parole travel document or the DACA request will be denied. Once DACA is approved travel with this travel document is permitted.