USCIS Reminds Travelers of Advance Parole and Unlawful Presence

Press Release
U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services

Contact: Dan Kane
(202) 305-0006

November 14, 2003


WASHINGTON, DC - U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reminds immigrants to obtain Advanced Parole before traveling abroad.  Advanced Parole (Form I-131-- Application for Travel Document) is permission to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad, and allows for the continuation of processing for an adjustment of status to that of lawful permanent resident. 

“I want America’s immigrant population to know before they go.  These requirements must be met before leaving and are imperative for return to the U.S.,” said Director Eduardo Aguirre.  “This reminder is consistent with our commitment to world-class customer service and enhancing the integrity of our immigration system.”

Travel outside of the United States without advance parole may have severe consequences for certain immigrants who are in the process of adjusting their status.  Such immigrants may be unable to return to the United States and their applications may be denied.

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 stipulates that immigrants who depart the United States after being unlawfully present in the United States for certain periods can be barred from admission to lawful permanent resident status, even if they have obtained Advance Parole.  Those immigrants who have been unlawfully present in the United States for more than 180 days, but less than one year are inadmissible for three years; those who have been unlawfully present for a year or more are inadmissible for 10 years.  Immigrants, who are unlawfully present, depart the U.S. and subsequently re-enter under a grant of parole, may nevertheless be ineligible to adjust their status.

USCIS urges all immigrants with pending applications for adjustment of status to consult its National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283,, an immigration attorney, or an immigration assistance organization accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals before making any travel plans.

On March 1, 2003, U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services became one of three legacy INS components to join the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. USCIS is charged with fundamentally transforming and improving the delivery of immigration and citizenship services, while enhancing the integrity of our nation's security.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 03111740.