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IMMIGRATION


Gail S. Seeram

 

ADVANCE PAROLE & CONSEQUENCES OF TRAVELING OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES

BY GAIL S. SEERAM, ATTORNEY AT LAW

As the holiday season approaches, many of us travel near and far to be with family members. It is important to understand the risks associated with traveling outside the United States for extended periods of time if you are a permanent resident or if you have certain immigration status pending. 

As a lawful permanent resident (LPR), if any one trip outside the United States last for more than one year, then you may lose your LPR status by operation of law. Further, if an LPR takes a trip outside the U.S. that last more than six months, this will impact his or her eligibility to apply for citizenship based on the continuous residency requirement.

Advance Parole is permission to reenter the United States after traveling abroad. Advance Parole is an extraordinary measure used sparingly to allow an otherwise inadmissible individual to enter the United States due to compelling circumstances. By law, certain individuals must apply for a travel document and have Advance Parole approved before leaving the United States. Attempts to reenter the United States without prior authorization may have severe consequences since individuals requiring advance parole may be unable to return to the United States and their pending applications may be denied or administratively closed.

Applicants planning to travel abroad should plan ahead since Advance Parole processing times take about 90 days, depending on the USCIS office location. The following individuals must obtain Advance Parole permission to reenter the United States after traveling abroad from USCIS before traveling abroad if they have:

1.    been granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS);

2.    a pending application for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident (LPR);

3.    a pending application for relief under section 203 of the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA 203);

4.    a pending asylum application; or

5.    a pending application for legalization.

Under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, aliens 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. Aliens 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 one year or more are inadmissible for 10 years. Aliens who are unlawfully present, then depart the United States and subsequently reenter under a grant of parole, may still be ineligible to adjust their status.

Before making any plans to travel abroad, all individuals with pending applications for adjustment of status, relief under NACARA 203, or asylum are urged to consult an immigration attorney.

Gail S. Seeram, an immigration attorney, handles cases involving family petitions, business/investors visas, citizenship, deportation, asylum, work authorization and extension of status. Call her office toll- free at 1-877-GAIL-LAW (1-877-424-5529), send an email at gail@go2lawyer.com or visit www.go2lawyer.com

   



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