APRIL 2024
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida


USCIS Updates Guidance for Expedite Requests

By Dilip Patel, Yova Borovska & Kaitlyn Dhar

Dilip Patel


Do you need your Advance Parole expedited so you can attend a wedding? Read on.

Processing times at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for many applications are slow. In many situations, USCIS will not even entertain inquiries on applications until the application is well beyond their published average processing times. It has always been possible to request USCIS to expedite the processing of a pending application, but the request has to be based on a good reason for processing the application ahead of others which were filed earlier and are still in process.  

On March 21, 2024, USCIS issued a Policy Alert clarifying expedite requests. USCIS considers all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis and generally requires documentation to support such requests. The decision to expedite is within the sole discretion of USCIS.
The new policy:

Expedites for Advance Parole Applications (Form I-131).
This is of particular importance to people who have applied for Adjustment of Status on Form I-485 (for the Green Card) and have a need to travel while the Green Card application is in process. The general rule is that your pending application for AOS is deemed abandoned unless you have the approved Advance Parole document in your possession before you leave the U.S. and return while it is valid. There is a limited exception for those with valid H-1B and L-1 visas returning to their approved employment. For most AOS I-485 applicants, the ability to travel and therefore the approval of the Advance Parole document is critical.

It has always been possible to request an Advance for Emergency Travel, but getting USCIS to accept an expedite request has been a challenge in situations other than life or death type of emergencies.

According to the USCIS policy, in the context of an expedite request, an emergency or urgent humanitarian situation is a pressing or critical circumstance related to human welfare. Human welfare means issues related to the well-being of a person or group. Examples include, but are not limited to, illness, disability, death of a family member or close friend, or extreme living conditions, such as those caused by natural catastrophes or armed conflict.

USCIS considers requests related to a requestor’s individual welfare and requests that are related to the welfare of others. For example, to facilitate the well-being of an individual, USCIS may expedite a benefit request where a vulnerable person’s safety may be otherwise compromised. To facilitate the well-being of others, for example, USCIS may expedite employment authorization for healthcare workers during a pandemic.

Expedited processing of a travel document may be warranted when there is an unexpected event, such as the pressing or critical need to travel outside the United States to obtain medical treatment in a limited amount of time, or due to the death or grave illness of a family member or close friend.

Expedites of Advance Parole for Weddings or Graduations?    
In the past, requests for expedites to attend weddings or graduations were usually flatly denied.
The new Policy Guidance says the Expedited processing of a travel document may also be warranted when there is a pressing or critical need to travel outside the United States for a planned event, but processing times prevent USCIS from issuing the travel document by the planned date of departure. When the need to expedite issuance of a travel document is related to a planned event, USCIS considers whether the applicant timely filed the Form I-131 or timely responded to a request for evidence.
For example, a requestor may have applied for a travel document five months ago when they learned of the event, but their case remains pending, and they must travel for an event which is now in 45 days, such as for a:

The examples of travel-related emergencies provided above are not exhaustive. The Policy Manual instructs officers to review travel-related expedite requests on a case-by-case basis to determine if the need to travel is pressing or critical.
A desire to travel solely for vacation generally does not meet the definition of a pressing or critical need to travel.

It remains to be seen how going forward, USCIS will actually handle requests to expedite travel permits to attend planned travel. The policy also includes more detailed guidance on expedites for business travel and other emergent needs. Reach out to your immigration attorney for further guidance and assistance with submitting a well-documented and persuasive request.

Dilip Patel of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, a board-certified expert on immigration law, can be reached at (813) 222-1120 or email [email protected]

home • eventsbiz directorysubscribecontact us • content • newseditor's note • health
immigration • finance • MINDBODY/NUTRITION • movies • fashionbooks/getaways • IIFA 2014 • ART
astrologyyouth • motoring Festivals/places of worshipclassifiedsarchives • BLOG FACEBOOK
Read the Editor's Blog. By Nitish Rele Classifieds Motoring Astrology Books Fashion Movies Finance Immigration Health Editorial News Content Find us on Facebook! Art