USCIS recently updated its website with information regarding the agency’s practice of denying pending Form I-131 advance parole applications for abandonment due to international travel. Specifically, USCIS indicates on its website that if an applicant files Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, to request an advance parole document and departs the United States without possession of an advance parole document that is valid for the entire time the applicant is abroad, USCIS will consider the pending Form I-131 to be abandoned.

However, in some situations, an individual may have an approved advance parole document in hand while a second one is pending with the agency. USCIS indicates that individuals may travel on the approved advance parole document, provided the document is valid for the entire duration of the time abroad, and confirms that a pending Form I-131 application will not be considered abandoned in this situation.

Though not a formal announcement, this update can be found on the USCIS website under the “Special Instructions” section. This update does not appear to cover applicants who travel abroad with a valid H, K, L, or V visa.

Recap: If you currently have a valid Advance Parole document while an application for a new advance parole document is pending at USCIS, international travel will not result in a denial of the pending application.  This only applies if you are returning to the U.S. with an advance parole document.  This does not apply if you need to return to the U.S. using a nonimmigrant visa.

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