1. What is a Travel Document and Who Needs One?
If you are not a U.S. citizen, you may need permission to return to the United States after traveling abroad. This permission is granted through a travel document. Travel documents are also given to people who want to travel, but cannot get a passport from their country of nationality. See Advance Parole, Reentry Permit, and Refugee Travel Document for more information.
2. How to File for an Advance Parole?
An alien in the United States applying for an Advance Parole document must include:
- The Form I-131, Application for Travel Document.
- A copy of any document issued to the alien by USCIS showing present status in the United States.
- An explanation or other evidence demonstrating the circumstances that warrant issuance of I-131 Advance Parole.
- If the alien is basing his or her eligibility for Advance Parole on a separate application for adjustment of status or asylum, he must also attach a copy of the filing receipt for that application.
- If the alien is traveling to Canada to apply for an immigrant visa, he or she must also attach a copy of the consular appointment.
3. Where to File the Application for Advance Parole?
Form I-131 for Advance Parole must generally be filed with the USCIS Lockbox or Service Center depending on the basis of the Advance Parole application or where the adjustment of status application is pending. In certain emergent circumstances, Form I-131 may be filed directly with a local USCIS Field Office.
4. When to File for Advance Parole?
The alien must apply for and obtain the travel document before leaving the United States. It generally takes no less than 2 months to obtain the Advance Parole document. Failure to obtain the document before departing the U.S. so may cause the alien to lose permission to re-enter the country, and lead to the denial of any other applications.
5. How Can the Applicant Appeal the Denial of Application for I-131 Advance Parole?
If the application for advance parole is denied, the applicant will receive a letter that will explain why the application was denied. The applicant is not allowed to appeal a negative decision to a higher authority. However, you may submit a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider with the office that made the unfavorable decision. By filing these motions, the applicant may ask the office to reexamine or reconsider their decision. A motion to reopen must state the new facts that are to be provided in the reopened proceeding and must be accompanied by affidavits or other documentary evidence. A motion to reconsider must establish that the decision was based on an incorrect application of law or USCIS policy, and further establish that the decision was incorrect based on the evidence in the file at the time the decision was made.