Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
on I-131

During the adjustment of status (AOS) process, the applicant may remain in the United States while waiting for his or her green card. But it can take several months to receive the green card after filing Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status. Many applicants want to travel abroad during this time to visit family, take a vacation, or even tend to urgent matters. But there’s a problem – leaving the country can put your adjustment of status application in jeopardy. Generally, an AOS applicant that leaves the United States without advance parole will abandon the I-485 application and will likely have trouble reentering. That is why applying for I-131 for advance parole along with I-485 is necessary.

 If you are filing Form I-131 together with Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status, you do not need to include a filing fee for Form I-131 as long as your adjustment of the status package includes payment for the Form I-485.

Yes, you can travel while Form I-485 is pending if USCIS has granted your Advance Parole. Advance Parole is a permit that will allow you to travel abroad while USCIS is processing your green card application and return to the United States without abandoning your application. Remember that, if you travel before approval of Advance Parole (I-131), your I-485 will be denied (except some visa holders, such as H1, L1, K3, V1).

Supporting documents for the advanced parole are not required for the I-485-based I-131.

Regarding, Page 2, Part 3, Item no. 1 and 2, which has been added to an approximate Date of Intended Departure and Expected Length of Trip (in days). It is neither related to I-20 nor creates any impact on any other documents. You do not have to bother regarding it, or you can even change the range if you want.

In most cases, it takes at least 3 to 7 months to get an advance parole document. This could be a problem if you’re traveling for an extremely urgent situation. USCIS may expedite your case if you have a dire emergency and can evidence the urgent need to travel. USCIS is willing to consider an emergency request for advance parole on a case-by-case basis. You will need to provide evidence to support the emergency request (e.g. medical documentation, death certificate).

When traveling with advance parole as an adjustment of status applicant, remember to:

  • Take your original Advance Parole Document
  • Take a photocopy of the I-797C Notice of Action confirming that your I-485 application was accepted
  • Return before the deadline on your Advance Parole Document – leave extra time in case of travel delays

USCIS publishes guidelines for expediting the processing of travel documents. You may be able to obtain an emergency Advance Parole Document if one or more of the criteria below have been met:

  • Severe financial loss to company or person;
  • Emergency situations;
  • Humanitarian reasons;
  • A nonprofit organization whose request is in furtherance of the cultural and social interests of the United States;
  • Department of Defense or National Interest Situation (Note: The request must come from an official U.S. Government entity and state that delay will be detrimental to the Government.);
  • USCIS error; or
  • Compelling interest of USCIS.

If you are experiencing an extremely urgent situation, you may visit your local USCIS office to request an emergency Advance Parole Document. Follow these steps to ensure that your request for emergency Advance Parole gets the correct attention:

  • Prepare your application for Advance Parole
  • Make an appointment at your local USCIS office
  • Attend appointment to request emergency advance parole

Yes, they almost certainly do know you've left. The US processes passport details for all air passengers through a system called APIS, and ties that to the electronic I-94 (arrival and departure record). You can check your US arrival and departure history online.