Traveling on Advance Parole: A Guide for DACA Recipients
This post contains resources from American University’s Defending The Dream AU Initiative and other partners on Advanced Parole and information on what the program is and how Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients can apply for it. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an Advance Parole document may authorize a non-citizen who is present inside the United States to re-enter the U.S. after temporarily traveling abroad. Applying for Advance Parole is an option for non-citizens such as DACA recipients, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) applicants and recipients, and other categories of non-citizens.
Those who have DACA may apply for Advanced Parole if they are traveling for educational purposes, such as studying abroad or for academic research. DACA recipients may also apply for Advance parole for employment or humanitarian purposes. Without Advanced Parole, DACA recipients who travel outside of the country will immediately lose their DACA status. DACA recipients can use the following resources as an informational guide.
Note: The July 16, 2021 order from the Southern District of Texas does not affect advance parole for current DACA recipients. If that should change, USCIS will provide updated information.
Note: DHS extended the date for REAL ID to go into effect to May 7, 2025. Beginning on that date, federal agencies, including the TSA, cannot accept a state-issued driver’s license or identification card for official purposes unless it is REAL ID compliant and issued by a state that DHS has determined is in full compliance.
Advanced Parole Resources
- Traveling with Advanced Parole in 2022 : This guide contains key and succinct information on advance parole and what to expect before, during, and after traveling abroad.
- Student Guide: Traveling on Advance Parole for Educational Purposes for Recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) : This student guide provides more extensive details on Advanced Parole, the application process, and the possible risks.
- Advanced Parole for Educational Purposes: An Info Sessions for DACA Students and University Allies Video : This video features an information session that discusses what Advanced Parole is, who can apply, and the reasons a student may apply for the document. It also features a discussion with DACA recipients who have received and used Advanced Parole.
- Advanced Parole for DACA Recipients: Traveling and Studying Abroad ( See below ): This document provides an overview of the Advanced Parole for DACA recipients that wish to travel or study abroad.
These resources were developed by American University’s Defending the Dream Initiative in July 2021. These resources take into consideration the July 16, 2021 decision on the DACA program by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas .
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Home » Blog » Traveling Abroad with Advance Parole for DACA
Traveling Abroad with Advance Parole for DACA
December 28, 2023 Humanitarian Travel Documents
Individuals who have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), may also have the opportunity to travel abroad. DACA does not automatically provide travel authorization. Beneficiaries must request special permission. The travel purposes are limited in scope, and travel must be authorized before departure through what is known as advance parole for DACA.
Who is eligible to apply for a DACA-based advance parole document? How do I request advance parole for DACA? What can I do if I have a travel emergency? How can advance parole help me apply for a green card? Is it safe to travel abroad with DACA? How does the AP travel document work? How does CitizenPath help?
Advance Parole makes it possible to travel outside the United States and return without losing DACA status. It’s not available to everyone and for all travel reasons. Therefore, it’s important to understand the eligibility criteria and how to prepare the application for advance parole correctly.
Eligibility for Advance Parole as a DACA Recipient
Persons with DACA can’t travel for any reason. Unfortunately, traveling to a home country for vacation, to reconnect with family or for a friend’s wedding are not valid reasons to obtain advance parole with DACA. However, it may be possible to travel for humanitarian, educational, or employment reasons.
Before applying for an advance parole travel document, an individual must apply for and receive a DACA approval. In fact, an individual is disqualified from DACA if they depart the United States at any time after August 15, 2012, unless they are first granted both DACA and advance parole. According to USCIS , advance parole for DACA will generally be granted for the following reasons:
- Humanitarian Humanitarian purposes related to “travel for emergent, compelling, or sympathetic circumstances.” This category includes obtaining medical assistance, attending a funeral service for a family member, visiting a sick relative, or other urgent family-related purposes.
- Educational Educational purposes include study-abroad programs and academic research.
- Employment Employment purposes include overseas assignments or client meetings, interviews, conferences, trainings in other countries, and travel needed to pursue a job with a foreign employer in the United States.
Documentation to support your reason will be required in the advance parole application (covered in the next section).
The USCIS DACA National Standard Operating Procedures Manual provides that the humanitarian, educational, and employment categories “are to be construed broadly.” USCIS approves advance parole on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, there may be additional valid reasons for travel.
Before even applying, DACA recipients who are interested in advance parole should speak with an immigration attorney to get an individualize assessment about risks associated with leaving the United States.
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How to request advance parole for daca.
Applicants use Form I-131, Application for Travel Document , to request advance parole. When preparing the application package, DACA recipients should include the following items:
- Prepared and signed Form I-131, Application for Travel Document
- Copy of a photo identity document (with photo, name and date of birth) such as an Employment Authorization Card (work permit) or driver’s license
- Proof that you have been approved for DACA (Form I-797)
- Two identical passport-style color photographs
- USCIS filing fee ($575)
In addition to preparing the form, application packages should provide as much evidence as possible to justify the purpose of stated travel abroad.
Evidence for Trips with Humanitarian Reasons
When submitting a DACA advance parole request for a trip involving a humanitarian purpose, proper evidence includes but is not limited to the following:
- A letter from a medical professional explaining the reason for the need to travel abroad to obtain medical treatment;
- A letter from a hospital or treating medical professional explaining the relative’s ill condition; and
- A death certificate for a deceased relative
Evidence for Trips with Educational Reasons
For a trip involving an educational purpose, evidence includes but is not limited to the following:
- A letter from an educational institution explaining the purpose of travel abroad; and
- A document showing enrollment in a program or class and documents showing the applicant is required to travel for a program or class or will benefit from such travel.
Evidence for Trips with Employment Reasons
For a trip involving an employment purpose, appropriate evidence includes but is not limited to the following:
- A letter from an employer explaining the need to travel abroad; and
- A document showing an employment need, such as a conference or training program, and showing the applicant’s participation.
The applicant should provide a statement, also known as a declaration, to clarify the purpose of the travel request. A declaration is not a substitute for the evidence above. However, it can help support a request for the AP travel document.
You may use a single Form I-131 to request multiple trips. However, the recipient must show that each trip is intended to serve a humanitarian, employment, or educational purpose and explain why the DACA recipient needs to travel multiple times.
Urgent Travel Requests
Generally, it takes USCIS a few months to approve a DACA advance parole document. Therefore, plan your trip accordingly. This could be problematic if you’re traveling for “urgent” humanitarian reasons. For the most part, USCIS does not grant expedited requests for advance parole for DACA recipients. However, in a dire emergency, USCIS may consider an expedited request at a local USCIS office. If you are preparing your advance parole application through CitizenPath , we can also provide special instructions for expedited requests.
Adjusting Status to Permanent Resident with Help from Advance Parole Entry
Advance parole doesn't provide eligibility for a green card or permanent status. But it does remove an obstacle for many individuals with DACA who have the opportunity to apply for a green card.
In order to apply for a green card inside the United States through the adjustment of status process, the applicant must have a lawful entry. Even if the applicant entered legally many years ago and that visa expired, it still counts as a lawful entry. However, many DACA recipients did not have a lawful entry. They were brought in to the U.S. by parents who entered without inspection. In other words, they didn't enter through an official port of entry and were not inspected by an immigration official. This is a major obstacle for many undocumented immigrants who later have an opportunity to apply for a green card.
Risks of Traveling on Advance Parole
Even with a grant of DACA and an advance parole document, there are some risks associated with traveling abroad.
DHS always reserves the right to revoke or terminate an advance parole document. The individual traveling is also subject to inspection by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the time of seeking parole into the United States. DACA recipients traveling with the travel document should be aware of these facts – and of any risks presented in their cases – prior to traveling abroad.
It is important to know if you have any special risks in your case. Some of the reasons to contact an immigration attorney before requesting DACA advance parole with Form I-131 include that you have:
- Ever been arrested or convicted of a crime;
- Ever been in immigration court proceedings;
- A current DACA grant that will expire during your intended travel dates;
- Ever been detained or refused entry at the border; or
- Ever left the United States after August 15, 2012, without being granted DACA and Advance Parole.
Using an AP Travel Document
Known formally as Form I-512L, Authorization for Parole of an Alien into the United States, USCIS prints the advance parole document on a standard, letter-size piece of paper.
Upon receiving the document from USCIS, review it to confirm all of the information is correct. An advance parole travel document will also include the last day that you may use it to re-enter the U.S. Be sure that your travel is complete and that you return before this date.
Take the original advance parole document with you when you leave the United States. You’ll need to present it before getting on a plane, ship, bus, or train headed back to the U.S. and to the Customs and Border Protection officer when you arrive.
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Using daca advanced parole to help adjust status (i-130/i-485) versus consular process, practice areas, associations.
In the recent Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California (Jun. 18, 2020), the US Supreme Court partly rescinded the Trump Administration cancellation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). However, the common question, can DACA Holders use an Advanced Parole Entry (I-94) issued through the DACA in a subsequent Adjustment of Status based on Marriage to a US Citizen?
Basic Eligibility for Marriage-based Adjustment of Status
USCIS requires the following basic requirements:
- Marriage with love and not for the sole purpose to receive a Green Card
- A US Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident Spouse
- A Legal Entry, Admission, or Parole
For many DACA, the “lawful entry” requirement is normally not met. Consular processing is generally the only possible immigration option where the Immigrant would have to attend a Green Card interview at the US Consulate or Embassy in there home country. For example, Mexican Citizens would have to attend a Consular Interview in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
The issue with Consular Processing and DACA, is that many individuals who have been without status in the US after the age of 18 for more than 180 or 360 days, would require an I-601A Waiver to remove the Inadmissibility Bar under INA 212(a)(9)(B)(I) or INA 212(a)(9)(B)(II).
Using Advanced Parole to provide a Lawful Entry Record (I-94)
For many years, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), have found that individuals who travel on advance parole satisfy the “inspected and … paroled” requirement of INA § 245(a) and are able to adjust their status to that of lawful permanent resident.
However, in 2019, USCIS cites INA §§ 304(c)(1)(A)(ii) and 304(c)(2)(b) of the Miscellaneous and Technical Immigration and Naturalization Amendments of 1991 (MTINA), Pub. L. No. 102-232, 105 Stat 1733, 1749 (Dec. 12, 1991), as a way of denying Lawful Entries on Advanced Parole where the original “Immigrant Document” was received after an Illegal Entry. Put differently, USCIS can ignore the Advanced Parole I-94 and focus on the old Illegal Entry (EWI) in their Denial of Adjustment of Status. This USCIS Policy Change applied to TPS (Temporary Protected Status), however it is possible to apply to all Advanced Parole, including DACA Advanced Parole.
If you have questions regarding your Immigration Options, please contact our office to set up a consultation with our Immigration Attorney.
Related Blog Posts:
When do DACA Holders need an I-601A Hardship Waiver in the Consular Process?
June 2020 Update: Is USCIS accepting New Initial DACA Filings?
Electronic I-130: A New E-filing Option
USCIS Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status Interview in 2020: Tips and Tricks
Related Immigration Route:
Military Parole in Place
Disclaimer: This Blog is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.
The post Using DACA Advanced Parole to help Adjust Status (I-130/I-485) versus Consular Process appeared first on Fickey Martinez Law Firm .
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I-131, Application for Travel Document
ALERT: On Jan. 30, 2024, USCIS announced a final rule , published in the Federal Register, that adjusts the fees required for most immigration applications and petitions. The new fees will be effective April 1, 2024.
Applications and petitions postmarked on or after April 1, 2024, must include the new fees or USCIS will not accept them.
What to Know About Sending Us Your Form
The new filing fee is effective for filings postmarked April 1, 2024, and later. If you are filing an acceptable prior form edition on or after April 1, 2024, you must include the new filing fee.
Alert: Beginning July 1, 2022, we will issue a new travel authorization document to Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries: Form I-512T, Authorization for Travel by a Noncitizen to the United States, at our discretion if we find the beneficiary merits this authorization. We will no longer issue advance parole documents as evidence of our prior authorization for a TPS beneficiary to be permitted to reenter the United States if the beneficiary travels outside the United States.
Beginning July 1, 2022, we will issue a new travel authorization document to Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries: Form I-512T, Authorization for Travel by a Noncitizen to the United States, at our discretion if we find the beneficiary merits this authorization. We will no longer issue advance parole documents as evidence of our prior authorization for a TPS beneficiary to be permitted to reenter the United States if the beneficiary travels outside the United States.
If you are a TPS beneficiary with an existing, unexpired advance parole document, you may continue to travel and seek reentry to the United States after a trip outside the United States through the period of validity printed on your advance parole document.
If you are a TPS beneficiary applying for a new travel authorization document, you should continue to use Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. If you have a pending Form I-131, you do not need to file a new application.
We will continue to issue advance parole documents to noncitizens with pending initial applications for TPS (Form I-821).
TPS beneficiaries and individuals with pending initial TPS applications should carefully read the Form I-131 Instructions which contain warnings about certain risks an individual may face if they are outside of the United States while USCIS is considering their TPS reregistration or initial application, such as missing important request for evidence or other notices or being denied TPS while outside the United States.
ALERT: Court decisions regarding DACA.
On Sept. 13, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued a decision finding the DACA Final Rule unlawful and expanding the original July 16, 2021 injunction and order of vacatur to cover the Final Rule. However, the court maintained a partial stay of the order for “all DACA recipients who received their initial DACA status prior to July 16, 2021.” See the Memorandum and Order (PDF, 1.35 MB) and Supplemental Order of Injunction (PDF, 72.53 KB) .
Accordingly, current grants of DACA and related Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) remain valid until they expire, unless individually terminated. In accordance with this decision, USCIS will continue to accept and process DACA renewal requests and accompanying applications for employment authorization under the DACA regulations at 8 CFR 236.22 and 236.23, as it has since October 31, 2022. We will also continue to accept initial DACA requests, but in accordance with the District Court’s order, we will not process initial DACA requests.
Current valid grants of DACA and related EADs will continue to be recognized as valid under the Final Rule. This means that individuals with DACA and related EADs do not have to submit a request for DACA or employment authorization until the appropriate time to seek renewal.
Please see the DACA Litigation Information Page for important updates and information related to court rulings on the DACA policy.
Use this form to apply for a reentry permit, refugee travel document, TPS travel authorization document, advance parole document (including parole into the United States for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit), or advance permission to travel for Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) long-term residents.
If you file this form to request an advance parole document, and then you leave the United States without having an advance parole document that is valid for the entire time you are outside the United States, we will consider your Form I-131 abandoned.
If you file this form to request an advance permission to travel for CNMI long-term residents document, and you leave the CNMI without having an advance permission travel document, your status will automatically terminate.
Form I-131 (PDF, 452.39 KB)
Instructions for Form I-131 (PDF, 364.5 KB)
06/06/23 . E. You can find the edition date at the bottom of the page on the form and instructions.
Dates are listed in mm/dd/yy format.
If you complete and print this form to mail it, make sure that the form edition date and page numbers are visible at the bottom of all pages and that all pages are from the same form edition. If any of the form’s pages are missing or are from a different form edition, we may reject your form.
If you need help downloading and printing forms, read our instructions .
Please check our Filing Addresses for Form I-131 page for information on where to mail your application. Applications that are not submitted to the appropriate direct filing address may experience processing delays.
You can pay the fee with a money order, personal check, or cashier’s check, or pay by credit card using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions . If you pay by check, you must make your check payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
When you send a payment, you agree to pay for a government service. Filing and biometric services fees are final and non-refundable, regardless of any action we take on your application, petition, or request, or if you withdraw your request. Use our Fee Calculator to help determine your fee.
Pay each filing fee separately. We are transitioning to electronically processing immigration benefit requests, which requires us to use multiple systems to process your package. We may reject your entire package if you submit a single, combined payment for multiple forms.
Payment if you file at a field office: You cannot pay fees with a money order or cashier’s check when filing at a field office. You can only pay with a personal check, debit card, credit card, or reloadable prepaid credit or debit card.
You do not need to pay an additional fee for Form I-131 if:
- You are filing Form I-131 Application Type B or D;
- You filed a Form I-485 with a fee on or after July 30, 2007; and
- Your Form I-485 is still pending.
For refugee travel document applications filed from outside of the United States, you must pay the applicable fee(s) to the cashier at the USCIS overseas office or U.S. embassy or consulate with jurisdiction over your location. Please see the website of the appropriate embassy or consulate to confirm acceptable forms of payment. Include the fee receipt from the U.S. embassy or consulate when you file your application package.
Please do not mail cash, personal checks or traveler’s checks. If you do not include a fee receipt with your filing, we will reject your application.
Please do not submit this checklist with your Form I-131. The checklist is an optional tool to use as you prepare your form, but does not replace statutory, regulatory, and form instruction requirements. We recommend that you review these requirements before completing and submitting your form. Do not send original documents unless specifically requested in the form instructions or applicable regulations.
If you submit any documents (copies or original documents, if requested) in a foreign language, you must include a full English translation along with a certification from the translator verifying that the translation is complete and accurate, and that they are competent to translate from the foreign language to English.
Read more information about the types of evidence that may be relevant to specific parole requests on our Humanitarian Parole page.
Complete all sections of the form. We will reject the form if these fields are missing:
- Family Name
- Physical Address
- Date of Birth
- 1.a. – 1.f.
- Family Name (If 1.f. selected)
- Physical Address (If 1.f. selected)
Filing Tips: Review our Tips for Filing Forms by Mail page for information on how to ensure we will accept your form.
Don’t forget to sign your form. We will reject any unsigned form.
E-Notification: If you want to receive an e-mail or text message that we have accepted your form at a USCIS lockbox, complete Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance , and clip it to the first page of your form.
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How To Get Advance Parole for Business Travel
For many people applying for immigration benefits, Advance Parole is necessary to travel abroad while they wait for the U.S. government to process their application. Other immigrants, like recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), must also have an approved travel permit before leaving the United States if they'd like to return. Advance Parole makes it possible for immigrants with business ties abroad to leave the United States temporarily for work. In this article, we'll explain what business reasons you can get Advance Parole for as well as the step-by-step application process for getting the travel permit.
Written by Jonathan Petts . Written May 25, 2022
What Is Business Advance Parole?
Advance Parole is necessary for anyone who doesn’t have an immigrant visa or nonimmigrant status like a valid H-1B visa to return to the United States after leaving the country. Advance Parole is especially necessary as a re-entry permit for those applying to adjust status and gain permanent residence. If you depart without approval, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will automatically deny your application for legal permanent residency.
DACA recipients won’t be able to return to the United States without Advance Parole after going abroad. They would have to apply for a visitor visa to return, often after waiting out their re-entry bars for their unlawful presence in the United States. DACA recipients can obtain additional benefits from Advance Parole. If you are a DACA recipient with Advance Parole who successfully passes through a port of entry, you can get a green card for instance through marriage to a U.S. citizen, because you now meet the legal entry requirement.
3 Categories of Advance Parole
There are three categories of eligibility for Advance Parole: humanitarian reasons, educational reasons, or business reasons. For business travel, many different circumstances qualify. For example, your employer may require you to attend overseas work assignments. You may have to participate in a business conference or training for educational purposes. You may be required to interview for a job abroad. If any part of your job necessitates you to travel overseas, you need to get Advance Parole to return.
If USCIS approves your Advance Parole application, it will be valid for one year. Your re-entry still depends on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspection of your entry.
How To Apply for Advance Parole for Business Travel
To get an Advance Parole travel document for business travel, you will need to complete Form I-131 , provide evidence of your business travel, and send your completed documents to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Step 1: Complete and Sign Form I-131
First, you need to complete Form I-131 , Application for Travel Document. This form is the main Advance Parole document application. You can fill the form out online or download, print, complete, and send it to a USCIS office.
When completing the form, make sure to leave extra time for your return in case of any unforeseen travel delays. You don't want to miss your deadline for returning, which your Advance Parole approval notice displays. If you’re a DACA recipient, you could face an unlawful presence bar from re-entry for up to 10 years if you miss your deadline for returning or if CBP turns you away at the port of entry. Consider consulting a lawyer who focuses on immigration law to make sure you can safely return.
Step 2: Gather Evidence That You Have Valid Employment Reasons To Travel
Next, gather your filing fee and the supporting documents to submit. The filing fee for Form I-131 is $575. You can also qualify for a fee waiver if you have a pending adjustment of status application. You may not have to pay the full fee with a pending asylee or refugee travel document application.
You should include the following documents in your application packet:
Your receipt notice for your pending green card application after filing Form I-485 , if you’re an adjustment of status applicant
Proof of relation to a family member if you are applying for Advance Parole based on their application for lawful permanent resident status
A marriage certificate if your application relies on a spouse’s pending green card application
A birth certificate if your application depends on a child’s pending green card application
Two passport-style photographs
USCIS-issued document showing the validity of your current immigration status, such as your DACA approval notice
Photocopy of a government-issued identification document that shows your name, date of birth, and photo.
Passport, driver’s license, or Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
Evidence explaining your business reasons for traveling
Examples: a letter from your employer, a business contract, an enrollment letter from business training organizers, registration confirmation for your participation in a business conference
Step 3: Mail Your Completed Forms and Documents to USCIS
You can either submit your form online through your MyUSCIS account or by mail. If you send your documents by mail, the USCIS address will depend on where you live and what mail service you use. It is essential to send your forms to the correct address. Otherwise, USCIS may reject your documents. You will have to resubmit them and wait out the processing time again.
You can check which address to submit your application package to on the USCIS website .
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Apply for EMERGENCY Advance Parole as a DACA recipient
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What is Emergency AP?
An advance parole (AP) document allows non-U.S. citizens who are living in the U.S. to temporarily travel abroad and re-enter the country. Before leaving the U.S., noncitizens, including DACA recipients, MUST obtain an AP document.
DACA recipients can request AP only if they will travel for employment, humanitarian, or educational reasons. Currently (July 2023), it takes about four to eight months for USCIS to process a mailed AP application. But if a DACA recipient needs to travel urgently for humanitarian reasons, they can apply for emergency AP in person at their local USCIS field office .
Note: Requesting emergency advance parole is not a substitute for delaying your Advance Parole application. This should only be used for emergency situations. To avoid delays in your travel plans, mail in your AP application about 8 months before your intended travel dates.
DACA recipients have applied for and obtained an AP document to travel for an emergency humanitarian purpose. Some examples include:
- a medical procedure that the DACA recipient urgently needs and is unable to access in the U.S.
- being a caregiver to a family member undergoing their own medical procedure or other emergency;
- visiting a very sick/ailing family member;
- or attending a funeral.
Talk to an immigration lawyer who can explain your specific risks of traveling outside the U.S. and coming back. USCIS may grant a DACA recipient an advance parole document even if it is not in the applicant’s best interest to travel abroad. If you need general information about AP, check out this guide.
Important Note: USCIS grants DACA recipients advance parole at its discretion. When USCIS field officers review emergency AP applications, they have the power to decide whether the travel need is urgent. The USCIS field office may not approve your emergency AP application and may tell you to apply with USCIS by mail.
How to Request Emergency Advance Parole
Step 1: gather all necessary documents.
- A completed and signed Form I-131 , Application for Travel Document (this cannot be filed online).
- The Form I-131 filing fee in the form of a check or credit/debit card (money orders are not accepted at the field office). The fee is currently $575, but applicants should check the USCIS website before filing.
- Two passport-style photos.
- A copy of your Employment Authorization Document and/or most recent DACA Approval Notice.
- Your written statement explaining your immediate need to travel.
- To support traveling for an urgent humanitarian purpose, applicants can include medical documentation, doctor’s notes, relative’s letter, death certificate, funeral arrangements, etc.
- Remember that documents that are not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation.
- Keep in mind that a notarized letter from a relative can support other documents you provide, but will likely not be enough on its own. For example, a death certificate or a letter from the funeral home is stronger evidence than a letter from a family member about the recent death.
- A cover letter explaining the purpose of travel and summarizing the documents included in your application ( see example ) (optional)
- A copy of the biographic page of your current, valid passport (optional)
Traveling with Advance Parole in 2024
This guide contains information on advance parole and what to expect before, during, and after traveling abroad.
Step 2: Call USCIS
Call the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 . (Please note that it may be hard to get through the automated system and speak with a human.) Tell them you need an in-person (or “InfoPass”) appointment for an “emergency advance parole document” because you need to travel as soon as possible. Be prepared to summarize the urgent humanitarian reason for which you must travel abroad. USCIS will then call you back within three working days to schedule an in-person appointment at your local USCIS field office.
Step 3: In-person Appointment
Take your complete application with you to your in-person appointment. After checking in, you will meet with a USCIS officer at one of the windows at the front of the waiting room. Your emergency advance parole request will be granted or denied at the time of the in-person appointment. If you are granted emergency advance parole, you will need to pay the $575 filing fee. The easiest way to do this at a field office is by credit or debit card; the field offices do not accept money orders.
Be Your Best Advocate This will be your only opportunity to explain why you need your advance parole document immediately. Practice explaining in one or two sentences the nature of the emergency.
Every USCIS field office and supervisor exercises their discretion in approving or denying emergency advance parole. Even if you present evidence that your case is an emergency, the field office may not issue you an advance parole document and may direct you to file your application by mail with the USCIS service center.
If you decide to apply for emergency AP again, you can update your evidence to demonstrate why you have an urgent need to travel. You will then have to go through Steps 2 and 3 above.
Use All Your Resources There are ways to advocate for yourself even further:
- Ask your Representative in Congress if they can advocate for you with the USCIS office. This is a common request and remember that your Congressional Representatives work for YOU! Don’t be afraid to reach out. Find your Representative here: www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative
- If you have a lawyer, ask them to help you schedule your appointment and accompany you to your appointment (or help you practice advocating for yourself if you go alone).
- Remember that during this type of request, YOU are your biggest advocate.
Mental Health Resources
Applying for advance parole is exhausting, both emotionally and financially.
- It makes us dream of something that may not be within reach.
- Getting a denial is soul crushing, especially after all that work.
- Imagining yourself in a different country after years of being inside the U.S. can in itself stir many emotions. Especially if you are traveling for humanitarian reasons.
- Re-entering the U.S. may also come with stress and anxiety. See our other advance parole guide for helpful advice to keep in mind when re-entering the U.S.
Remember to take care of yourself before, during, and after the AP process. See here for mental health resources to help you during this.
Frequently Asked Questions
Emergency advance parole costs the same as a non-emergency I-131 application — $575.
No. EMERGENCY I-131s are filed in-person at your local USCIS field office. DACA recipients may apply for non-emergency advance parole by mailing their application to the address indicated on this page under “Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)”. For more information on how to file a non-emergency advance parole visit this guide .
If you are denied emergency advance parole, you will be directed to apply for non-emergency advance parole by mailing an application to USCIS. If you have additional evidence supporting your urgent need to travel, you may apply for emergency AP at the field office again, keeping in mind that the same field office will decide whether or not they grant you an advance parole document. For a guide to applying for non-emergency advance parole see here .
Currently, the case is back in a U.S. District Court where it awaits a decision from Judge Hanen. There is a “stay” that allows existing DACA recipients to continue renewing their DACA authorization. It is likely that this stay will remain in place while the case moves up to the appeals court and then the Supreme Court. USCIS affirmed that it will continue to adjudicate DACA recipients’ advance parole applications. See more on the court case here .
If your application for advance parole has been approved, you can plan on traveling while we wait for a decision from the federal court in Texas. If a decision comes out while you are traveling abroad, please check the USCIS DACA FAQs for updates.
USCIS field offices can grant expedited processing for an advance parole document to individuals who:
- Have already submitted an application by mail
- The application has been pending for several months
- The departure date is approaching
- Their travel request meets the USCIS criteria for expediting decisions (e.g. severe financial loss, emergencies, and humanitarian reasons, etc.).
If you find yourself in this situation, you can call USCIS for an in-person appointment (or InfoPass) at your local field office for the purpose of “urgent travel with an advance parole document.”The USCIS field officer may grant an advance parole document at the appointment, request the service center to expedite their decision, or tell the applicant to wait for a decision. USCIS may also request the DACA recipient to file a new I-131 in person and pay another filing fee then and there, although some USCIS field offices don’t do this in practice.
Evidence: To support a decision on a Form I-131 that was already filed, applicants can include documents that support the expedite criteria and the immediate need for a decision, such as documenting a relative’s illness or death, a flight booking, date of an event for which they need to travel abroad, cost of program to travel abroad, etc.
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Manchester Arena bomber's friend granted private parole hearing
- Published 12 hours ago
- Manchester Arena attack
A convicted terrorist who radicalised the Manchester Arena bomber has been granted a private hearing to decide if he can be released from prison.
Abdalraouf Abdallah, 30, was first jailed in 2016 for helping others go to Syria to join the Islamic State group.
He faces a Parole Board panel in April, which could result in him being freed on licence.
The BBC applied to have the hearing open to attend, but the Parole Board has rejected the application.
Abdallah was friends with Salman Abedi, whose suicide attack at the Manchester Arena on 22 May 2017 killed 22 people and injured hundreds of others.
Parole hearings are usually held in private, but since 2022 it has been possible to apply for them to held in public.
The BBC had argued an open hearing was in the public interest.
That stance is shared by Claire Booth, whose sister Kelly Brewster was killed in the bombing.
Following the Parole Board decision, she said those affected by the attack had "a right" to see and hear how the authorities deal with Abdallah.
The BBC's application argued there was an overwhelming public interest in there being public scrutiny, not just of Abdallah's application, but of the Parole Board process itself.
It said the public included many people directly affected by the Arena bombing, who should be afforded the opportunity to understand as much as possible about the evidence and the process.
However, the Secretary of State for Justice Alex Chalk argued there was insufficient reason for the hearing to be held in public.
Abdallah also opposed the hearing being heard in public.
Rejecting the BBC's application, Caroline Corby, chairwoman of the Parole Board for England and Wales, said the "high bar" for the hearing to be held in public had not been met.
She said matters relating to sensitive material may be significant to the panel's decision, and such material cannot be seen or discussed in public.
'He's not changed'
The Parole Board decision's document also stated that Mr Chalk was "concerned" for Abdallah's wellbeing and saw him as a "vulnerable person".
"It is the view of those involved in Mr Abdallah's management that a public hearing would place additional stress on him, undermining his ability to engage in the hearing," the document added.
Ms Booth, from Sheffield, survived the attack which killed her sister.
Responding to the Parole Board decision, she said the authorities saw victims of the attack as "a hassle" and wanted the case to go away.
"Abdallah is a convicted terrorist," she said.
"How can the public know he's safe unless the evidence is heard in public?
"In my opinion, he's not changed."
She added that victims of the attack were not contacted by the Parole Board or the government to let them know about the upcoming hearing.
This contrasts with one of the reasons given by the Parole Board for the hearing being in private, with Ms Corby saying in her decision that there were "concerns that a public hearing could cause distress to the victims of the Manchester Arena attack".
Abdallah, who moved to the UK as a child and grew up in south Manchester, was paralysed from the waist down while fighting in the Libyan revolution of 2011.
His trial heard that, from his wheelchair and mainly using a mobile phone, he arranged for the movement of money and fighters to Syria.
- In July 2016, he was given an extended sentence of more than nine years, comprising five years and six months in prison and a further four years on licence
- He was automatically released from custody in late 2020, with the Parole Board having no say, but was returned to prison in January 2021 after he breached his licence conditions
- He has remained in prison since, with his first Parole Board hearing due in April, ahead of his sentence expiring in November
In 2023, a public inquiry into the bombing formally concluded that Abdallah had played an "important role in radicalising" Salman Abedi.
It also found contact between the bomber and Abdallah, after the latter was imprisoned, "made a significant contribution to consolidating Salman Abedi's ideology as he was contemplating the attack, and stiffened his resolve to carry out the atrocity".
Abdallah used illicit mobile telephones in prison to communicate with Abedi, who also visited him there.
He was one of a small group of people found to have influenced Abedi's world view.
Inquiry chairman Sir John Saunders said there was "insufficient evidence to enable me to conclude that Abdalraouf Abdallah had any prior knowledge of the attack".
He only gave evidence to the inquiry after considerable efforts were made to make him appear and had initially refused to answer questions or give evidence in case he incriminated himself.
When he gave evidence in November 2021, he condemned the Arena attack, denying any role in the bombing or knowing about it in advance.
Why not follow BBC Manchester on Facebook , X and Instagram ? You can also send story ideas to [email protected]
- Islamist extremism
- Parole Board
Arena bomber's father part of militia - terrorist
- Published 25 November 2021
Prisoner in touch with arena bomber back in jail
- Published 20 January 2021
Two jailed for terrorism offences
- Published 15 July 2016
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