USCIS Is Denying Pending Advance Parole Applications (Forms I-131) for Abandonment Due to International Travel
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has issued an advisory regarding advance parole denials. USCIS has begun denying Form I-131 advance parole applications for abandonment in instances where the individual has traveled abroad during the pendency of the application. The pending Form I-131 application is being denied even if the applicant has a separate valid advance parole document or a valid H, K, L, or V visa to return to the United States. In the denial notification, USCIS points to the Form I-131 instructions at page 6 where it states that “[i]f you depart the United States before the Advance Parole Document is issued, your application for an Advance Parole Document will be considered abandoned.” In the past, USCIS has approved advance parole renewal applications for individuals who travel abroad during the pendency of the application with a valid Advance Parole Document or a valid H, K, L, or V visa.
USCIS Service Center Operations Directorate (SCOPS) believes that these denials were proper and confirmed that traveling internationally while an application for advance parole is pending will now result in the denial of that application.
Given this new policy, individuals should avoid international travel while an advance parole application is pending. Please note that if an advance parole application is denied due to abandonment, it is possible to submit another Form I-131 for USCIS processing once back in the U.S.
Please see our FAQ on Advance Parole Travel Documents at: http://larrabee.com/immigration-law-faqs/advance-parole-travel-document/.