"Advance parole" allows people in the process of obtaining U.S. permanent resident ("LPR" or "green card") status to travel abroad. USCIS has recently begun denying pending advance parole applications as "abandoned" when applicants travel outside the United States in H-1B, H-4or L status. The reason USCIS gives is that the instructions to the Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, state that if the applicant leaves the United States before the advance parole document is issued, his or her application for an advance parole document will be considered abandoned. For the past 15 years, USCIS has approved these applications for individuals traveling abroad with a valid advance parole document or a valid H-1B, H-4 or L visa while their adjustment of status applications are pending. If an applicant receives a denial, a new application may be submitted with USCIS. However, processing of a new application takes 60 to 90 days, unless the applicant qualifies for emergency Advance Parole. We advise H-1B, H-4 and L clients to avoid traveling internationally while their advance parole applications are pending.

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