Update on USCIS Practice of Denying Pending Advance Parole Travel Permit for Abandonment Due to International Travel

Most foreign nationals who apply for advance parole (travel permit) (Form I-131) in conjunction with an adjustment of status application must wait for the travel document to be issued before traveling abroad; otherwise, their adjustment case will be considered abandoned and the travel permit denied. But what happens when that individual has a valid travel permit but must renew it? In the latter half of 2017, USCIS began denying the second I-131 application even if the applicant had a separate valid advance parole document valid for the entire time the foreign national is abroad. This caused tremendous hardship for individuals who needed to travel internationally, because they had to wait again three to six months for their second travel permit to be issued. Recently, through several stakeholder meetings, USCIS has confirmed that individuals may travel on an approved advance parole document, provided the document is valid for the entire duration of their time abroad, without risking that the second, pending Form I-131 would be considered abandoned and thus denied. While USCIS updated its website to reflect the same in December, there has been no pronouncement by USCIS until now. Phew!