The U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) issued a reminder to individuals either seeking an adjustment of status to lawful permanent residency, seeking an application for relief under the NACARA 203, or seeking asylum to ensure they obtain Advance Parole prior to traveling abroad. Advance Parole can be obtained by filing Form I-131, the Application for Travel Document, with the USCIS.
Advance Parole permits individuals to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad and to continue processing for adjustment of status. For individuals currently in the process of applying for an adjustment of status, leaving the U.S. without Advance Parole may lead to serious consequences, including a denial of application and/or being barred from returning to the U.S.
USCIS does note, in addition, that, according to the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, certain aliens who leave the U.S. after unlawfully residing in the U.S. may be barred from applying for lawful permanent residency, even in cases where they receive prior Advance Parole. Individuals unlawfully present in the U.S. for a period greater than 180 days but less than one year will be barred from entry for a period of three years. Individuals unlawfully present in the U.S. for one year or longer will be barred from entering the U.S. for a period of ten years.