An Advance Parole Document is a document that allows you to travel outside the United States while your application for a green card, in general, is processing. You cannot leave the United States without an advance parole if you have a green card case processing because, otherwise, you’ve abandoned the application. The advance parole is generally given incident to your green card application.
Once you’ve filed for your green card, you’re going to get a receipt back in the mail, and you’re going to get an Advance Parole Document in 90 days. You apply for the advance parole in conjunction with your green card, the I-485 application, and it’s included in the fee. Don’t leave that out thinking that you’re not going to travel. You get it anyway, and who knows if there will be an emergency?
People are always concerned about using the advance parole to travel outside the United Sates while they have their application pending. It is fine to travel on advance parole while your green card is pending. You are not going to trigger any bars to reentering the United States.
The only issue would be if they had a criminal history or some other reason to find you inadmissible. Then that’s something you’d want to discuss with your immigration lawyer. Presumably, they would know that ahead of time, but an advance parole will permit you to leave while you’re waiting for your green card application without abandoning its status.
Cheryl David is an experienced immigration attorney, practicing law in New York City. If you have questions about a green card process, advance parole, or traveling while you’re waiting for a decision on your green card, please contact the office for a free initial consultation.