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USCIS Now Denying Pending Advance Parole Applications for Abandonment Due to International Travel

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has issued a practice alert indicating that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has now started denying Form I-131 Applications for a Travel Document requesting advance parole where an individual has departed the United States while the Form I-131 application is pending – even where the applicant has a valid H, L, K, or V visa or already has a valid advance parole document. AILA raised this issue with the USCIS Service Center Operations Directorate (under the assumption that these denials are adjudicator error) and received a response that these denials are proper. This is a change in longstanding USCIS adjudication policy.

Based on this change in policy, traveling outside of the United States while an application for advance parole is pending will result in denial of the application. As such, it is now recommended that individuals with a pending application for advance parole refrain from traveling outside of the United States until after the application has been approved – even if the individual holds a valid H, L, K, or V visa or a valid advance parole document.

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