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inside immigration information about marriage green cards and work visas in America

TRAVELING ABROAD AFTER APPLYING FOR ADJUSTMENT

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travel during aosBecause the majority of foreign nationals change their visa category from non-immigrant status to “adjustee pending” starting the day the Adjustment of Status (AOS) package is received by the USCIS, they are no longer allowed to travel abroad using their previous non-immigrant visa.  Nor are they allowed to travel while in their new “adjustee pending” status until they receive their Advance Parole Travel Authorization (approval of Form I-131) card in the mail.

It generally takes approximately 90 – 120 days to get the Advance Parole Travel Authorization in the mail after submitting the AOS package to the USCIS to the Chicago USCIS lockbox office. Non-refundable plane tickets should not be purchased during the Adjustment of Status processing period just to be safe.  Even if you have received permission to travel, your green card interview may be scheduled early (it is happening quite frequently lately) and it is better to postpone your trip than to try to reschedule the interview.

In most cases (except H-1B non-immigrant visa cases) if you travel abroad after you have submitted your AOS package but before you receive your Advance Parole Travel Authorization permit, the USCIS may consider your AOS package abandoned and you may be stranded outside the U.S. for a year while your case is being processed at a U.S. Consulate.

If you believe you might be subject to the 3/10 year bar for any reason but are issued an approved Advance Parole Travel Authorization, please do not use it – the 3/10 year bars may override the power of an Advance Parole Travel Authorization when trying to re-enter the U.S.

NEW CASE:  Matter of Arrabally and Yerrabelly (25 I & N Dec. 771 (BIA 2012)) was decided on April 17, 2012 by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).  The immigration judges held that a couple with pending applications for permanent residence did not “depart” the U.S. when they traveled abroad and then re-entered using their approved I-512 Advance Parole, even though they had previously overstayed their visa by more than one year. It is not clear whether the case will be appealed, which could either affirm or reverse the decision.

HELPFUL TIP: For most AOS applicants, the one year travel permit is now issued as in combination with the EAD (I-765 Employment Authorization) Card.  There is a regulation that states that the EAD card should be issued within 90 days (there is no similar regulation for the Advance Parole).

There is also a USCIS memo that states that if the EAD card has been pending more than 75 days and is causing a hardship, the applicant may request that the EAD card (which also happens to include the Advance Parole information on it) be expedited.

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3 comments on “TRAVELING ABROAD AFTER APPLYING FOR ADJUSTMENT

  1. Mano Kero
    November 5, 2013

    Good information , helped us .
    We received permission to travel but it is not urgent for us to travel so asper advise we decided to wait till interview . Our finger print was taken on Sep 30 , Family of USCitizen Patents case .

  2. Debby Barrett-de Vries
    July 14, 2012

    While my husband and I are waiting for my AOS approval since december last year, I received the AP travel/EAD card, so I would be able to visit my parents. After our marriage, my name changed into my husbands name and I changed my signature. What name should I use on the I94 immigration form in the airplane when I return to the USA, my maiden name on my passport, or my married name on the AP/EAD card? And which signature should I use?

    Kind regards,
    Debby

    • immigrationworkvisa
      July 18, 2012

      Dear Debby:

      I recommend carrying a copy of your marriage certificate, which is your official name change document, when you travel abroad. Fold it up and keep it in your passport. I would print & sign your new married name on the I-94 Card upon re-entry so that it matches the AP travel/EAD card. If anyone else has had a different experience, I hope they comment here.

      Kind regards, Danielle Nelisse

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