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09 May 2014

Five Questions about Advance Parole

Advance parole is most commonly used when someone has Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status, pending.  If you depart the United States while your I-485 application is pending without first obtaining advance parole, your case will be denied, unless you fit into a narrow exception for those maintaining certain nonimmigrant statuses.

Do I need advance parole if I am flying from the continental United States to Puerto Rico?  What about Hawaii, Alaska, Guam, or the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands?

No, advance parole would not be needed if you travel directly between parts of the United States, which includes Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Swains Island and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), without entering a foreign port or place.

Can I travel outside of the U.S. when my application for advance parole is pending?

If you travel outside the United States while your Form I-485 application is pending and you do not have a valid advance parole, your case may be denied for abandonment.  There is a narrow exception for individuals maintaining certain nonimmigrant statuses. 

I have an emergency and need to leave the country, but do not have advance parole.  What can I do?

If you are experiencing an extremely urgent situation, you may visit your local USCIS field office to request an emergency advance parole document.  When visiting a field office to request emergency advance parole, you should bring the following items:
  • A completed and signed Form I-131, Application for Travel Document
  • The correct I-131 filing fee or receipt of a pending Form I-131 
  • Evidence to support the emergency request (e.g. medical documentation, death certificate)
  • Two passport-style photos.
I’m going on a cruise, do I need advance parole?

Maybe - it depends on where you are going on your cruise.  As discussed in question one above, if you are traveling directly between two parts of the United States (e.g., between Florida and Puerto Rico), an advance parole will not be needed.  If you will be traveling to other countries or non-U.S. territories, advance parole would be necessary. 

I am in H-4 nonimmigrant status, have a Form I-485 pending, and am traveling abroad, do I need advance parole?

If the H status principal’s adjustment of status application is approved while you are abroad, you would no longer be considered to be in valid H-4 status.  In this situation, your Form I-485 may be denied for abandonment because you did not have advance parole. 

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Cinco preguntas sobre el Permiso Adelantado de Reingreso

El Permiso Adelantado de Reingreso es más comúnmente utilizado cuando alguien tiene pendiente un Formulario I-485, Solicitud para Registrar Residencia Permanente o Ajuste de Estatus. Si usted sale de Estados Unidos mientras su solicitud I-485 está pendiente, sin primero obtener un Permiso Adelantado de Reingreso, su caso será denegado a menos que usted caiga dentro de una excepción muy limitada para personas que mantienen ciertos status de no inmigrante.

¿Necesito un Permiso Adelantado de Reingreso  si estoy viajando desde el territorio continental de Estados Unidos a Puerto Rico? ¿Qué hay de Hawai, Alaska, Guam, o la Mancomunidad de Islas Marianas del Norte?

No. Usted no necesita un Permiso Adelantado de Reingreso si  viaja directamente entre territorios de los Estados Unidos, lo que incluye Guam, Puerto Rico, Islas Vírgenes de EE.UU., Samoa Americana, Isla Swains y la Mancomunidad de las Islas Marianas del Norte (CNMI, por sus siglas en inglés), siempre y cuando no entre a un puerto o lugar extranjero.

¿Puedo viajar fuera de los EE.UU. cuando mi solicitud de Permiso Adelantado de Reingreso está pendiente?

Si viaja fuera de los Estados Unidos mientras su Formulario I-485 está pendiente sin tener un Permiso Adelantado de Reingreso, su caso puede ser denegado por abandono. Hay una excepción muy limitada para personas que mantienen ciertos status de no inmigrante.

Tengo una emergencia y necesito salir del país, pero no tengo Permiso Adelantado de Reingreso. ¿Qué puedo hacer?
Si está experimentando una situación de extrema urgencia, puede visitar su Oficina Local de USCIS para solicitar un documento de Permiso Adelantado de emergencia.  Cuando visite la Oficina Local para solicitar un Permiso Adelantado de emergencia, debe traer lo siguiente:
  • Un formulario I-131, Solicitud de Documento de Viaje completado y firmado
  • La tarifa de presentación del Formulario I-131 correcta o el recibo de un Formulario I-131 pendiente
  • Evidencia para apoyar la solicitud de emergencia (por ejemplo, documentación médica, certificado de defunción)
  • Dos fotos tipo pasaporte.
Me voy en un crucero, ¿necesito un Permiso Adelantado de Reingreso?

Tal vez; depende de a dónde va en su crucero. Como se discutió en la pregunta anterior, si va a viajar directamente entre dos territorios de Estados Unidos (por ejemplo, entre la Florida y Puerto Rico), no será necesario un Permiso Adelantado de Reingreso. Si usted va a viajar a otros países o territorios fuera de Estados Unidos, necesitará un Permiso Adelantado de Reingreso.

Yo estoy en estatus H-4 de no inmigrante, tengo un Formulario I-485 pendiente y estoy viajando al extranjero. ¿Necesito un Permiso Adelantado de Reingreso?

Si la Solicitud de Ajuste de Estatus del no inmigrante H principal se aprueba  mientras está en el extranjero, ya no se le considerará en un estatus  H-4 válido. En esta situación, el Formulario I-485 puede ser denegado por abandono, debido a que no tiene un Permiso Adelantado de Reingreso.

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02 May 2014

USCIS Hosts First Google Hangout Engagement in Spanish

Posted by Maria Pastrana Lujan, USCIS Multilingual Engagement Coordinator at the Office of Public Engagement

On April 9, 2014, USCIS expanded its ongoing stakeholder outreach with its first ever Google Hangout in Spanish. Viewers tuned in from around the country, and representatives from Latin American consular networks and their stakeholders gathered in Washington, D.C.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Los Angeles to participate in the discussion.

A wide range of topics were discussed during the Google Hangout including deferred action for childhood arrivals, immigrant visas, and the unauthorized practice of immigration law.

USCIS' Mariela Melero, Associate Director for the Customer Service and Public Engagement Directorate; Susana Bolanos, Immigration Officer; and Guillermo Roman-Riefkhol, Adjudications Officer; responded to a number of questions related to eligibility requirements, enrollment start dates, authorized immigration providers and resources for in-language assistance. The representatives took questions from participants during the event and also took questions from the general public via email and Twitter.

Susana Bolano and Mariela Melero host a Google Hangout in Spanish on April 9, 2014. Photo courtesy of Rodney Remson.
Susana Bolano and Mariela Melero host a Google Hangout in Spanish on April 9, 2014. (Photo courtesy of Rodney Remson)

Roman-Riefkohl answered questions about deferred action for childhood arrivals, a topic of ongoing interest since it was implemented nearly two years ago. To date, USCIS has received more than 650,000 requests for deferred action for childhood arrivals.

"The Deferred Action and Employment Authorization Documents granted in the early part of the initial process will expire beginning September 2014." He said. "For this reason, we ask that you play close attention to official announcements on the renewal process."

Bolanos provided in depth information about the immigrant visa fee changes and explained how to pay the fee online.

"We want to remind you that since Feb. 1, 2013, foreign nationals who wish to obtain an immigrant visa and legal permanent resident status in the U.S. need to pay an additional fee of $165.00, known as the immigrant visa fee." She said. "The new fee is in addition to the fees associated with the immigrant visa application charged by the Department of State. In order to pay the immigrant visa fee, beneficiaries should first go online and use USCIS ELIS online to establish an account."

Melero provided information on how customers can avoid immigration scams, including how to spot phone scams, as well as how to recognize fraudulent websites and notary public scams.

"Our agency has a commitment to educate the community on how to not become a victim of immigration fraud." She said. "We are focusing our efforts nationally to enable communities of immigrants and all individuals so that they know to avoid unscrupulous people and businesses who practice unauthorized immigration law, since getting the wrong help can hurt."

The large turnout and the enthusiasm of the participants were helpful in starting conversations about important immigration topics and underscores the importance of providing information to our customers in the languages they speak. USCIS plans to host additional Google Hangouts in other languages. 

You can register to receive GovDelivery alerts about upcoming multilingual engagements.