Law Offices of Cindy Ramjattan Paul - Immigration lawyer, Nutley, NJ

Travel Document Based on Pending Adjustment of Status or DACA

Advance parole (Form I-131) is an immigration document issued by the United States that allows foreign qualified nationals to re-enter the United States after temporarily traveling abroad. Individuals who are not U.S. citizens, do not have valid immigrant visas, and have pending applications for certain immigration benefits are required to apply for a travel document and be approved for Advance Parole prior to leaving the United States, in order to avoid termination of their pending applications.   

However, in situations in which Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) recipients are applying for Advance Parole, the applicant must apply for and receive DACA approval prior to applying. DACA recipients must provide as much evidence as possible to explain the purpose of intended travel abroad. In order to receive advance parole, a DACA recipient generally must show that s/he is traveling abroad for humanitarian, employment, or educational purposes. Generally, USCIS will only grant advance parole if your travel abroad will be in furtherance of:

  • humanitarian purposes, including travel to obtain medical treatment, attending funeral services for a family member, or visiting an ailing relative; 
  • educational purposes, such as semester-abroad programs and academic research, or; 
  • employment purposes, such as overseas assignments, interviews, conferences or, training, or meetings with clients overseas.  

Please keep in mind that travel for vacation is not a valid basis for advance parole.

To apply for Advance Parole, a DACA recipient must submit Form I-131 to USCIS. The advance parole applicant must then submit proof of DACA status by either a copy of the USCIS Notice of Action (Form I-979) showing a DACA approval or a copy of an approval order, notice or letter from USCIS. The applicant must be able to explain the purpose of the trip and the countries the applicant plans to visit. In addition, the requester must submit evidence of the purpose of the trip, the intended date(s) of travel, and the duration of the trip(s). USCIS will determine each request on a case-by-case basis, so the more supporting documentation you have, the better. 

Lastly, USCIS does not generally grant expedited requests for advance parole for DACA recipients. However, in a dire emergency, USCIS is willing to consider an expedited request at a local USCIS office.