How to Apply for Advance Parole

Three Parts:Filling Out Form I-131Filing Form I-131Requesting Expedited Processing

If you've filled out an application for permanent residency in the United States – commonly known as a green card – and you need to travel abroad while your application is still pending, you typically need to apply for advance parole, which will ensure your application remains active while you are temporarily out of the country. Without advance parole, leaving the U.S. before your green card application is approved could render you ineligible for permanent resident status. To apply for advance parole, you must fill out and file Form I-131 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, along with a number of required supporting documents, and pay a processing fee.[1]

Part 1
Filling Out Form I-131

  1. Image titled Apply for Advance Parole Step 1
    Determine whether you need qualify for advance parole. Most immigrants whose green card application is still pending must apply for advance parole if they need to leave the country.
    • In addition to adjustment of status applicants, you also must file Form I-131 if you want to leave the country and you have Temporary Protective Status (TPS), a pending asylum application, or an approved petition for a green card under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).[2]
    • Your travel typically must be related to humanitarian reasons, such as an ailing relative, or for a significant public benefit, which can include family emergencies or business reasons.[3]
    • You can find additional information about advance parole as well as download Form I-131 and instructions for filling it out from the USCIS website at
  2. Image titled Apply for Advance Parole Step 2
    Gather required documents. The specific documents you must submit with your application will vary depending on the type of green card application you filed and your reasons for needing to leave the country.
    • You must have a copy of the document that shows your current immigration status, such as your visa or an approval notice for DACA or TPS, as well as a copy of your green card application.[4]
    • You also must have documents that demonstrate your reasons for needing to travel outside the United States.[5] For example, if you must travel to visit your ailing mother, you might include a letter from your mother's doctor. If you were traveling for an educational opportunity, you might include your acceptance letter.
    • The application also requires two identical passport-style photos that have been taken of you within the past 30 days. They'll be scanned for use on your advance parole document, so they should have a white or off-white background and be high resolution.[6]
  3. Image titled Apply for Advance Parole Step 3
    Provide information about yourself. The form will ask a number of questions regarding your identity and the type of visa you used the last time you entered the United States.
    • The first section of the form has space for you to enter basic personal information such as your name and address.[7]
    • You also must include citizenship and nationality information such as your visa classification, your country of birth, your country of citizenship, and your date of birth.[8]
  4. Image titled Apply for Advance Parole Step 4
    Select your application type. The type will vary depending on your visa status and whether you currently are in the United States.
    • The last three application options relate to advance parole, and you should check the option that applies to you. The other options deal with other travel documents or reentry permits.[9]
  5. Image titled Apply for Advance Parole Step 5
    Complete the appropriate processing information sections. The application includes several different sections, depending on the type of travel document you're requesting.
    • If you have a pending green card application, you typically only have to fill out Parts 3 & 7. However, if you are a DACA recipient you also must fill out Part 4, which requires you to describe the purpose of your trip and list the countries you intend to visit.[10]
    • If you have DACA approval, you can only travel abroad for educational, employment, or humanitarian purposes. For example, you could be granted advance parole to study abroad for a semester, or to visit an ailing relative.[11][12]
    • In Part 3 you can include details about your planned trip, such as your date of departure and how long you plan to be gone.[13][14]
    • Although you aren't required to include any of this information if you don't know it, keep in mind that you may not be given permission to leave the country for as long as you want if you don't let USCIS know on your application how long you intend your visit to be.[15][16]
    • To complete Part 7, you must write out on a separate sheet of paper why you are eligible for an advance parole document, and why you need the document.[17]
  6. Image titled Apply for Advance Parole Step 6
    Attach required documentation. You must submit documents to prove you qualify for advance parole.
    • All evidence and supporting documents must be filed at the same time as you file your application.[18]
    • Unless the application specifically states that an original must be filed, you can file a photocopy of your supporting documents. If you are required to submit an original, the USCIS will send it back to you when it is no longer necessary for the official record.[19]
    • You must include a copy of an official government-issued identity document that includes your photo, full name, and date of birth.[20]
    • Evidentiary documents will depend on your reasons for traveling abroad. For example, if you are traveling to participate in a study abroad program, you should include a letter from the school explaining the purpose of the trip and why it would benefit you as well as a document proving you are enrolled in the overseas program.[21]
    • Sign your form. When your form is complete, you must sign and date it before you send it to USCIS.
    • Review your form before you sign it to confirm that you've answered all questions fully and completely. You can attach additional sheets if you need more room to answer a question than the form provides.[22]
    • Make sure you include a phone number where you can be reached if the agent reviewing your application has any questions or needs additional information.[23]
    • Keep in mind that if you don't sign the form correctly, USCIS will reject it and you will have to start the process all over again.[24]

Part 2
Filing Form I-131

  1. Image titled Apply for Advance Parole Step 7
    Determine where to mail your application. The USCIS lockbox facility where you must mail your application depends on the type of green card application you filed.[25]
    • You can find the correct address that applies to you in the USCIS instructions for filling out Form I-131, or you can look on the USCIS website at
    • You also can call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 to find out where you should mail your application.[26]
  2. Image titled Apply for Advance Parole Step 8
    Organize your application materials. You will need copies of all supporting documents together with your application.
    • Once you have all your paperwork together, make a copy of the entire package of documents so you have one for your records and know what you sent.[27]
  3. Image titled Apply for Advance Parole Step 9
    Submit your application. Your application must be accompanied by the appropriate filing fee.[28]
    • The filing fee for an advance parole application is $360. To pay it, you must include with your paperwork a check or money order written out to "U.S. Department of Homeland Security." The name cannot be abbreviated.[29][30]
    • Your check or money order must be drawn on a U.S. bank or financial institution and payable in U.S. currency.[31]
    • Your application form together with all supporting documents and evidence should be mailed together to ensure efficient processing of your application. If you don't include sufficient evidence to prove you're eligible for an advance parole document, USCIS will reject your application.[32]
  4. Image titled Apply for Advance Parole Step 10
    Wait for a response. It can take as long as 90 days to hear back from USCIS regarding your application.[33]
    • If you would like to receive an email or text notification when your application package is received, you must fill out Form G-1145, "e-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance" and submit it along with your application.[34]

Part 3
Requesting Expedited Processing

  1. Image titled Apply for Advance Parole Step 11
    Review the criteria for expedited processing. The USCIS permits faster processing of advance parole applications in certain emergency situations.
    • These criteria are general, and whether they apply to you will be decided by a USCIS agent on a case-by-case basis. It's up to you to prove that the reason your travel is required is an urgent, emergency situation.[35]
    • For example, certain humanitarian reasons such as the death or illness of a close family member may entitle you to expedited processing.[36]
    • Planned events such as business meetings or weddings typically aren't considered sufficient reasons for expediting an advance parole application.[37]
  2. Image titled Apply for Advance Parole Step 12
    Gather supporting documentation. You must not only have documentation of your reason for travel, but also of your urgent need to make that trip.
    • For example, if your travel is required due to the death or serious illness of a loved one, you should include documents such as a death certificate or a statement from your loved one's doctor.[38]
    • When you file an expedite request, you still must include all the documents and forms required for a usual advance parole application.[39]
  3. Image titled Apply for Advance Parole Step 13
    Consider making an InfoPass appointment. InfoPass is a free online service for you to talk to a USCIS immigration officer at any time, day or night.[40]
    • If your situation is extremely urgent, an officer can tell you what you need to do and ensure you get the documents you need as quickly as possible.[41]
    • All you need is a computer with an internet connection to access InfoPass, and it can enable you to meet and get the opinion of a USCIS officer more quickly than if you went to your local USCIS field office and scheduled an appointment.[42]
    • If you schedule an InfoPass appointment, make sure you have all of your immigration documents ready and with you at the time your appointment is scheduled, as well as some form of government-issued identification card such as a driver's license or a passport.[43]
  4. Image titled Apply for Advance Parole Step 14
    Submit your expedite request. You can submit a request for expedited processing in person at the nearest USCIS field office.
    • You can use the USCIS field office locator online at to find the location nearest you.
    • You also can submit an expedite request by calling the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283, although you still must submit the paper forms to the field office.[44]
    • Keep in mind that you must apply for advance parole before you leave the U.S. If you leave before your application is completed, you risk having your pending application denied or not being able to reenter the U.S.[45]


  • Provided you know well in advance that you will need to travel overseas while your green card application is pending, you can file Form I-131 at the same time you file Form I-485 for a green card and avoid additional fees.[46]


  • You must remain in the U.S. until your advance parole travel document is issued. If you leave before processing is complete, USCIS will cancel your application and you will be unable to return and preserve your permanent residency application.[47]
  • Even with an advance parole document, you still may be denied reentry by Customs and Border Protection on your return.[48] Advance parole only affects the status of your pending green card application, it does not guarantee that you are eligible to reenter the United States.[49]
  • Your advance parole can be revoked or terminated by the Department of Homeland Security at any time, including while you are out of the country. If your advance parole is terminated while you are traveling, you must have another document that grants you entry into the U.S. if you want to come back.[50]

Sources and Citations

Show more... (47)

Article Info

Categories: Criminal and Penal Law Procedure