As a rule, if you or someone you know is applying for adjustment of status (“AS”) to a U.S. Permanent Resident based on an Employment Based Petition (I-140), or a Family petition (I-130), your application will be denied if you leave the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) will consider the application abandoned. “However, you might say, “what happens if I learn my family member is dying back home, or my minor child has been abandoned by their entrusted caregivers…what can I do?”
The solution is to apply for expedited travel permission. The process is called advanced parole which is completed on form I-131. In order to get expedited treatment of your I-131 application to travel, you will need to meet DHS’s criteria. DHS U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services Division (“USCIS”) site explains the following:
USCIS considers all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis;
May require additional documentation to support a request; and
Has the sole discretion to decide whether to accommodate a request.
Because granting an expedite request means that USCIS would adjudicate the requestor’s benefit ahead of others who filed earlier, we carefully weigh the urgency and merit of each expedite request. We may consider an expedite request if it meets one or more of the following criteria or circumstances:
- Severe financial loss to a company or person, provided that the need for urgent action is not the result of the petitioner’s or applicant’s failure to:
- Timely file the benefit request, or
- Timely respond to any requests for additional evidence;
Your lawyer will need to call USCIS and request Info pass, and explain the nature of your urgent travel. You will need to bring all USCIS receipts, passport, proof of emergency such as court documents from abroad, funeral arrangements, death certificates, completed I-131 etc. Also, bring passport size photos too…in case they give you a paper Advanced Parole (“AP”) on the spot.
If USCIS does not issue the AP immediately, they will send their recommendation/approval of expedite to the National Benefits Center (“NBC”), and a travel document will be issued that will be good for at least one trip out of the country. It is very important to check with an immigration attorney in your local district to see if AP packets are accepted at the USCIS window and approved on the spot.
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B&E Capital Law Group
http://www.BECapitallaw.com G. Del. Evans, Esq.