If you plan to travel abroad and have an Adjustment of Status (I-485) pending, it is important to evaluate whether traveling puts your residency process at risk.
The I-485 is generally processed with a “Work Permit” and a “Travel Permit” to enter the United States or Advance Parole (AP).
Unless your visa is an H1B or L1, by having a pending I-485, you MUST have an approved AP before leaving the country. If you return without it, Immigration will consider your I-485 abandoned and will deny you a green card.
Advantages of traveling with AP
When you renew a visa with Immigration and want to travel, you must go to the U.S. Consulate in your country (with exceptions) to have the visa stamped in your passport. This may take weeks, and the stamp may even be denied by the Consulate. The AP replaces the visa and allows entry into the country, even if the visa has expired.
Disadvantages of traveling with AP
However, upon entering the country with AP, you will not be admitted under your visa, even if it is still valid. Instead, you will be admitted as a parolee and allowed to stay until Immigration approves your I-485. If denied, the parolee must leave the United States immediately.
If you have an H1 or L1
H1B/L1 and their family members (H4/L2) will be able to enter the country using their valid visas, as long as they have not worked with the “Permiso de Trabajo” and return to continue working for the H/L employer.
If so, and the I-485 is denied, the H/L is not out of status, so they are advised to use AP only if strictly necessary.
If you have a visa other than H or L, you MUST have an approved AP before leaving the country. Remember that when you enter with AP you will no longer have the previous status, so you need to have an approved “Permiso de Trabajo” to continue working.
To assess whether your travel puts your I-485 at risk, consult with an Immigration Attorney before you travel.
Cuídese de los notarios, consultores en inmigración o cualquier persona no calificada y preparada en estos temas. Siempre busque la asesoría y los servicios de un abogado de inmigración para sus procesos y trámites migratorios.