USCIS to Issue Employment and Travel Authorization on a Single Card

On February 11, 2011, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will begin issuing employment and travel authorization on a single card for applicants filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. The new card format represents a significant improvement, replacing the current practice of issuing paper Advance Parole documents.

The appearance of the card will be similar to the current Employment Authorization Document (EAD) but will include the following text: “Serves as I-512 Advance Parole.” Not only will this card serve a dual purpose, but the new card is also more secure and more durable than current travel authorization, Advance Parole paper document.

An applicant may receive this card by filing an Application for Employment Authorization,Form I-765, and an Application for Travel Document, Form I-131, concurrently with or after filing Form I-485. For cases not involving the filing of Form I-485, USCIS will continue to issue separate EAD and Advance Parole documents. Employers may accept the new card as a List A document when completing Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

The combined employment authorization and Advance Parole card allows an applicant for adjustment of status to travel abroad and return to the U.S. without abandoning the pending adjustment application. This is similar to what the current Advance Parole document allows you to do.

Some Questions and Answers regarding the new card:

Q. How does the new card differ from the current Employment Authorization Document (EAD)?


A. The card will look similar to the current Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and will include the following text: “Serves as I-512 Advance Parole”. A card with that includes this text will serve as an employment and travel authorization card.

Q. Why did USCIS create this new dual-purpose card?


A. This new card allows adjustment of status applicants to no longer carry both an EAD and a separate paper Advance Parole (travel) document while awaiting approval of their Form I-485 applications. Applicants will only have to carry this one dual-purpose card. The new card is also more secure and more durable than current travel authorization, Advance Parole paper document.

Q. How do I get this new EAD and Advance Parole card?


A. You can obtain this card when you file an Application for Employment Authorization, Form I-765, and an Application for Travel Document, Form I-131, at the same time or after you file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. You must file Forms I-765 and I-131 at the same time in order to receive an EAD and Advance Parole card. When filling out the two applications, make certain that you enter your name and address identically on both Forms I-765 and I-131.

Q. Does this new card guarantee my re-entry into the United States if I travel abroad?


A. No. This card will allow you to travel abroad and return to the U.S. When arriving at a port-of-entry, you must present the card to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer to request parole but issuance of an Advance Parole document does not guarantee that the CBP will allow re-entry into the U.S. It is important to note that individuals who have been unlawfully present in the U.S. and depart and seek re-entry into the U.S. may be inadmissible and ineligible to adjust their status.

Q. How much does this card cost?


A. If an application for adjustment of status was submitted on or after July 30, 2007, you will pay only one fee to file Form I-485, Form I-765 and Form I-131. The amount you pay is equal to what it would cost to file Form I-485 alone, including biometric fees.

Q. How long is this card valid?


A. USCIS will issue this card for a period of one or two years. USCIS may also issue a card for a longer or shorter period, depending on a per case basis.

Q. What if you already have an EAD or an Advance Parole document?


A. If your current Advance Parole document and EAD card have different expiration dates, you may only receive the dual-purpose card if both documents have less than 120 days left before they expire, or if the EAD has less than 120 days left before it expires and the Advance Parole or travel document is for a single entry only. Do not apply more than 120 days before your current EAD expires if you decide to file for this card by filing Forms I-765 and I-131 at the same time. The validity period for the new EAD and Advance Parole, dual-purpose card will begin on the date of the approval of Forms I-765 and I-131.

Q. Will USCIS still issue separate EAD and Advance Parole documents?


A. Yes. USCIS will still issue separate EAD and Advance Parole documents. For example, you will receive an EAD without travel authorization if you do not request Advance Parole or if your Form I-765 is approved but your Form I-131 is denied.

Q. How do I get another card if it lost or damaged?


A. To replace your card, you must file the Application for Employment Authorization, Form I-765, and Application for Travel Document, Form I-131, at the same time and pay the appropriate fee for each of the filed forms. Although individuals do not have to initially pay fees for filing Forms I-765 and I-131 when they concurrently file with Form I-485, they are required to pay Forms I-765 and I-131 application fee(s) when you are re-filing these applications in order to replace the card due to loss, negligence or damage.

Q. Is this card available to anyone?


A. No. This card is only available to individuals who have a pending family or employment based Form I-485 in the USCIS pipeline.

Q. What does this card look like?


A.

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