Advance Parole Travel Document Guide

Planning international travel as a non-citizen in the United States requires careful consideration of your immigration status and the documents needed for re-entry. This guide clarifies the complexities of travel documents, explicitly focusing on the Advance Parole travel permit.

Re-entering the U.S. legally after traveling abroad hinges on possessing the correct documentation. This depends on your immigration status (permanent resident or otherwise) and any pending immigration applications. Generally, you’ll need a valid entry document (Green Card), a non-immigrant visa, or a travel permit (valid and unexpired, with the specific type determined by your immigration status).

IMPORTANT! You must apply for a travel permit, particularly Advance Parole, before departing the U.S.! The USCIS travel document processing time varies, so factor this into your travel planning.

This guide primarily focuses on the Advance Parole travel document, obtainable through USCIS Form I-13: Application for Travel Document. However, this form can also be used for other travel documents, including refugee travel documents, re-entry permits, or Temporary Protected Status (TPS) travel authorizations.

Since this guide explores the Advance Parole U.S. travel document, let’s discuss eligibility requirements, the application process, the I-131 processing time and timeline, and other crucial considerations for a legal and uneventful travel experience!

What Is an Advance Parole Document?

An Advance Parole permit is a travel document issued by USCIS on Form I-131. It grants permission to return to the United States after temporary travel abroad, specifically for individuals with pending immigration applications.

Many of us think about bad things when we hear “parole” but forget about dramatic scenes from our favorite legal drama or cop show! In immigration law, “advance parole” isn’t about early release from prison. The advanced parole meaning here is “traveling abroad and returning legally to the U.S.Without this document, your Green Card application could be jeopardized, leading to a much less thrilling situation than anything you’d see on TV.

An Advanced Parole travel authorization’s most crucial function is facilitating your re-entry without an additional visa. This document allows you to travel outside the U.S. and return without obtaining a separate visa if your application for permanent residence (Form I-485) or asylum (Form I-589) remains pending.

Moreover, it protects your pending application. Unlike traveling without Advance Parole, which can lead to denial of your green card or asylum application, having this document safeguards your application status.

Who Needs Advance Parole Documents?

Advance Parole travel documents are particularly beneficial for individuals in the following situations:

IMPORTANT! You should apply for Advance Parole concurrently with your initial green card or asylum application, even if you don’t plan immediate travel. It ensures the document is available for unforeseen situations like family emergencies or business opportunities.

The Consequences of Traveling Outside the U.S. with a Pending Immigration Status

USCIS warns all travelers about the potential consequences of going outside the U.S. with a pending immigration application. Let’s see what you need to know to avoid jeopardizing your situation.

  • If you’re a non-immigrant and filed Form I-539 to switch to a different non-immigrant status, leaving the U.S. before USCIS’s decision leads to abandoning your application (with some exceptions). Having an Advanced Parole document won’t prevent this. You might be denied re-entry if your non-immigrant status expires before you return.
  • If you’re applying for a Green Card and leave the U.S. without proper travel authorization (like the Advance Parole travel permit), you might be denied re-entry upon return. USCIS might even consider your Green Card application abandoned.
  • If you have overstayed your visa (unlawful presence) or have a removal order, traveling abroad, even with a travel document, can make re-entry difficult. USCIS considers a trip with Advance Parole a “departure” for some purposes but not necessarily for those related to the unlawful presence bar.

IMPORTANT! The Advance Parole travel document does not guarantee your re-entry, regardless of your situation! While Advance Parole authorizes travel, the final decision on re-entry rests with U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the port of entry.

Who Qualifies for an Advanced Parole Travel Document (Type D)?

Advance Parole (Type D) is a specific category within the travel document issued by USCIS through Form I-131. As mentioned, it grants permission to return to the United States after temporary travel abroad, specifically for non-citizens already present within the U.S. with ongoing immigration applications or statuses.

Advance Parole Travel Permit Eligibility Criteria for People Inside the U.S.

Eligibility for filing Form I-131 with USCIS also translates to eligibility for an Advance Parole permit (Type D). Let’s see who qualifies for Advanced Parole!


Pending Green Card applications (Form I-485 or Form I-821)

Approved Temporary Protected Status (TPS) travel authorization (Form I-821)

Current DACA recipients

Current T non-immigrant status holders

Pending Affirmative Asylum application (Form I-589)

Existing parole status under INA 212(d)(5)

Other Specific Situations


Non-citizens with applications for permanent residence under review by USCIS can travel abroad and return legally with Advance Parole. This applies to those who filed under either Form I-485 (adjustment of status) or Form I-821 (asylum applicant seeking adjustment).

Individuals with approved TPS status may be eligible for Advance Parole for temporary travel abroad, allowing them to return under the protection of their TPS designation.

DACA recipients in good standing can use Advance Parole for temporary travel without impacting their DACA status. This includes those with a pending renewal application (Form I-821D).

Non-citizens granted T non-immigrant status as victims of human trafficking may be eligible for Advance Parole to facilitate authorized travel abroad.

Asylum seekers who filed Form I-589 can obtain Advance Parole to avoid abandoning their application upon returning from temporary travel.

Depending on their circumstances, non-citizens currently paroled into the U.S. under INA 212(d)(5) may qualify for Advance Parole.

Additional eligibility criteria may exist for specific situations as outlined in the official Form I-131 instructions provided by USCIS.

As we reach this stage in our Advanced Parole travel document guide, we must emphasize that you must discuss your situation with an immigration expert (lawyer or service provider) to understand your precise eligibility for Advance Parole based on your unique immigration status and application history.

USCIS allows Advance Parole (I-131 form) submissions if you belong to a category mentioned above, but you need specific justifications:

  • Urgent humanitarian reasons: This category covers unexpected personal or family emergencies that require travel, such as a severe illness or death of a close relative.
  • Significant public benefit: Travel deemed beneficial to the public good may qualify. This could include attending a crucial business meeting leading to economic growth or participating in a research conference that advances scientific knowledge. In immigration law, “bona fide” business reasons imply legitimate and genuine business purposes, not simply any business trip.

IMPORTANT! The burden of proof lies with you to demonstrate your travel’s urgency or public benefit. USCIS will most likely deny an Advanced Parole travel petition if you want to go on a vacation!

Advanced Parole Travel Permit Eligibility Criteria for People Outside the U.S.

Imagine facing a family emergency or a critical business opportunity while being outside the U.S. An Advance Parole document, filed through Form I-131, might be a solution.

You can apply if:

  • You’re currently outside the U.S.
  • You have a provable pressing need for a temporary visit due to a critical personal situation (urgent humanitarian reason) or a vital opportunity that benefits the public (significant public benefit).
  • Obtaining a regular visa is impossible, and any attempts to get waivers or permissions to re-enter the U.S. have been unsuccessful.

IMPORTANT! Advance Parole can be a lifeline for those outside the U.S. facing urgent situations, but approval is never guaranteed. Even if granted, your temporary stay will have specific conditions.

Advanced Parole Travel Permit Eligibility for Filipino World War II Veterans

The Advance Parole document can also benefit certain family members of Filipino World War II veterans through the FWVP program. The FWVP allows particular beneficiaries of family-based immigration petitions to seek this type of parole travel document. It grants them temporary entry into the U.S. before their immigrant visas become available, reuniting families sooner. You can apply for an Advanced Parole travel document under FWVP provisions if: 

  • You are a U.S. resident who is either a Filipino WWII veteran or the surviving spouse of one.
  • You filed an approved Form I-130 petition for a family member whose visa isn’t yet available. 
  • Your qualifying family relationship with this member existed before May 9th, 2016.

There are some additional things to consider if you’re a surviving spouse applying on behalf of a child or if the Filipino World War II veteran and their spouse are both deceased. USCIS has specific guidelines for these situations, so it’s best to check their website for the full details to ensure you meet all the requirements.

How to Apply for the Advanced Parole Travel Document

Before you start working on your Form I-131 application for an Advance Parole Travel Document, remember a few crucial things.

  • Ensure the information you provide is accessible for USCIS to read. Black ink ensures a clean and permanent record.
  • On each additional sheet, include your full name, Alien Registration Number if you have one, the specific section and item number you’re referencing from the form, and your signature and date. This helps USCIS associate the extra information with your application.
  • Answer all questions thoroughly and truthfully. If a question doesn’t apply to your situation, write “N/A” (Not Applicable) to indicate this.

Next, we need to talk about documents. The specific paperwork you’ll need depends on whether you’re currently in the U.S. or applying for someone outside the U.S. Generally speaking, USCIS requires initial evidence such as a copy of a valid photo I.D. showing your picture, name, and date of birth.

Examples include your Employment Authorization Document, driver’s license, passport, or Green Card. However, the secondary evidence might become a little confusing.

IMPORTANT! Form I-131 cannot accept Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) as a photo I.D.!

What Supporting Documents Do I Need for I-131 Form Submission?

Figuring out what to include with your Advance Parole application (Form I-131) can feel overwhelming. The good news is we’ve got you covered!

Whether you’re applying from within the U.S. or abroad, and whether your reasons for travel are humanitarian, for significant public benefit, or under the Filipino WW II Veterans Parole program, we’ll break down the specific requirements to help you submit an error-free petition. So, grab your documents, take a deep breath, and let’s get started!

Required Documents for Advanced Parole Permit Application for People Inside the U.S.

Applying for an Advance Parole document while residing in the U.S. streamlines travel for urgent reasons. However, before you start your I-131 Form submission, gather the necessary paperwork.


Copy of USCIS status document (if applicable)

Explanation or evidence for advance parole need

USCIS receipt for adjustment of status application (if applicable)

Form I-797 Notice of Action for DACA recipients


This could be a Green Card, EAD, or any official documentation issued by USCIS reflecting your current immigration status in the U.S.

A written explanation detailing the urgency of your travel (humanitarian reasons) or the significant public benefit it offers. Supporting documentation (e.g., medical records, business invitations) may be required.

A copy of USCIS's receipt note acknowledging your adjustment of status application.

A copy of the USCIS decision notice (Form I-797) confirming deferred action under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.


Establishes your lawful presence within the United States.

Demonstrates the compelling justification for your temporary travel outside the U.S.

Verify your pending application for permanent residency, which is a common reason for needing Advanced Parole.

Provides evidence of your DACA status, a relevant category for Advance Parole applications.

This table summarizes the documents needed when applying from within the U.S. The requirements can differ when you’re outside the U.S.

In the next section, we’ll explore the documents required for Advanced Parole applications submitted by individuals currently abroad.

Required Documents When Applying for Advanced Parole While Outside the U.S.

Applying for an Advance Parole permit while residing outside the U.S. is also possible for urgent reasons or significant public benefit opportunities. However, the required documents differ from those needed for applications submitted within the U.S.

This section will detail the documents required depending on your situation: applying under the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole (FWVP) program or for other reasons.

Required Documents for Advance Parole Application (Outside the U.S.) - FWVP Program

This table outlines the documents required when applying for Advance Parole under the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole (FWVP) program while residing outside the U.S.


Copy of Form I-797 Notice of Action (or printout)

Completed Form I-134

Evidence of veteran's military service

Marriage evidence & veteran's death certificate (surviving spouse only)


This document shows the approval of your Form I-130 petition filed by a Filipino veteran or surviving spouse for a family member.

This form is a Declaration of Financial Support, demonstrating your ability to financially support the family member upon their entry to the U.S.

Documentation recognizing the Filipino veteran's World War II service by the U.S. Army.

Proof of marriage to the veteran and official documentation of their passing (applicable to surviving spouses only).


Establishes your eligibility for the FWVP program based on a pre-approved family immigration petition.

Provides financial assurances for the sponsored family member.

Verifies the veteran's military service qualification for the FWVP program.

Establishes your qualifying relationship as the surviving spouse of a Filipino World War II veteran.

Required Documents for Advance Parole Application (Outside the U.S.) - Other Reasons

This table outlines the documents required when applying for Advanced Parole for reasons other than the FWVP program while residing outside the U.S.


Detailed explanation

Completed form I-134

Explanation for visa denial (if applicable)

Explanation for waiver denial (if applicable)

Copies of petitions/applications & evidence

Copies of the front & back of the ID (if the initial ID has annotations)

Copies of petitioner/sponsor ID & status proof


A written explanation outlining the urgent need for travel (humanitarian reasons) or the significant public benefit it offers. Supporting documentation (e.g., medical records, business invitations) may be required.

The affidavit of support proves the financial ability of a U.S. sponsor to support you upon entry into America.

A written explanation detailing why you could not obtain a U.S. visa, including any attempts made.

A written explanation detailing why you could not obtain a waiver of inadmissibility, including any attempts made to do so (if applicable).

Copies of any decisions on past immigrant or non-immigrant petitions or applications filed for you, along with evidence of any pending petitions or applications.

If your initial photo ID (except a valid passport) has annotations on either side, you must submit copies of both sides.

Copies of the official I.D. documents and proof of U.S. citizenship or immigration status for the person filing I-131 on your behalf (petitioner) and the U.S. sponsor (if applicable).


Demonstrates the compelling justification for your temporary travel outside the U.S.

Provides financial assurances for you by a U.S. Sponsor.

Explains the obstacle preventing you from obtaining a regular visa.

Explains the obstacle preventing you from obtaining a waiver for inadmissibility.

Provides USCIS with your immigration history relevant to your advance parole request.

Ensures USCIS has a complete picture of your identity document.

Verifies the identity and immigration status of the individual submitting the application and the sponsor.

IMPORTANT! If you’re applying for Advance Parole from outside the U.S. and are between 14 and 79 years old, there’s an additional step to consider. For most applicants in this situation, USCIS requires fingerprinting as part of their biometrics services. This applies whether you seek Advanced Parole for urgent humanitarian reasons, a significant public benefit opportunity, or even under the FWVP. Don’t worry; USCIS or the Department of State will let you know your nearest biometrics appointment, depending on your location.

Applying for Advance Parole with Your Green Card Submission

As mentioned, traveling abroad while your green card application is pending can be tricky. You’ll need the Advanced Parole document to avoid any issues re-entering the U.S. Here’s the good news: applying for Advance Parole is most convenient with your initial green card application!

You can obtain both documents in one efficient step by including Form I-131 with your primary marriage green card forms (I-130 and I-485) during your initial application submission. 

Even if you’ve already submitted your green card application, you can still apply for Advance Parole separately. You’ll need to file Form I-131 with USCIS and include a copy of your photo I.D., two passport-sized photos, and a copy of the receipt notice confirming USCIS received your green card application with the full fee.

Where to File Form I-131 for Advanced Parole Travel Document

Two groups of people can apply for a travel document (Form I-131) online with USCIS for reasons of urgent family needs, important public benefit, or to stay in the U.S.:

  • People outside the U.S. who need permission to enter for a short time due to a severe family emergency or a situation that would greatly benefit the public. They cannot apply for parole through a family reunification program.
  • People who have already been paroled into the U.S. and want to apply to stay longer.

In both cases, the application types on the paper form I-131 should be 1.e. or 1.f.

If you do not belong to any category, you must check the filing addresses for Form I-131 on the USCIS website.

How Much Does the Advanced Parole Travel Document Cost?

The I-131 processing fee is $630, and most applicants do not pay a biometrics fee. When paying fees in person at a field office, you can only use personal checks, debit cards, credit cards, or reloadable prepaid cards.

What Is the Advance Parole Processing Time?

Advanced parole processing time is probably the biggest conundrum when dealing with U.S. travel documents. Why? Because the I 131 processing time can be between 3 and 16 months, with an average of 6 months

Since the current USCIS travel document processing time renders the terms “urgency” or “emergency” void of any meaning, USCIS allows you to expedite the I-131 timeline under specific circumstances. 

You have two options to get an Advanced Parole travel permit faster, depending on your situation:

Expedited Advanced Parole Processing (For Travel at Least 45 Days Away)

If an unexpected event necessitates travel outside the United States within the next 45 days or more, you could expedite the processing the I-131 application for a travel document. This might help you receive your travel authorization in time for your critical trip.

To request expedited processing, USCIS offers you several convenient options:

  • Call USCIS toll-free number at 1-800-375-5283 (or 1-800-767-1833 for TTY service). A USCIS representative can guide you and initiate your expedited request.
  • Use USCIS’s virtual assistant tool, Ask Emma. Follow the prompts to request expedited processing for your travel document application.
  • You can submit your expedition request electronically with a USCIS online account. Log in to your account, navigate to the appropriate section, and select “expedite” as your inquiry type. Be prepared to upload any supporting documentation that strengthens your request.

IMPORTANT! When requesting expedited processing of your Advanced Parole permit, submit your request well before your intended travel date. USCIS recommends a minimum of 45 days to allow them sufficient time to review your request and accelerate your U.S. travel document’s processing.

Emergency Advanced Parole Issuance (For Travel in the Next 15 Days)

You may require travel authorization within a much shorter timeframe in certain urgent situations. USCIS can provide emergency issuance of travel documents for qualified individuals facing critical circumstances. This emergency issuance option is typically reserved for situations where travel is needed within the next 15 days.

USCIS may consider issuing an emergency Advanced Parole travel document for the following qualifying urgent situations:

  • If you require urgent medical care that is unavailable in the U.S.
  • Sudden emergencies involving the critical illness or death of an immediate family member or close friend.
  • If you have a pre-existing, critical travel commitment that cannot be postponed due to a delayed travel document (even if you previously requested expedited processing).

How to Request Emergency Issuance for Advance Parole Permits

Due to the time-sensitive nature of emergencies, USCIS offers two options for requesting urgent issuance of a travel document (Advanced Parole permit included):

  • Call 1-800-375-5283 (or 1-800-767-1833 for TTY service) to speak with a USCIS representative about your emergency travel needs.
  • Use the USCIS website to schedule an emergency appointment at a local USCIS field office through their “My Appointment” system.

What to Bring to Your Emergency Appointment

When attending your emergency appointment, be sure to bring the following essential documents:

  • Even if you have a pending application for Form I-131, you must complete and sign a new I-131 form specifically for emergency issuance.
  • Proof of eligibility for Advanced Parole travel document.
  • Compelling documentation and explanations to substantiate the critical nature of your travel request. Additional guidance on acceptable evidence is found on the USCIS Expedite Requests page.
  • Two passport-style photos.
  • Certified English translations of all documents not in English to ensure clear communication with USCIS officials.

As you can see, even in critical emergencies, you still need to go through the process and maybe wait two weeks to get your documents in order. However, you have some chances to streamline the emergency issuance process for your Advanced Parole travel document. For this reason – if it wasn’t clear enough – the best time to apply for an Advanced Parole permit is together with your I-485.

Your I-131 Is Approved. What Next?

Having your I-131 application approved is excellent news! You can now travel outside the United States and return without jeopardizing your pending green card application. However, there are essential things to consider before booking your trip.

  • Factor in travel documents’ processing times and avoid scheduling trips so close to your green card interview or fingerprinting appointments that missing them is possible.
  • Double-check the expiration date on your Advanced Parole travel document and ensure your return trip is well within that timeframe.

You must consider that it typically takes 3-5 months to receive your travel document after submitting your green card application. Don’t book any trips until you have the document in hand!

Moreover, while the travel document might be valid for one year (with potential renewals), you still have a pending green card application. You cannot stay outside the U.S. for so long that you miss your green card interview or fingerprinting appointments. USCIS will provide rescheduling instructions if needed, but it’s best to avoid this complication altogether.

One issue you need to consider (and make peace with) is that even with an approved travel document, you’ll be considered an “arriving alien” when re-entering the U.S. Secondary inspections to verify your green card application status are common. Be prepared to answer questions from border agents and have your green card application documents handy.

If you have concerns about your immigration history (e.g., past time spent in the U.S. without legal status), consult immigration experts or a law firm before traveling. Leaving the U.S. under certain circumstances could trigger a ban on re-entry for several years (3 to 10).

Even if you submitted your Advanced Parole application separately from your Green Card petition, you can still travel abroad and return to the U.S. with an approved I-131 Form. All you need to do is plan your trip carefully. 

If a critically urgent situation arises, do your due diligence to expedite the Advance Parole processing time as instructed in the section above.

Advanced Parole Renewal

If you were previously paroled into the U.S. with Advanced Parole and need to extend your stay, you must file a new Form I-131 with supporting documents. Mark “REPAROLE” at the top of the form to indicate your request for a renewed parole travel authorization.

Former participants in Operation Allies Welcome (Afghan nationals) seeking to extend their parole status can request an EAD alongside their parole renewal application (Form I-131). Mark “Yes” or “No” in the designated section.

Remember, the work permit won’t be issued until your renewed parole is approved, and a denied parole travel application automatically cancels your EAD request. This simplifies the process for OAW applicants, eliminating the need for a separate Form I-765 application. However, obtaining a Social Security number and card requires contacting the Social Security Administration directly.

Advanced Parole Travel Document Denial and Next Steps

Unfortunately, USCIS may deny your I-131 application for several reasons. 

  • Review the denial notice carefully. It should outline the specific reason(s) for rejection. Common causes include missing information, incorrect details, or lacking required documents.
  • You may not have met the specific criteria for the requested travel document type.
  • A criminal background, especially involving serious offenses, could lead to denial.
  • Past violations like overstaying a visa or entering the U.S. illegally can be grounds for denial.
  • If your application raises national security red flags, such as ties to terrorism or being on a watchlist, it will likely be denied.

What to Do If USCIS Denies Your Advanced Parole Travel Authorization

If the denial stemmed from incomplete information or missing documents, you can address those issues and re-submit your I-131 application. However, for denials based on eligibility, criminal history, or national security concerns, re-applying without addressing the underlying cause may not be successful.

The good news is a denied I-131 application does not affect your pending green card application (if you’re applying through adjustment of status).

IMPORTANT! An immigration consulting firm or a lawyer can offer valuable guidance. They can help you understand the Advanced Parole denial, determine the best path forward, and increase your chances of obtaining the travel authorization you need.

Advanced Parole Travel Document Frequently Asked Questions

If you still need clarifications regarding USCIS travel documents, the Advanced Parole uses and benefits, or the application process, let’s review the answers we have already offered some of our former clients!

Can I work if I have an Advanced Parole permit?

Having an Advance Parole travel document doesn’t mean you can automatically get a job. But, if you’ve applied for a green card, you can apply for a separate Employment Authorization Document while you wait for the green card decision. The work permit will allow you to get a legal job in the U.S.

Unfortunately, yes. Even with an Advance Parole document, approval to re-enter the United States is not guaranteed. While Advance Parole authorizes you to travel outside the U.S., the final decision on who gets to return rests with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (at the airport, for instance).

We don’t recommend it. According to USCIS guidelines, traveling outside the United States while your application for Advance Parole (Form I-131) is still pending could be considered abandoning your application, which could result in USCIS denying your request for travel authorization.

Streamline Your Advance Parole Application with ImmigrationDirect

Obtaining an Advance Parole travel document can open doors for essential travel while your green card application progresses or when you need to respond to a crisis or a public benefit opportunity. Nevertheless, checking all eligibility boxes, applying for the correct U.S. travel document type, and ensuring all paperwork is accurate can be confusing and exhausting.

At ImmigrationDirect, our experienced immigration specialists and lawyers can guide you through the I-131 application process. We’ll work diligently to ensure your Advanced Parole application is complete, accurate, and submitted on time!

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