K1 VISA ADVANCE PAROLE
If you are a K1 visa holder who would like to travel outside of the United States before you become a permanent resident, you will need to apply for permission to re-enter the United States after your trip. This permission is known as "advance parole."
If you leave the United States without applying for and receiving advance parole, US Customs and Immigration will declare that you abandoned your immigration application and you will have to start the immigration process over from the beginning! Once you receive your permanent resident card (green card), you will be able to leave the United States four up to a year at a time without obtaining special permission.
Only K1 visa holders who have already married their American fiance are eligible for advance parole. If you waited more than 180 days after your K1 visa expired to file your I-485 (Application to Adjust Status), do not leave the United States! Leaving the US in this situation will make adjusting your status much harder. If you filed your I-485 before your K1 expired or soon after, you can leave the United States as long as you receive advance parole first.
APPLYING FOR ADVANCE PAROLE
The application form used to apply for advance parole is Form I-131 (Application for Travel Document). There is no fee to apply for advance parole if you are waiting for your immigration status to be adjusted. When you complete Form I-131 you will need to attach 2 passport sized photos and a note explaining:
- that you are the spouse of a US citizen and awaiting adjusted status,
- why you want to travel outside of the United States, and
- when and where you plan to travel.
The fastest way to apply for advance parole is to include a completed Form I-131 with your I-485 (Application to Adjust Status). If you include Form I-131 when you file form I-485, follow the instructions for filing Form I-485.
If you have already filed your I-485, you must wait to file Form I-131 until after you receive Form I-797C from US Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS). I-797C is a receipt informing you that your I-485 (Application to Adjust Status) is under review. Attach a copy of Form I-797C to your I-131 Application for Travel Document. Depending on the first three letters of your I-797C receipt number, submit Form I-131 to the USCIS Lockbox in Dallas, Chicago, or Pheonix. Check with the USCIS website for the latest information on where to file. Complete instructions for filling out the I-131 may be found online at http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-131instr.pdf
If you need your advance parole as soon as possible, call the USCIS Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 for advice or to make an appointment at the nearest USCIS field office and explain your situation.