Travelers Be Wary – International Travel on Pending I-131 Will be Deemed Abandonment
By Roujin Mozaffarimehr
The USCIS has changed its policy with regard to international travel while a form I-131 Application for Advance Parole is pending. In the past, the USCIS routinely approved advance parole applications where applicants traveled abroad during the pending period using an existing unexpired advance parole document, or H, K, L, or V visa. The USCIS Service Center Operation Directorate (SCOPS) has confirmed that the current policy is that travelling internationally while the I-131 application is pending will result in the denial of that application.
What does this mean for you?
If you have a pending I-131 application, please do not travel internationally until the application is approved. This also includes renewal applications, as well as renewal applications that are pending where the applicant has a current advance parole card. The USCIS will deem international travel as abandonment and deny the application.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association is pursuing this issue in liaison discussions with the USCIS. We will keep you updated should this new policy change.