USCIS has been denying Form I-131 advance parole applications for abandonment in instances in which the applicant traveled abroad while their application was pending. In their denial notification, USCIS references page six (6) of the Form I-131 instructions which states: “If you depart the United States before the Advance Parole Document is issued, your application for an Advance Parole Document will be considered abandoned”.
This represents a shift in policy enforcement. In the past, USCIS has approved advance parole renewal applications for individuals who travel abroad with a valid Advance Parole Document or a valid H, K, L or V visa. However, among the recent reports, valid Advance Parole Document and the aforementioned visa holders have been amongst the denied applicants.
The USCIS Service Center Operations Directorate (SCOPS) has confirmed that these denials are proper, regardless of prior practice.
For adjustment applications filed after July 30, 2007, there is no additional filing fee for a new application following a denial. In the event that one’s application is denied during pendency, applicants should consider submitting a new Form I-131 to USCIS.
Please be advised that this practice of denial will likely persist, and as such, Form I-131 Advance Parole applicants should avoid international travel during the pendency of their application.
For more information regarding advance parole, please call our office at (856) 222-0130.