On August 18th, 2017, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) released a practice alert concerning the recent USCIS policy change to deny Form 1-131 advance parole applications for abandonment in instances in which the applicant has traveled abroad during the pendency of the application. USCIS has maintained that these applications are considered abandoned even when the applicant has a separate valid advance parole document or a valid H, K, L, or V visa to return to the United States.
The USCIS Service Center Operations Directorate (SCOPS) has stated that these denials were proper, and USCIS’s official policy is that traveling internationally while an application for advance parole is pending will result in the denial of that application notwithstanding prior practice to the contrary.
This policy represents a shift from previous USCIS practice. As such, please be advised that USCIS will likely continue to deny Forms 1-131 for abandonment due to international travel.
For more information regarding international travel and I-131 applications, please call our office at (856) 222-0130.