I was recently approved for advance parole. I have a pending Adjustment of Status application, but I would like to travel to my home country of Canada.

I have a pending Adjustment of Status application and approved advance parole. Can I travel to my home country of Canada?

Question:

I am a Canadian citizen who has been married to a U.S. citizen for over a year. My husband and I have been traveling between the U.S. and Canada to visit each other, but in September I was denied entry into the U.S. A few days later, with the assistance of an attorney, I was able to gain entry into the U.S. to take a Caribbean cruise that my husband and I have been planning for a year. After our cruise, I was inspected by Customs and Border Protection and permitted entry into the U.S. without incident.

In July, I concurrently filed an I-130, Petition for Alien Relative; I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status; I-765, Application for Employment Authorization; and I-131, Application for Travel Document. Last week, I received my employment authorization and travel authorization combo card. Am I able to leave the U.S. and return to Canada now?

Answer:

Thank you for question. At this time, I am unable to provide you with specific advice without first reviewing your case; however, I can provide some general information about the benefits and limitations of advance parole. (Note: due to the possible ramifications of leaving the U.S., while your Adjustment of Status application is pending, I strongly suggest that you contact your previous attorney, or call my office to discuss your case in detail.)

Advance Parole

An applicant for Adjustment of Status may file a Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, to obtain advance parole to permit travel outside the U.S. during the pendency of his or her application. Advance parole (1) enables a foreign national to return to the U.S. without first obtaining a visa, and (2) preserves the pending Adjustment of Status application once you depart the U.S.

Traveling Outside the United States

A foreign national with a pending Adjustment of Status application should be very cautious about departing the U.S. despite an approved advance parole. Issuance of an advance parole document or combo card (i.e., employment authorization and advance parole) is not a grant of parole nor does it guarantee that you will be paroled into the U.S. upon arrival at a port of entry. Rather, it simply allows a transportation carrier to accept the document as evidence that the foreign national will be allowed to seek parole upon his or her return to the U.S.

At every application for admission, you will be subject to inspection by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to determine whether you are eligible to reenter the U.S. Therefore, approved advance parole does not prevent DHS from exercising its discretion and refusing to parole you into the U.S.