Clarifying When You Need an Advanced Parole Document

If you are planning an international trip as a U.S. visa holder, you might be wondering if you need to apply for advanced parole. See below for the rules and instructions for who needs this type of document.

The advanced parole document is issued by the USCIS for certain classes of non-immigrants who wish to travel internationally and return to the United States. However, not every non-citizen need apply for this type of travel document. As such, this blog should serve as a resource to better understand who needs to have an advanced parole document at-the-ready when they are leaving the U.S., and who does not need to worry about such filing.


To be clear, the advanced parole document is not the same as a re-entry permit (which we have covered in another Visa2us blog). Mainly an advanced parole document is used for non-immigrants of the United States, whereas if you are already a permanent resident (green card holder), advanced parole does not apply to your situation and you don’t have to worry about filing for this document.

Thus if you have a pending I-485 application and currently have a legal visa status in the U.S., you will need an advanced parole “document” to leave the U.S. and then re-enter. Some green card holders are confused thinking they will need parole to re-enter the U.S., but this is a common misconception.

What are Advanced Parole Requirements?

Generally, to be eligible for advanced parole, a foreign national needs to satisfy the following:

  • A visa holder in the U.S. whose I-485 application is pending (minus H1-B visa holders and H4 dependents, as well as L1 or L2 status)
  • A non-citizen who has been granted TPS and wishes to travel
  • A non-citizen who has a pending asylum application[1]

There are some categories of non-citizens who are also excluded from the advanced parole document. This includes those who are in the U.S. illegally, or those who have not been admitted and inspected while crossing an international land border to the U.S. In addition, if you are in a valid non-immigrant status, but not applying for a green card (via the I-485), then you do not need to file for advanced parole.

As mentioned, one of the main reasons the advanced parole exists is for pending green applicants to not be considered for abandoning their applications. The small piece of paper which will serve as a parole document preserves the status of your existing application.[2]

Filing Fee

The one time fee for an advanced parole application is $575. You can apply for advanced parole by filling out the Application foe Travel Document—I-131 on the USCIS website. The link for that document is available here:

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H-1B Visa

H-1B Visa

H-1B visa is used by businesses and organizations in the United States to employ foreign nationals with the preferred qualifications, knowledge, and expertise in a role.

I-485 Adjustment of Status

I-485 Adjustment of Status

Submit a form I-485 application to apply for lawful permanent resident status.

National Interest Waiver (NIW)

National Interest Waiver (NIW)

An applicant must either hold an advanced degree or have an exceptional ability in their field that would substantially benefit the U.S. to be qualified.