Traveling In and Out of the U.S. Limited for Certain Immigrant Statuses

The US immigration system is fraught with delays, backlogs, and other challenges that put residency status and the ability to travel freely in and out of the country at great risk. We’ve discussed some of these challenges in recent months, but it’s important to understand how far-reaching some of these obstacles are for businesses, families, and immigrants who rely on the immigration system.

Today, we want to explore two areas in particular that are currently presenting major challenges: Filing for an advanced parole travel document during an adjustment of status filing for non-H or L visa holders and Re-Entry Permit Applications for Green Card holders. 

Complicated Timelines During Years-Long Adjustment of Status Filing

Filing for an adjustment of status when you have a visa class other than an H or L visa means you may need to get an advanced parole travel document on top of a work authorization card while the government reviews your application. The advanced parole travel document allows you to travel in and out of the United States while your application is reviewed – but the advanced parole application often takes nine to ten months to review.

This makes it crucial that you prepare for what life is like if you are not permitted to leave the United States for an extended period. Do you have family or business back in your home country that must be attended to? You will need to have alternative plans to handle that or risk denial of your adjustment of status application if you do decide to leave without an advance parole travel document.

As noted, if you have an H or L visa then you are exempt from the advanced parole requirement.

Risking Abandonment for Green Card Holders

In the case of Green Card holders, a similar re-entry risk presents itself when your work or other circumstances result in a long-term appointment overseas. The US government considers residency to be abandoned after a year, so if you are sent to another country on a work assignment for three years then you must be aware of this risk and apply for a re-entry permit before you leave the US.

Previously, re-entry permits only took about three months to process. However, they are currently taking 18 months to process. Since you must be physically in the US when the government receives the re-entry permit application, it’s necessary to plan accordingly. If you decide to leave the country during that 18-month period then you risk not being able to get back in and having your US residency challenged.

Maintaining Status and the Ability for Cross-Border Travel

The best way to protect yourself, your business, and your family is to prepare for all possible obstacles within the United States immigration system. It’s unreasonable to expect every individual and every business to understand these nuances, which is why Valvo & Associates works diligently to stay in touch with the ever-changing immigration landscape.

Valvo & Associates is always ready to assist clients in navigating these and other business immigration hurdles. Our focus remains on providing the guidance necessary to manage the legal aspects of international travel and residency adjustments during the immigration process.

Contact our team if you need assistance with these or other business immigration matters.

By Brandon Valvo