Can You Travel Abroad While Your I-485 is Pending?

March 04, 2024
Marjorie M. Filice

You may be wondering whether it is advisable to travel abroad while waiting for your adjustment of status, otherwise known as the green card application process. Generally, it is not easy to leave the country during this time. In most cases, you would need a specialized travel document to allow you to travel abroad and re-enter the U.S. without abandoning your adjustment of status application. This document is known as an Advance Parole document, which must be issued by USCIS. If approved, you will receive an I-512L (Authorization for Parole of an Alien into the United States).

Certain categories of nonimmigrant visa holders do not require an Advance Parole document to travel without abandoning their application for adjustment of status. These are:

  1. H-1B or H-4 spouse or child
  2. L-1 or L-2 spouse or child
  3. K-3 spouse or K-4 child of a U.S. citizen
  4. V-1 spouse or V-2 or V-3 child of a green card holder

According to USCIS, if an applicant departs before or without the approval of an I-131, the pending I-485 adjustment of status will be considered abandoned.

In order to apply for an I-131 you will need to complete the form itself and provide a copy of Form I-797 (Notice of Action) to demonstrate your pending application for adjustment of status. You will also need to submit a copy of a government issued identity document and the required filing fees.

The approved Advance Parole travel document does not guarantee your acceptance back into the country, it serves to keep your adjustment of status application active and protects it from being considered abandoned. The Border Patrol Officer at the point of entry still has discretion to deny entry into the country.

Traveling while your adjustment of status is pending should be avoided whenever possible because it is not without risks. If you need guidance on possible travel while your adjustment of status is pending, please reach out to one of our attorneys.

The material contained in this alert does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only. An attorney-client relationship is not presumed or intended by receipt or review of this presentation. The information provided should never replace informed counsel when specific immigration-related guidance is needed.

© 2023 Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C. All rights reserved. Information may not be reproduced, displayed, modified, or distributed without the express prior written permission of Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C.

  • Categories

  • Archive


Left Fields
Middle Fields
Right Fields
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Sign Up for Our

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.