Non-immigrants who have pending applications may not be able to travel outside the country freely and must obtain proper documentation before they could leave the country. If not they may be considered inadmissible into the country upon their return and their pending immigrant petitions may be denied. To re-enter the country hassle free after traveling abroad, you will have to obtain an advance parole document.
Advance parole is a document that is issued to non-immigrants who are not lawful permanent residents of the United States. Such individuals must apply for and obtain this document, if they seek to return to the United States after traveling to a foreign country. People who do not have valid immigrant visas to return to the United States, must obtain this document. Non-immigrants in the United States must obtain this document before they could leave the country as they may not be allowed to re-enter the country, if they leave the United States without obtaining advance parole. Advance parole is different from the re-entry permit that is granted to permanent residents of the country.
You will have to apply for advance parole, if your application for adjustment of status is pending or if you are a refugee or an asylee who has applied for an immigrant visa. If your Form I-485, is pending, you may travel abroad only after your application for advance parole is approved. You will have to do so in order avoid the denial of your application for adjustment of status.
You will have to file the USCIS Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, to obtain an advance parole document. You may file this form electronically and if you choose to file a paper application, you may complete it and mail it to a USCIS lockbox facility. You need to file the completed Form I-131, along with the required filing fee and two passport style photographs and the supporting documentation.
You need not obtain an advance parole document if you are a H1 temporary worker or H4 dependent of H1, L-1 Intracompany Transferee or L2 dependent of L1, K3 or K4 dependent of a US citizen and V2 or V3 dependent of a lawful permanent resident. In this case, while you return to the United States, you will have to present your valid H, L, K or V visas to enter into the country.
An application for advance parole is generally processed within two to three months from the date of the application. An advance parole document issued to you will be valid for a year and you may use this document to enter into the United States. You need to obtain this document to re-enter the country but this document alone does not guarantee admission and you will be subject to inspection at the US port of entry and only after that you will be allowed to enter into the country.