Advance Parole: Overseas Travel for Asylum Seekers

by Jason Dzubow on September 11, 2017

When government scientists invented Advance Parole (“AP”), they were not thinking about asylum seekers. Even today, if you look at the instructions to form I-131, the form used to apply for AP, you’ll find nary a word about asylum seekers (though asylees—people already granted asylum—can apply for a Refugee Travel Document using the same form). But fear not: People who have filed affirmatively for asylum and who are waiting for their interview can file for AP in order to travel abroad and return while their case is pending.

If your relative has a serious illness (or thinks he does), it may be enough for AP.

First, a brief word about asylum seekers who are not eligible to travel and return using AP. People who are in removal proceedings (i.e., in Immigration Court) cannot leave the U.S. and return, even if they have AP. If you are in removal proceedings, it means the government is trying to deport you, and if you leave, you are considered to have deported yourself. Thus, even if you apply for AP and receive the travel document, if you leave the United States, you will be deported, and thus barred from return. And yes, I am sure that there is a story about your third cousin’s best friend who was in Immigration Court, and who left and returned using AP. To that, I say: Talk to your cousin’s friend’s lawyer (and if you learn something, let me know!). My opinion is that if you are in removal proceedings and you leave the U.S., either you won’t get back here at all, or you will be detained upon arrival.

Another group that may be ineligible to travel using AP are J-1 visa holders subject to the pesky two-year home residency requirement. There are more people like this than you might imagine, and for such people, I recommend you talk to a lawyer about AP. Asylum basically “erases” the home residency requirement, but it is unclear (at least to me) whether this will work for purposes of AP while the asylum application is still pending.

Also, there was a group of people who were ineligible for AP, but who are now eligible. It is people who have six months or more of “unlawful presence.” If a person remains in the U.S. after her period of stay ends, she accrues unlawful presence (you stop accruing unlawful presence once you file for asylum). If she accrues six months of unlawful presence and leaves, she is barred from returning for three years. If she has one year or more of unlawful presence and then leaves, she cannot return for 10 years. Prior to 2012, if a person had six or more months of unlawful presence and left, she could not return to the U.S., even with AP. However, a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals changed the rule, and so now, even if you have unlawful presence, you can leave the U.S. and return using Advance Parole. Thank you BIA!

There might be other people who are also ineligible to travel–people with criminal convictions or prior removal/deportation orders, for example. If you are not sure, you should certainly talk to a lawyer before applying for AP or traveling.

Next, let’s talk about what AP is and is not. If you get AP, you will receive a piece of paper with your photo on it. This paper works like a U.S. visa. It allows you to board the plane (or boat, if, like me, you hate flying), and pass through customs once you arrive at the port of entry. AP is not a passport or a Refugee Travel Document. You cannot use it to go to other countries or as a form of ID. If you travel with AP, you also need a passport. Keep in mind that traveling with a passport from a country where you fear persecution can raise questions at the asylum interview about why you would “avail” yourself of the protection of your country by using its passport. You should be prepared to respond to such questions, with evidence, during your interview.

So how do you apply for AP? Use form I-131. This one magic form can be used for all sorts of different applications: AP, Refugee Travel Document, DACA (at least for the next couple weeks), humanitarian parole. If you are applying for AP, complete only the portions of the form that apply to Advance Parole. You need to include evidence of a pending asylum case (receipts, biometrics notice), two passport-size photos, a copy of your passport or other government-issued photo ID (like an EAD card), and the filing fee (a whopping $575.00 as of this writing).

Also, you need to demonstrate a humanitarian need for the travel. It is not enough that you simply want to travel. A humanitarian reason might be that you are traveling to receive medical treatment or going to visit a seriously ill relative. It might also be because you are attending a funeral for a close relative. We have sought AP for people who needed to travel for work or education, though that was pre-Trump, and I would not feel particularly optimistic about such an application today.

To demonstrate a humanitarian need for AP, you need to provide a written explanation for the travel. You also need to provide evidence: A letter from the doctor, in the case of medical travel, or a death certificate if you are traveling for a funeral. If you are trying to travel for work or education, you need a letter from your job or school, plus an explanation of why the travel is “humanitarian.” In addition, if you are traveling to visit a sick relative, provide proof of the relationship, such as birth or marriage certificates connecting you to your relative.

On the form I-131, you need to state the dates of proposed travel. Don’t make the date too soon, or USCIS will not be able to process the paperwork before your travel date, and then they will send a request for evidence asking you to explain whether you still plan to travel since your departure date passed before AP was approved.

Also, it may be possible to expedite a request for AP, or even to get AP on an emergency basis, though you can bet that the bureaucrats at USCIS will not make the process easy. For more information about such requests, see the USCIS Ombudsman webpage.

Finally, and this is important, if you are an asylum seeker and you use AP to visit your home country, it will very likely cause your asylum case to be denied. Indeed, unless you can demonstrate “compelling reasons” for returning to your country, your asylum application will be deemed abandoned by the return trip. You can learn more about that here.

So there you have it. Most lawyers–including this one–discourage our clients from traveling with AP. There is always a risk when you leave the U.S. You might have trouble boarding a return flight. You could be detained upon arrival in the United States. Our capricious President might issue a new travel ban. But so far (knock on wood), we have not had any problems for our clients who traveled using AP. I do think it is better to stay in the country while your asylum application is pending, but given the long waits, some people must travel. If so, at least AP gives most people that option.

{ 99 comments… read them below or add one }

Asylum Seeker January 15, 2018 at 11:28 am

Hi Jason,

I applied for Asylum last year based on the fact i am against Female Genital Mutilation in my community which led to the burning of my house while i was visiting the USA and my wife escaped to a neighbouring country.

Last 3 months i got a message from my wife that she is ending the marriage to move on with her life and i already included her name in the asylum application.

I understand her plight and wished her well, now i am getting married to another lady who coincidentally is fleeing from her country for the same FGM reason, my questions is

1. Can i inform USCIS about the divorce with my ex-wife as she did send her affidavit of witness during my fillings?
2. Can the lady i’m getting married to add my name to her application as her husband when filling for her Asylum after we get married?
3. Can i change get USCIS to remove the name of my ex-wife and add hers after we get married?

I look forward to hear from you, Thanks

Reply

Jason Dzubow January 15, 2018 at 8:49 pm

1 – You will have to inform them about this at some point. 2 – She can, but you need the divorce decree and marriage certificate. Given that you already have a case pending, the procedure for filing may be different and it may be better to keep the cases separate. You should talk to a lawyer about that. 3 – You can make that change at the asylum interview. You should also have evidence of the divorce and marriage. Take care, Jason

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Nina January 15, 2018 at 3:22 am

My question is i have advance parole but my passport is expired and I can’t renew it because we don’t have syrian embassy in United States so can i travel to Australia just with advance parole?

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Jason Dzubow January 15, 2018 at 8:05 am

I do not think so – AP only allows you to re-enter the US. It is a piece of paper with your photo on it. It is not a passport (or even a refugee travel document, which looks like a passport). You can ask the Australian embassy to be sure – maybe they can let you travel on an expired passport since you are unable to renew. Take care, Jason

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Nina January 15, 2018 at 4:28 pm

Thank u very much for your answer, but is it possible to get the visa with expire passport? Will they accept it ?

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Jason Dzubow January 16, 2018 at 7:40 am

I doubt it, but I do not know – you would have to ask the embassy. Take care, Jason

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Hanan January 14, 2018 at 6:05 pm

I am an Iraqi asylum applicant currently residing with a family member in USA. Still waiting for my interview. I was diagnosed with cancer recently and I am receiving chemo treatment. Due to my illness I have not been able to work and I am too sick to care for myself. I don’t know if I will make it. My parents are in Iraq. Can I apply for Advance Parole for them so they can come to care for me. I am afraid I won’t see them should my situation gets worse. They tried to get a visa twice but were refused. Please let me know. Thanks.

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Jason Dzubow January 15, 2018 at 7:55 am

They can try for humanitarian parole – that is for people who are outside the US and want to come for a humanitarian reason. It is the same form (I-131, available at http://www.uscis.gov), but it is a different type of application. You may want to use a lawyer to help you. Advance Parole is used if you want to leave the US and meet your parents in a third country and then return to the US to continue your case. Take care, Jason

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Hanan January 15, 2018 at 12:11 pm

I am not sure that I got my answer. My question is can I as a person with a pending asylum case be the applicant on Form i-131 to bring my parents here to USA to visit me. The form instructions say that a person in the U.S. can apply for someone outside the USA to visit on humanitarian reasons (Advanced Parole for person outside USA), but my questions is would USCIS accept me as the applicant in part (1) of the form.
Thanks.

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Jason Dzubow January 15, 2018 at 8:51 pm

It’s a good question, and I do not know. If you cannot find anything on-line about humanitarian parole, you should talk to a lawyer to help you with the application. Such applications are pretty rare, and my impression is that they usually do not work, but it may be worth a try. Good luck, Jason

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Ayu January 11, 2018 at 11:52 am

Hi,
I have pending assylum case and lately I got diagnosed with sickness that the only way to treat here is surgery. After I learned and contacted some people who has same sickness mostly they have several surgenies that make me scare. I don’t have insurance, so far i paid cash. I have been contacted with alternative way to cure that great possibility in abroad (not my home country). Can you explain that I probably has a good chance to get medical treatment abroad and comeback safely?

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Jason Dzubow January 11, 2018 at 6:21 pm

This is a good reason to seek AP, as discussed above, though you will need to provide evidence about the health issue and about the place where you will receive treatment. But you should be able to travel abroad to seek treatment and return, as long as you do not go to your home country and as long as you have AP. Take care, Jason

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Dennis Owen January 11, 2018 at 7:24 am

Is it possible to be approved for asylum without going for an interview? Some people have said they got A05 category on their EAD yet they have not gone for an interview yet..

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Jason Dzubow January 11, 2018 at 7:43 am

The law requires an interview, so maybe that is an error on the EAD, or maybe they already were interviewed. Or maybe this would not have been needed for an asylum dependent. On the other hand, I suppose anything is possible, but if this happened, it may mean that USCIS made an error. Take care, Jason

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Maria January 11, 2018 at 12:47 am

Hi Dear Jason !
Thanks for your answers first of all! I am a dependent and my husband and I are from different country! I am j2 and he is j1 ! He put me on his case also for the asylum application! We both have a valid visa till 2018 November! I was wondering , not my husband only me , if I can go and visit my family in my country! Do I have to have still a AP even though I have a valid visa ? Can I leave USA without AP !? If no , can I get an emergency AP in the same day at local office ? I heard they can give it to you if you have all of requirement papers ! The last question is can we apply a tourist visa to Canada during our pending process in case if our case is failed !

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Jason Dzubow January 11, 2018 at 7:31 am

If you are a dependent from a different country, I do not think travel to your home country would affect your case. I do think you need AP to travel, but I am not 100% sure about that – you may want to have a lawyer research it. As for emergency AP, it may be theoretically possible, especially if you have a very ill relative and have evidence about that, but it is very unlikely you can get it quickly. Most AP cases take about 5 months. I do not know about tourist visas for Canada – certainly you can apply and see what happens. Take care, Jason

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Sandy January 9, 2018 at 2:47 pm

Hello,

I just lost my mum here in the states and she will be flown to my country for funeral. I also filed for Asylum but have not been invited for interview, can i go for the funeral with my siblings. Will i be denied re-entry.

If I file for AP how long does it take to be processed.

Thanks for all your responses

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Jason Dzubow January 9, 2018 at 6:44 pm

I am sorry for your loss. Returning to your home country can result in your being denied asylum. Also, without AP, you will likely not be able to re-enter the US at all. As discussed above, you can try to expedite AP, but that is not easy. Maybe talk to a lawyer if you really want to go, but be aware that returning to your home country will very likely cause your asylum case to be denied. Good luck, Jason

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Urbain January 9, 2018 at 1:44 am

Hi,
I’m waiting for my 180 days to aply for the EAD, but we’re 3 in my application (My wife,Son and I) but have received only one I-589 with my namy only since I’m the main applicant but we receive 3 Documents for fingers print.

1-I would like to know when applying for tge 3 EAD we’ll use my I-589?
2- my child is 3 years old, can he also apply for work authorisation?
3- do we apply for SSN on a different form?

Thanks

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Jason Dzubow January 9, 2018 at 7:27 am

1 – Check the instructions to the I-765, available at http://www.uscis.gov, for the documents you need to submit, but I think you can use your I-589 and the receipts or fingerprint notices for each person. 2 – You can apply for him if you want. 3 – You indicate on the I-765 whether you want an SSN and if so, they should send that to you as well (this is something relatively new). Take care, Jason

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Ahmet December 27, 2017 at 8:58 pm

I am an F-1 student (still continuing education) and I have a pending asylum case. Can I go to Canada without Advance Parole? If not, after obtaining Advance Parole, can I travel from Canada to the US with my continuing visa and I-20 documents before my education ends to enter the US easily?

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Jason Dzubow December 28, 2017 at 10:01 am

If you leave the US and try to return with an F-1 visa, you risk being denied entry since the F-1 is only for people who plan to study in the US and then leave. Since you applied for asylum, it is apparent that you do not intend to leave, and so they may not let you in. So it is safer to have AP before you go. Take care, Jason

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Abou December 25, 2017 at 7:57 pm

Jason,

I just entered the US under derivative asylee status. I want to go back home now and finish my current high school year ending in July. Can I apply for AP?

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Jason Dzubow December 27, 2017 at 9:16 am

If you have derivative asylum status, then you are an asylee (meaning you have asylum already because the principal applicant has asylum). In that case, you need a refugee travel document (form I-131, available at http://www.uscis.govhttp://www.uscis.gov – this is the same form as AP, but it is a different type of travel document). Returning to your home country may create problems for you, however, and I recommend you talk to a lawyer about that before you try it. Take care, Jason

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Abou December 27, 2017 at 8:20 pm

I traveled with my passport which is valid. Do I still need the refugee travel document? My mother is the one who applied for me to join her in the US.

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Jason Dzubow December 27, 2017 at 10:00 pm

If you have asylum and you plan to travel internationally, it is safest to use the RTD. Take care, Jason

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Abou December 25, 2017 at 7:50 pm

Hi,

I just arrived to the US under a derivative asylum status. I need to go back home to finish my school year for my high school diploma. Do you think that I can apply for AP?

On My I94 IT SAYS “If you depart the United States, you will need PRIOR PERMISSION to return”.

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Jason Dzubow December 27, 2017 at 9:14 am

If you have derivative asylum status, then you are an asylee (meaning you have asylum already because the principal applicant has asylum). In that case, you need a refugee travel document (form I-131, available at http://www.uscis.gov – this is the same form as AP, but it is a different type of travel document). Returning to your home country may create problems for you, however, and I recommend you talk to a lawyer about that before you try it. Take care, Jason

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Elena December 10, 2017 at 4:07 am

Hello. Could you please clarify: if a person files for asylum after 1 year of presence in the United States and he doesn’t specify any extraordinary circumstances, will he still be interviewed by an asylum officer or his case will be directly referred to court? Thank you

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Jason Dzubow December 10, 2017 at 8:07 am

If you file an affirmative asylum case (meaning you complete the form and mail it to USCIS), you will be interviewed by the Asylum Office even if you filed after one year. If you have no excuse for the late filing, you will almost certainly be denied asylum for that reason and then the case will go to court. Take care, Jason

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Dennis Owen December 9, 2017 at 5:15 am

Hi jason,
Is there a fee for applying for advance parole for pending asylum seekers?

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Jason Dzubow December 10, 2017 at 7:56 am

Yes – I forget the fee at the moment, but it is pretty expensive. You can see it if you check form I-131, available at http://www.uscis.gov. Take care, Jason

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kateryn December 4, 2017 at 11:14 pm

Good day, Jason!
I am pending political asylum applicant already for 3 years. I am wondering if I can apply for advance parole, with the reason that I want to meet with my family in third country? Can my husband, that with me in the case also apply for an advance parole using the same reason (that he want meet my family?).
If so, which document should I make ready for an interview?
Thank you
Regards

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Jason Dzubow December 5, 2017 at 7:22 am

The article above discusses the need for a “humanitarian” reason for AP, which can be visiting family. You would each need to apply (and pay for) your own application for AP. The documents needed are listed in the instructions to the form I-131. Take care, Jason

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K December 5, 2017 at 8:55 pm

Thank you for response, Jason
I have checked a humanitarian reasons for travel, however as I see it should be a big reason for visiting family (if someone sick etc)
Do you think, if I apply for AP with the reason, that I just miss my family, that I haven’t see them for almost 4 years, and that I just want to meet with them in third county… do you think I can get approved in this case?

Thank you

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Jason Dzubow December 6, 2017 at 6:51 pm

Maybe, but if any of them are sick and can get a doctor’s note, that would make your application stronger. The “humanitarian reason” used to be a formality, but these days, it is more strictly enforced. Take care, Jason

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Den December 2, 2017 at 12:16 am

Hi Jason,
I have such a situation which I don’t really know how it will continue. May be you had similar cases before.
My final hearing was held in May 2017. Judge heard my case and at the end of the hearing government attorney started asking me about my arrests. I had 3 serious arrests (2 misdemeanors and 1 felony) but everything was dismissed. I filed all disposition letters to immigration court as they require. I explained to the judge all about those cases. Hearing was going over 4 hours … there was other case after mine. Judge said: “because all of the arrests I’m not sure about your credentials”, and asked me to show him somehow that I was not in fault of all crimes and I didn’t lie to police officers. As there were other hearing he rescheduled my hearing for August 2017. He said that he ALREADY MADE THE DECISION ABOUT MY CASE , and he just needs to see that Im not lying about those crimes.
I collected letters from employer, my good driving records , filed everything.
I showed up in August and judge said he didn’t have time to see all papers I filed and rescheduled hearing for October 2017.
I showed up for the October hearing and guess what? Judge didn’t show up. Court clerk said that my judge will be hearing only detained cases in the future. Since then there is no news from justice department, there is no date when I call ‭1 (800) 898-7180‬. What do you think it can lead to? And does it make any sense that judge already made the decision (i hope positive),but didn’t tell it in the court room. My lawyer never had this type of situation and now we just wait for something but I don’t really know what we waiting for and how long it will take. Thanks for your help.

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Den December 2, 2017 at 12:37 am

P.S. After last arrest In May 2016 ICE officers called me for the interview to their office. It was scary. They wanted to detain me but as soon as I told them that all cases are dismissed and they confirmed it with trial court clerk they let me go away. But they said that I should be a good guy. From that time Im trying to stay away from troubles.

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Jason Dzubow December 4, 2017 at 7:22 am

Judges move around, and things like this happen. It is not particularly unusual, I think. Your lawyer can contact the court directly and talk to the clerk to ask about the decision. Your lawyer might also reach out to the DHS attorney, though often then are not very responsive. If the judge heard the case, he should probably make the decision and not pass the case to another judge, so hopefully, that will come soon. Take care, Jason

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Den December 5, 2017 at 4:25 am

Hi Jason,
Thanks a lot for your help and attention to all of us. Being in a foreign contry is always hard without your loved ones. You keep people motivated and giving them that light in a dark tunnel we all waiting for. Thank You.
My attorney went to the court clerk and the only information they provided him about the judge will be hearing detained cases only in the future. Do you think there is anyway I can contact the judge and ask him what should I do now in that case? The thing is that he told all of us (me, my lawyer and gov’t attorney) in court room that he already made decision but he never told what was the decision. I’m guessing that was positive because otherwise he would not care about my credibility and would just deny my case right after he heard it. He remember me so well. First time my master hearing was 6 years ago and I was a kid 18 years old. He gave me a chance to hire a lawyer when I came to my first hearing without attorney. When I had individual hearing my previous lawyer refused to represent me two days before court date. IJ gave me one more chance and just rescheduled individual hearing two years later. It seems if he would like to deport me he has bunch of reasons to do that. Also he has highest denial rate in US. He is really wise, experienced and oldest I think. Can you tell me if I have any way to resolve the problem with him? Should he tell the decision in court room on record with my and my lawyer presence or can he just approve it by himself without court hearing? Can I probably make some petition or something to get it done?
You wrote that he can not pass the case. But , does he personally decide which case to pass and to whom? Or how does this process work? Isn’t happening by some other people who doesn’t know all history about the case? I think he had a lot of cases and probably wouldn’t remember all of it. But if I could remind him somehow or ask him to do some action. It’s been over 6 weeks since my last hearing when he didn’t show up and I’m worrying about it so much. I just don’t want them to pass it to another judge for 2 or more years of waiting. There is a possibility that other people working in the court would not know that my IJ made a decision already and will just pass the case as usual. Thanks

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Jason Dzubow December 5, 2017 at 7:35 am

The Judge can pass the case to another judge, but given that the case is basically done, that would not normally happen. I think you just need to be patient, though that is very difficult. Your lawyer can contact the Judge’s clerk to ask about the status of the case, but there is not much else to do, especially since it has only been 6 weeks. I suppose your lawyer could file a motion to request a decision (basically a letter to the Judge asking for your decision), but I think it is too soon for that – maybe if 6 months had passed, I would try that, but for now, calling the clerk and waiting seems like the things to do. Good luck, Jason

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Den December 8, 2017 at 10:19 pm

Thank You so much for your reply Jason. Wish you happy holidays.

Beshah November 26, 2017 at 10:24 pm

Hi Jason,

I am granted asylum in March 2017 (derivative asylum). I will be eligible to apply for a green card in March 2018. I got a job with an international research organization (Headquartered in the US) with offices abroad. I might be assigned to go to one of the abroad offices which is not the home country of persecution. I may be asked to stay there for more than a year with more than 2 travels back to the HQ office per year(I may spend one month per year in the US during this employment period). Can I take this job with only a refugee travel document? Or is there any other thing that I can do? How is it going to affect my application for green card come March 2018 when I am eligible to send my application?

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Jason Dzubow November 27, 2017 at 7:23 am

USCIS is getting stricter about requirements to qualify for and keep a GC, so I suggest you talk to a lawyer before you go. I do not think there are requirements for the Refugee Travel Document in terms of time outside the US, but I am not sure, and of course, you have to return before the RTD expires. Also, when you apply for the RTD, you must be in the US, and then you have to be here again in about a month when you get the fingerprint appointment. We recently had a case for a re-entry permit where USCIS enforced this requirement (they had not been enforcing it during the last few years). If you want to keep your status in the US, I think you need to come up with a plan about how to do it, and you should talk to a lawyer to help you. Take care, Jason

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Beshah December 4, 2017 at 11:06 pm

Thank you!

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Soliman November 22, 2017 at 12:54 am

Hey Jason,

I’m Egyptian asylum applicant, and my case is still pending. I came to USA through ( J1 ) visa. Now my visa is expired, but my passport is not. My wife gave birth to a baby while I was in USA, and I do want to see him. A friend of mine told me that I can meet my wife and kids in a third country like Morocco ( for example ) for a week ( for example ) while my case is still pending through advance parole.
What is your opinion as a lawyer ? And does that process guarantee me to reenter USA ?

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Jason Dzubow November 22, 2017 at 7:19 am

If you get AP and do not return to your home country, it should be fine to meet your family in a third country, and we have not heard about people having trouble returning if they have AP. The article above gives more detail, and it probably takes 5 or 6 months to get AP after you apply. Congratulations on the baby! Take care, Jason

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Soliman November 23, 2017 at 12:58 am

Thank you so much.

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Anonymous November 21, 2017 at 2:30 pm

How long does it take to receive a decision after the interview.

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Jason Dzubow November 21, 2017 at 6:51 pm

There is no time frame. It can take 2 weeks, or it can take years. Most of our cases probably take a few months, but a significant percentage take 6 months or more, and some have been waiting for 3+ years with no decision. Take care, Jason

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Mansoor Niazi November 21, 2017 at 2:59 am

Hi,

My wife and I have a pending asylum case originally filed in 2015. I filed it myself but hired a lawyer a year later to work on it – who unfortunately has not done anything yet. I am expecting to receive a job offer from a company located in Dublin, Ireland. Is it possible for me to travel there for work and still have my case in process? Not sure if it’s possible but if it is, I am expecting my lawyer would inform me when I have my interview scheduled, and I could travel back to attend the interview. I came to the U.S. with a F1 visa and my wife came a year later with a B1 visa and added to my case as a dependant. I have not obtained a travel document (AP?) yet, and my passport has expired. Any suggestions? Would really appreciate your input and suggestions on different scenarios. Thank you!!!!

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Jason Dzubow November 21, 2017 at 7:17 am

If you want to continue your asylum case, your only option to leave the US and return is to use AP, as discussed above. A job is not typically a basis to obtain AP, but you could try. Also, I doubt that you would get sufficient time using AP – maybe you could work in Dublin for a few months. Possibly the better choice would be to abandoned the asylum case and move to Ireland, but that depends on what you want to do, and whether Ireland will offer you immigration status. Another choice might be to try to expedite your asylum case – I wrote about that on March 30, 2017 – but even if they agreed to expedite, it would probably take more than 6 months to complete the case. In short, there really is no good way to do what you want to do, and you may need to decide between taking the job and abandoning asylum, or not taking the job and continuing the asylum case. Take care, Jason

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Mansoor Niazi November 23, 2017 at 2:47 am

Hi Jason,

Thank you so much for the response. Really appreciate you taking the time out to keep us informed.

One more question: Would it make any difference if my wife remains in the U.S. and I go there for work using AP? Or would it still mean I have abandoned asylum even though my wife is still here.

Thank you so much!!

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Jason Dzubow November 24, 2017 at 8:18 am

If she has a case, maybe your wife would be better off filing her own asylum claim. If she wins, she can then petition for you to come to the US. Anyway, it is worth thinking about. Take care, Jason

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Rinsan November 17, 2017 at 2:35 pm

hi Jason,
I’m on asylum pending right now. I’ve applied for an asylum in June 2016 and still waiting for the interview. meanwhile, i met my wife and we got married to about month ago. my question is, what are the forms that we submit? and can we also submit advance parole to travel abroad(not my home country)? also, do i have to withdraw my asylum application? or i should wait until i get approve for a green card? any help and suggestions will be helpful ! thanks

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Jason Dzubow November 17, 2017 at 5:06 pm

There are many forms you need to submit – you can start by looking at the I-130, I-130A, and I-485, but there are others as well (all at http://www.uscis.gov). You may want to talk to a lawyer to help guide you. I think it would be a bad idea to travel to your home country, as that might indicate that your original asylum claim was fake, which could cause you to be barred from all immigration benefits, including a green card based on marriage to a US citizen. I prefer to file the marriage case and hope that it will be processed, and then withdraw the asylum once the person has a GC. This does not always work, and sometimes you need to contact the asylum office or close the asylum case (but this can result in a person being sent to immigration court, so you need to be careful). For all these point, you would do well to talk to a lawyer about the specifics of your case. Take care, Jason

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Charles November 11, 2017 at 1:51 am

Hello Jason. I have a pending asylum case with my wife which is the main applicant. I am still in F-1 student status and I am planning to travel outside the US (not going to my original country) with my Advance Parole. My problem is that my foreign passport is expired. Is it safe for me to renew my passport for the trip? What do you think.
Thank you

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Jason Dzubow November 12, 2017 at 11:23 am

It is preferable to now renew the passport, but if you do, you (or your wife) might need to explain why you did that, and why it should not impact her asylum case. We have had clients renew their passport and travel with AP, and they have not had problems, but nevertheless, things are tougher now, and so you should be prepared to explain why you got a passport and maybe have evidence about that (maybe evidence about the necessity of travel). Take care, Jason

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Pineapple November 7, 2017 at 5:56 pm

Hi Jason, thanks so much for your hard work to help people. I have a question. When I came back from a temporal travel from my origin of country (which is different from the principal asylee’s country), the CPB officer stamped with the following sentence on my RTD:
[admitted for an indefinite period as a returning asylee under section 208(b) of the immigration and naturalization act. If you depart the us you will need prior permission to reenter. Employment authorized].
My RTD is still valid till sometime next year and it says multi entry and no restriction. I am very confused. I have to go back to my country again for a short visit soon, but is this RTD enough to travel or do I need another permission? I believe that granted asylees just need RTD and I-94 to travel with. Please advice as soon as possible. Thank you so much, Jason.

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Jason Dzubow November 8, 2017 at 6:41 pm

I doubt this written statement is a problem – you do have prior permission to travel: The RTD. In any case, it should allow you to board the plane, and so if you have a problem it would be in the US, which is safer. Here, though, I do not see an issue. Take care, Jason

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Pineapple November 8, 2017 at 7:28 pm

Thank you so very much for your reply, Jason!!

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Sunday October 31, 2017 at 2:37 pm

My visa is valid till july 2018 i applied for asylum i got back my application forms and a notice of deficency and they are directing me to refill it and send to immigration court i dont understand sir

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Jason Dzubow October 31, 2017 at 4:45 pm

If they are telling you to send it to the court, it may mean that you have a prior deportation order. You should talk to a lawyer to determine what is going on. Good luck, Jason

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Malik October 25, 2017 at 12:26 pm

Hi Jason, My wife is the major applicant for asylum. She belongs to Afghanistan. I am from Pakistan and I have five years multiple B1 B2 visa valid till 2020. Can I travel to Pakistan and back to US while asylum application of my wife is still in process based on my valid B1 B2 visa.

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Jason Dzubow October 25, 2017 at 5:48 pm

I think if you do, you risk being detained and/or rejected at the airport when you return. If you are a dependent on her case, it is probably safer to get Advance Parole, as discussed above. Take care, Jason

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Prince October 9, 2017 at 1:51 am

Hello Jason

Is there any reason why Asylum seeker that traveled out of USA via Advance parole to a neighboring country of where he fears persecution be refused re-entry into the United States.

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Jason Dzubow October 9, 2017 at 6:53 am

The only time a problem might arise when traveling with AP is if you go to the country where you are seeking asylum from (usually your home country). Otherwise, it is normally alright to travel and return, but it depends on the case, and if you are not sure, have a lawyer look specifically at your case to advise you. Take care, Jason

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Kelly kellier October 6, 2017 at 6:38 pm

Hi Jason

Thank you for helping so many of us.
I have a question. I complete 150 days in 2 days, which gives me an opputunity to apply for my first EAD we are filling up the form and sending it as per the process.
Any idea how long do I need to wait until I recieve it my EAD card. Also the new process I read on the USCIS website is that we now apply for SSN and EAD card together, is this true?
Since I have already waited for 5 months, will I get the EAD card sooner.
What would be the next step, do I file for my Id/licence or do i apply for SSN first if the new process is not in place.
Thank you for your help as always.

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Asylee October 7, 2017 at 3:35 pm

Initial EAD cards for pending-asylum cases generally come out faster than EAD renewals, usually in less than 2 months or even 1 month for some offices. You can track the progress/update times for each USCIS center for each immigration form filed. For the Texas service center, as of July 31 2017 they were working on initial EADs filed as of July 9! That is those who filed on July 9 2017 got their EADs either approved or produced by July 31 2017! That is in just 3 weeks! So you can visit the link below, determine the service center in charge of your area and see their current wait times. I was just like you but I am now an asylee since march last year and waiting on my green card after having spent 1 year living in the US.

https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplayInit.do

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Kelly kellier October 7, 2017 at 4:34 pm

Thank you asylee for responding.
I wish to talk you just to get some more information. Please could you drop me your email address?

Thank u!

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Kelly kellier October 7, 2017 at 4:44 pm

I have checked the link you sent me and the date given for i-765, 01 May 2017!
What does that mean?

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Kelly kellier October 7, 2017 at 4:45 pm

Many congratulations on your achievement, this is huge when you given chance to live a life in peace.

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Asylee October 7, 2017 at 6:11 pm

Yea, just at the top of the chart you’ll see something like,
Field Office Processing Dates for Texas Service Center as of: July 31, 2017. It just means that as of July 31 2017 (2 and half months ago), the Texas Service Center (TSC) was processing those who applied on or after May 1 2017 for the i-765 category based on a pending asylum application.

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Kelly kellier October 8, 2017 at 2:15 am

Thanks so much for your help.
Please let me know if you are happy to share your email address here so that I can ask you some questions.
Thanks again! And congrats on green card which you are soon to receive soon.

Jason Dzubow October 8, 2017 at 11:24 am

Thank you for that – also, if you look on your I-765 receipt, it will indicate which office is processing your case. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow October 8, 2017 at 7:54 am

We have been seeing initial EADs take 2 to 4 months, though it is getting closer to 4 than to 2. Other parts of the country (maybe California) are seeing EADs take closer to a month or two. I have heard that SS cards will be issued when you get your EAD, but I do not know if that has started yet. Once you have the EAD, you can apply for a driver’s license (some states may allow you to apply for a license even before you get the EAD, but you would have to check with the state DMV). Take care, Jason

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Kelly kellier October 8, 2017 at 4:26 pm

Many thanks Jason.
You anf your team keeps us going in the right direction with so many questions being answered.
Thanks again for having the patience to help each and everyone here.
I hope to get EAD sooner as without it, its impossible to move forward or work with any employer.

Thanks again!

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ELYON October 4, 2017 at 12:35 pm

I’m come in the united states with my daughter 3 months ago since we asked for asylum and my question is how can I get assurance for my daughter who has 2 years because she need it at school without it, she can’t still study

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Jason Dzubow October 5, 2017 at 6:16 am

I do not know about that. I recommend you Google “Catholic Charities” + the name of your city. You can go to the local office and they might be able to advise you about this. Take care, Jason

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Ken October 3, 2017 at 1:39 am

Hi jason,

An asylee gives two affidavits to his/her attorney. Later the attorney submits those affidavits to the court. Before going to the hearing asylee finds out there are discrepancies between the two affidavits.
1. Is attorney at fault for those discrepancies?
2. Should attorney tell the court about the discrepancies? Before or during the hearing? Or just wait until court asks about them?
3. May the asylee file complain against the attorney?
4. What may the judge do about the situation?

Thank you.

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Jason Dzubow October 3, 2017 at 6:20 am

1 – Maybe. We try to check all affidavits to make sure that they are consistent, but this is not always easy. 2 – If this was my case, I would definitely tell the judge before the trial (or maybe mail in a corrected affidavit before trial). It is much better to correct the problem beforehand than to have the judge or DHS attorney discover the problem and use it to attack credibility. 3 – Yes, but unless the error is pretty egregious, I doubt it would result in anything, and even so, this generally would have no effect on an immigration case (unless it was part of a motion to reopen in a “Lozada” case). 4 – If the judge thinks that the applicant is lying, the judge will likely deny the case. Take care, Jason

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Grace September 30, 2017 at 3:15 am

Hi Jason,
We are asylee here and our case is still pending. My husband is main applicants. My son he is 15, he got an opportunity for mission trip from a church and he has to go to Bulgaria. Do you think that it will be wise to send him outside of the state when our case is still pending? We are from India.
Thanks

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Jason Dzubow October 1, 2017 at 9:45 pm

I think that is a very bad idea – there is a good chance he will not be able to return to the US if he leaves (assuming your case is still pending). If you do really want to send him out of the US, talk to a lawyer first to go over the options and to try to protect him. Take care, Jason

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sim September 29, 2017 at 5:42 pm

hi jason,

just wanted to know if i m move my case and start living in san jose .. just wanted to know if my case comes under san Francisco of i’ll be interviewed in sub office of santa clara CA

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Jason Dzubow October 1, 2017 at 8:25 am

I do not know – you can find your office (but not sub office) if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator and enter your zip code. Take care, Jason

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Soliman September 28, 2017 at 7:57 pm

Hi Jason,

I came to the US with F-1 visa, this month I got my EAD and an offer from a company, so I want to start full-time working. My question is if I withdraw my current school does it effect to my asylum case now or in the future? thank you very much!

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Jason Dzubow September 29, 2017 at 6:15 am

It should not affect your asylum case, but if your case is denied, there is a different procedure whether you are “in status” or “out of status.” If you are in status, you will get a letter explaining why they want to deny, you can respond to it, and if they still deny the case, you will just continue here on your F-1 visa. If you are out of status and they deny, they will send you to an immigration court where you can present your case again. If the case is granted, it does not matter whether you are in or out of status. Take care, Jason

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Soliman September 30, 2017 at 8:37 am

Thank you very much! Jason
Can I keep my SSN? My SSN was applied by my school, if I withdraw the school, do they cancel my SSN? thanks!

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Jason Dzubow October 1, 2017 at 9:47 pm

I am not sure – Once you have an SSN, I do not think anyone takes it away, though you can become ineligible for employment, depending on your immigration status here. Take care, Jason

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Chan September 27, 2017 at 1:54 am

I filled my case in May 2015 in Minnesota. I apply through Chicago office though. I was interviewed on August 18th 2017. Still didn’t get any answer yet. I want to move to Chicago. Should I better keep my address from Minnesota or I can just change to Chicago one without transfer my case? I know that if you change the state you have to transfer your case to another state.

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Jason Dzubow September 27, 2017 at 6:40 am

If you move, you must change your address using form AR-11, available at http://www.uscis.gov. If you have already been interviewed, the case should not be moved to a new office. Aside from the AR-11, which you can file on-line, you might also contact the asylum office and tell them about your new address, and also inquire about the status of your case. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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Diego Hernandez September 23, 2017 at 8:09 pm

Hi Jason,

My passport is about to expire and I don’t know if I should or if I shouldn’t renew it… What are the implications on this?
Is it important to have a valid passport when I have a pending asylum application?

Thanks for your answer!!

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bagira September 23, 2017 at 8:11 pm

You don’t need to renew it, and if you do it will be a problem in the interview.. good luck and take care.

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Jason Dzubow September 25, 2017 at 8:40 am

If you are seeking asylum, it is better not to renew the passport, especially if you fear your home government. We have not seen any real problem for people who renewed, but the asylum office might be suspicious of a person who claims that they are afraid of the home government, but who then renews the passport. Take care, Jason

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John September 25, 2017 at 9:28 pm

Yes, you don’t have to renew your passport. I renewed mine because I was still a student on F1 visa when I had a pending asylum case. Reason being that I had to maintain a valid passport(continue to maintain my F1 status), per US immigration law. I was still on F1 even the day I was interviewed, and Asylum officer made copies of my new passport. Plus she also took my passport to a certain room for about 10 minutes.

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Anonymous September 23, 2017 at 4:08 pm

Hi,
I have a pending asylum since June 2015. I filed in the Chicago office. Early this year I was issued with a second work authorization which to my surprise(happy one) was for two years. I have not been interviewed yet.

On September 21st 2017 I received a letter dated September 16th 2017 (i767c-notice of action) this letter was informing me that they were processing my case and that I didn’t have to appear for biometrics as the ones they had were sufficient. It also stated that they would let me know in writing if anything else was needed

I have been following how the interviews are proceeding in Chicago. I know that in August 2017 they scheduled interviews for those who filled in May 2015. I was therefore expecting an interview notice.

Has anyone else received this kind of letter? I am wondering if it’s followed by an interview date. Kindly advise.

Thank you.

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Jason Dzubow September 25, 2017 at 8:36 am

Such letters arrive for many applicants – I am not sure why some people get them and others do not, and it may mean an interview is coming soon (but it may mean nothing at all). In any case, you should be prepared for an interview and make sure all evidence has been submitted. Take care, Jason

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Sara September 20, 2017 at 11:05 pm

I have received a finger print notice ,does it mean anything? Its been over a year since my asylum interview with no decision yet . (been 15 months since 1st finger print). thx

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Jason Dzubow September 21, 2017 at 10:14 pm

Sometimes, we see people get a second fingerprint notice and then get a decision or another interview, but not always. You might want to contact your asylum office and inquire about the status of your case. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Asylum Office Locator. Take care, Jason

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