If you’ve applied for a green card via the adjustment of status process, you may be wondering if you’re permitted to travel outside the U.S. without jeopardizing your application. In this guide, you will learn why traveling abroad while your application is pending is risky, and what your options are.
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In general, if you have not yet received a decision on your application, you should avoid traveling outside the United States while your adjustment of status application is pending. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) considers leaving the country while your application is still under review as abandoning it, resulting in immediate denial.
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If traveling abroad is unavoidable due to work or family needs, you can apply for a travel permit that will allow you to leave the country while your adjustment of status application is being processed. This document, known as “advance parole,” will allow you to re-enter the U.S. as long as it’s still valid at the time of re-entry.
IMPORTANT: You cannot travel outside the U.S. until your travel permit has been approved. USCIS will deny your adjustment of status application if you travel abroad without an approved travel permit.
Fortunately, traveling within the U.S., including visiting family members in other states or taking a vacation within U.S. borders, will not affect your adjustment of status case at all — even if it’s still pending with USCIS. Keep in mind, however, that any trips taken during this period should only be taken for pleasure or leisure; employment-related trips are strictly prohibited until you receive your Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or your green card application is approved.
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