Applying for, and obtaining adjustment of status based on marriage and being considered a lawful permanent resident of the United States is a big step that could lead to the path of citizenship. Many individuals applying are unsure if they are able to travel outside of the United States after they have applied for adjustment of status. Generally, it is not a good idea to travel abroad before your application to adjust status is complete and you have received your conditional green card. However, you can certainly apply for permission to travel abroad with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), even though this does create some risk of having a negative impact on your adjustment of status application.
What Should I Do if I Need to Travel Outside the United States?
In order to seek permission to travel outside of the United States while your application to adjust status based on marriage is pending, you need to submit Form I-131 along with your adjustment of status application. If your Form I-131 is approved, you will receive “Advance Parole” allowing you to leave the United States while your application to adjust status is pending. However, you always run the risk that you may be denied reentry into the United States, or that your application to adjust status will be deemed abandoned.
If you believe you may need to travel outside of the United States for any particular reason, you should only do so if the reason is very important. For example, if you have a very ill family member you need to visit in your home country, this would be a legitimate reason to seek permission to leave the United States while your application to adjust status based on marriage is pending. On the other hand, if you simply want to go on a vacation, it is not a good idea to seek permission. If you do leave the United States, you should keep the trip limited in duration as much as possible so that you are likely to be granted reentry into the United States and your application will still be active.
Because the stakes are high for individuals seeking to obtain lawful permanent resident status through adjustment of status based on marriage, it is imperative that you understand the consequences of all of the decisions you make, and all of the USCIS forms you fill out during the application process. An experienced immigration attorney will provide you with all possible scenarios that may occur after you apply for adjustment of status based on marriage. It is important to remember that the USCIS treats each case by evaluating the unique facts and circumstances of each couple. Therefore, one couple’s experience with obtaining Advance Parole may not be a good indicator of how the process will turn out for you.
Contact Geygan & Geygan, Ltd. Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation
Applying for adjustment of status based on marriage carries with it many benefits and many risks that could compromise your ability to gain lawful permanent resident or “green card” status in the United States. Traveling abroad while your application to adjust status is pending is typically not advisable unless there are circumstances that warrant a good reason for leaving the United States. While the application process for adjustment of status does take a while, it is worth waiting until you receive your conditional green card in order to travel. The immigration attorneys of Geygan & Geygan, Ltd. can provide you with all of the guidance you need to make an informed decision as to whether or not you may wish to seek permission to leave the United States while your application to adjust status is pending. Our attorneys have years of experienced and know what to expect from USCIS. Call us today at 513-791-1673 to schedule your free consultation with Geygan & Geygan, Ltd.