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Debbie McGoldrick

Immigration updates and things to know this summer

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Debbie McGoldrick

Advance Parole

Now that the summer travel season is upon us, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has sent out a timely reminder for those with pending immigration cases planning foreign travel – obtain an advance parole document, or risk having a case terminated.

Included among those who will need an advance parole document to re-enter the U.S. from a trip abroad are those who have a pending application for adjustment of status to permanent resident, or a pending application for legalization. 

“Advance parole is permission to reenter the United States after traveling abroad.  Advance parole is an extraordinary measure used sparingly to allow an otherwise inadmissible individual to enter the U.S. due to compelling circumstances,” says a release from USCIS.

“Attempts to reenter the U.S. without prior authorization may have severe consequences since individuals requiring advance parole may be unable to return to the U.S. and their pending applications may be denied or administratively closed.”

Advance parole can be obtained by filing USCIS Form 1-131, which is available for downloading (or e-filing) at www.uscis.gov. The cost is $305. 

Though summer travel plans may already be in place, those needing an advance parole document should allow 90 days for processing.

A big warning when it comes to travel abroad – for those with pending adjustment of status applications who have accumulated time in the U.S. as an undocumented resident (six months or more) should absolutely refrain from travel abroad until their status has been adjusted, as an advance parole document does not guarantee readmittance to the U.S.

“Aliens who are unlawfully present, then depart the U.S. and subsequently reenter under a grant of parole, may still be ineligible to adjust their status,” USCIS says.

For more questions, contact a local Irish immigration advice center, or the USCIS customer service center at 1-800-375-5283. 

Green Card Delays

USUALLY a headline like the one above means bad news for those waiting for green card processing – but this time around, USCIS is running on schedule with interviews, which is the good news.

And there really isn’t bad news here, either – just a temporary slow-down in the deliverance of the actual green card to new permanent residents, as USCIS is in the process of updating its card production equipment.

Customers waiting for green cards to arrive in the mail should expect to wait up to eight weeks while the changes are being implemented. But this shouldn’t result in too much hardship, as USCIS field offices will issue temporary I-551 stamps in an eligible permanent resident’s passport, to prove legal status here and all the rights in confers, including travel abroad.

Historically speaking, an eight week delay isn’t really too much time to wait. There was a time when it would take several weeks, even months, before newly minted permanent residents could expect to receive their green cards in the mail.

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