Is overseas travel permitted while the I-485 Adjustment of Status is being processed?
The question of whether or not an applicant is allowed to travel overseas while they are pending the completion of their form I-485 Adjustment of Status is often asked of our staff.
If a foreign investor leaves the United States during the Adjustment of Status process without advance permission, it will have been deemed abandonment unless the applicant holds a valid H or L non-immigrant status of the Adjustment of Status application. So long as the Applicant receives that advance permission then there will not be a problem for the Applicant.
The USCIS routinely issues advance permission to depart the U.S. only if the applicant demonstrates a legitimate need to travel. Requesting advance permission is considering requesting “Advance Parole” and it is typically granted for multiple entries during the time required to complete the Adjustment of Status process, but for no longer then one year.
Aliens who are located outside the US are not eligible for Advance Parole. Those applicants wishing for the right to travel outside of the U.S. need to be sure the request is made while they are IN the United States and they must remain in the United State until the Advance Parole is granted to avoid abandonment of their Adjustment of Status application. Processing and approval of the Advance Parole applications may be subject to background checks and may be expedited upon request, but the approval process typically takes between 60-90 days.
Foreign investors admitted to the United States with non-immigrant status, who have obtained Advance Parole during the Adjustment of Status process should be sure to consult with their immigration attorney before travel outside of the United States.