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Can I Leave the U.S. While Waiting for a Green Card Approval?

Hi William:

My I-485 application has been pending for more that 5 months. Can I leave the U.S. while waiting for a Green Card approval?


Before you leave the United States while waiting an interview on your adjustment of status application, you must apply for "Advance Parole," using Form I-131 issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. You may want to include Form I-131 with your Form I-485 adjustment of status packet. You can also submit it later separately. You can avoid paying a separate fee with Form I-131 application by submitting a copy of the Form I-797 receipt notice that you got from USCIS upon submitting your I-485 adjustment application.

If you do not submit the Advance Parole application before you leave the U.S., USCIS will consider your I-485 application to have been abandoned, and will stop processing it. You will then be denied U.S. entry unless you have some other form of visa. An exception to the advance parole requirement exists, however, for holders of either an H and L visa. All of these allow for travel to and from the United States while your adjustment application is pending, as long as the visas are still valid and unexpired.

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