Many H-1B status holders have pending Adjustment of Status application. Advance Parole allows an individual to travel outside of the United States with a pending Adjustment of Status application. It is essential to apply for Advance Parole if you have a pending Adjustment of Status application because if you travel abroad without this document, your application will be considered abandoned. However, there is an exception for H-1B and L-1 visa holders, who do not need to apply for Advance Parole prior to traveling. If you are considering traveling abroad as an H-1B visa holder with an Adjustment of Status application pending, here are some considerations to be aware of:
1) 1) Are you in compliance with the H-1B status requirements and do you intend to return to work with the same employer when you return to the United States?
The most important consideration when traveling internationally as an H-1B visa holder is that your H-1B status is valid and in good status. If you are a valid, in-status H-1B visa holder when you leave the United States and return to the United States, then you can be admitted under your H-1B status as a non-immigrant. There is no need to wait for approval of an Advance Parole application. However, while beneficial, if you are unsure if you are in-status for your H-1B visa or do not intend to return to your employment after reentering the United States, traveling with Advance Parole may be preferable.
2) 2) Is there an option to travel with Advance Parole?
If you have an Advance Parole document or an Employment Authorization Document with an Advance Parole endorsement, you may travel internationally and be re-admitted to the United States without placing your Adjustment of Status application at risk. However, if you are admitted through Advance Parole, you will be admitted under advance parole status, not your H-1B status, and you will no longer be considered to have a valid H-1B status.
Although your H-1B status is no longer valid, you can continue to work for the employer that filed your H-1B application in the same capacity/position as you were prior to international travel. To regain an H-1B status you must file an H-1B extension or transfer petition. If your employer files an extension and it is approved, then your parolee status will terminate, and you will return to your H-1B or L-1 status. This option may also affect your H-1B portability so it is important to consider not traveling this way if you intend to change your job position
For more information about your case, please contact the Francis Law Center. Written by Francis Law Center Staff Allison Gilley