How Do You Get Advance Parole for Humanitarian Reasons?

In a Nutshell

Advance Parole is a travel permit available to certain groups of immigrants to travel abroad and return to the United States without negatively impacting or abandoning their U.S. immigration statuses. With President Biden's executive order to reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program after the Trump administration halted new applications, many more people can get DACA and, by extension, Advance Parole. Adjustment of status applicants, as well as DACA status and other Temporary Protected Status (TPS) immigrants, can get Advance Parole for humanitarian, educational, or employment purposes. This article explains how to apply for Advance Parole based on humanitarian reasons.

Written by Jonathan Petts
Updated November 1, 2022

What Is Humanitarian Advance Parole?

You can get Advance Parole travel documents for urgent humanitarian reasons like visiting a sick or elderly relative or attending funeral services for a family member abroad. Perhaps you’d like to seek medical treatment for yourself abroad. In cases like these, you may have a valid humanitarian reason to travel. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) usually welcome those with Advance Parole at a port of entry. But they may also decide not to allow reentry at their discretion.

Adjustment of Status (AOS) applicants don’t need to specify their reasons for travel. Asylum applicants may also receive Advance Parole, but it can weaken their asylum claim if they return to their home country. Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients can receive Advance Parole without providing travel reasons. 

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients can also seek Advance Parole. They may apply for humanitarian, employment, or educational purposes. They’ll have to be present in the United States when filing their DACA renewal applications. DACA recipients who travel without Advance Parole won’t be able to return for at least three years. They will also miss their chance to renew their DACA applications.

How Do You Get Humanitarian Advance Parole?

Before applying for Advance Parole documents, you first need a valid humanitarian reason to travel. You should also confirm that your immigration status is eligible for Advance Parole requests. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) evaluates eligibility differently for Adjustment of Status (AOS), Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applicants.

If you’re eligible, you’ll have to submit Form I-131, supporting documents, and your filing fee to USCIS as part of the application process.

Step 1: Complete and Sign Form I-131

You’ll have to fill out Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. The form will also ask where, when, and why you’re traveling. Be sure to provide that information and sign the form when you’ve completed it.

Your filing fee will depend on your immigration status. You can find your filing fee on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. You can make the payment with a check, money order, or credit card. You may qualify for a fee waiver if your financial situation makes paying the fee difficult. If you are eligible, check out USCIS’s instructions to request a fee waiver.

Step 2: Gather Supporting Documents

You’ll need to provide some supporting documents to back your completed and signed Form I-131. These should include:

  • A copy of a photo identity document like a passport, driver’s license, or your employment authorization (work permit) ID card

  • A copy of a document stating your current immigration status like your TPS or DACA approval notice, or your Form I-485 receipt notice if you applied for adjustment of status

  • A declaration explaining your Advance Parole eligibility. You can use this sample document as a declaration template.

  • Two recent, identical passport-style photos of yourself

  • Evidence that your trip is for humanitarian purposes 

Evidence can include things like your elderly or sick relative’s medical records, a letter from your ailing relative’s doctor, birth certificates or other documents that prove a family relationship, or a deceased relative’s death certificate.

You should only submit document copies unless USCIS asks for originals.

Step 3: Assemble and Mail Application Packet

Once you’ve assembled your application packet, you can send it in. Find which field office to mail your packet to on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. Be sure to keep a copy of your application for your personal records.