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Does Immigrant Need to Travel with Spouse

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Let’s talk about traveling with our spouse. Hi, I’m Jim Hacking immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States out our offices in San Diego, California, and St. Louis, Missouri. We had a question in the Immigrant Home Facebook group the other day about whether or not someone has to travel with their spouse when they receive advanced parole. So, if you’ve applied for a green card hopefully you’ve also applied for work authorization, and that you filled out a form called a I-131 which is a request for advanced parole. Advanced parole is the document that you get. It can be a card, or it can be a piece of paper that gives you permission to travel while your green card case is pending. Now, if you have applied for a green card for lawful permanent residence, once you file the application, you’re sort of stuck in the United States, unless you get permission from the United States to leave. And what this question goes to, is what do I do once I get my advanced parole? And that can take a couple months after you get fingerprinted.

So timeline, you file your applications, you file for adjustment. You include a I-131, which is an application for advanced parole. You get fingerprinted after that. And then eventually you’ll receive usually a combo card, it’s a work card, travel card with advanced parole. And the question was whether or not you have to travel with your spouse when you have advanced parole. And so the answer to that question is no. Once you have advanced parole, if you want to travel by yourself outside of the United States, you certainly can. We have a lot of clients who for business reasons have to travel and you can definitely leave the United States on advanced parole by yourself. And this will come up because at your interview they’re going to ask you about your trips. So you want to make sure that you keep track of your trips, but there’s no requirement that you have to travel with your spouse. Of course, if you do travel with your spouse, you’re going to probably go into a different line when you come through customs. And so it’s a good thing to get advanced parole.

You should always apply for it. You never want to leave that on the table. You never want to forget to apply for advanced parole. There is no extra filing fee as of now, the Trump administration tried to add an extra fee, but as of now, those fees are included in the green card application. So there’s really no reason why when you file for adjustment of status, that you don’t apply for that work card or a travel card. And that’s true, even if you have other ways of entering the United States, once you file that green card application, if you were to leave without advanced parole, if you didn’t get that card, then you would have a problem because they might not let you back in and they could deem your green card case of having been abandoned. So you’re basically starting over. Your I-130 petition would survive, but everything else would be lost, including the filing fee, which is well over a thousand dollars now.

So if you have questions about travel, if you’re wondering about travel after applying for a green card, or if you forgot to apply for advanced parole and you need our help. Give us a call at 314-961-8200. You can email us at info@hackinglawpractice.com. We have a great Facebook group called Immigrant Home. We’d love to see you in there, we answer a lot of questions and have a lot of good discussions. People talk about their processing times in there. It’s good stuff. We have a YouTube channel. We update it every day with at least one video and we’d love to have you subscribe so that whenever we make a new video, you find out about it first. Finally, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, usually around noon, Central Time, most Tuesdays and Thursdays, I am live in our Facebook group and live on our YouTube channel, trying to answer as many of your questions as we can in just one hour. So we’d love to see you there, meet you there. Thanks a lot, have a great day.

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