Each day, thousands of non-citizens attempt to enter the United States at ports of entry, on a grant of advance parole. Clutching their Forms I-512, they are anxious to know whether they will be able to successfully re-enter the United States. The following post aims to clarify if advance parole is what it purports to be — a promise by USCIS to authorize a person’s reentry into the United States. Can you count on this promise? How often?
Before delving into more complicated issues, allow me to cover a few basic ones.
What is Parole?
Parole is authorization by the Department of Homeland Security for a person to temporarily enter the United States for urgent humanitarian reasons or where it brings a significant public benefit. Notably, parole is not considered an “admission,” and therefore — in theory — someone reentering the country on parole should not be subject to grounds of inadmissibility.
What is Advance Parole?
Advance parole is essentially an advance promise by USCIS to parole someone into the country at a port of entry. A request for parole is made on Form I-131. The Adjudicators Field Manual lists several classes of persons who are eligible to apply for advance parole. The largest classes are:
- Applicants for adjustment of status who had a visa number available but lost it after filing their pending application, and who have a good faith personal or business reason for leaving the country temporarily.
- Applicants for adjustment of status whose application is still pending, and who “find it necessary” to depart temporarily for “emergent” personal or business reasons.
Although the second class listed says “emergent,” the standard is applied leniently. When advance parole is granted, USCIS will issue the person a Form I-512.
I was granted advance parole. Can I reenter the United States without any issues?
It depends on if you may be subject to any grounds of inadmissibility, and if so, which ones.
Have you been unlawfully present in the United States?
A person may be considered unlawfully present here in the United States if he entered without any papers or if he overstayed his visa.
If you have accrued unlawful presence, you will probably be safe reentering the United States on a grant of advance parole. The Board of Immigration Appeals recently held that persons issued an advance parole document, who have accrued unlawful presence in the United States, will not be deemed inadmissible for unlawful presence upon return to the United States.
So — if the only potential ground of inadmissibility is unlawful presence — you are probably safe relying on advance parole. In any case, we recommend discussing your case with an experience immigration lawyer in Dallas. The Vinesh Patel Law Firm has helped many non-citizens with advance parole issues, and would be happy to help.
If you have committed, or been convicted or, a crime of inadmissibility in the United States, you should have serious concerns about traveling abroad and attempting to re-enter. A grant of advance parole cannot necessarily be relied upon.
In theory, Customs and Border Patrol should not deny parole to someone issued an advance parole document. After all, the issuance of an advance parole documents is like a pre-authorization to reenter the United States.
But we are not concerned with theory. We are concerned with what happens in practice. In 2012, our Law Firm observed several individuals who were detained and charged with inadmissibility, despite having been issued an advance parole document. While our Firm does not believe this is fair, just, or even legal — Customs has done it anyways. Thus, non-citizens with old drug convictions can be detained at the airport, and placed in immigration detention, despite promises made by the government.
The government may give two justifications for this practice. First, the government may argue that parole is a discretionary grant by the Department of Homeland Security. As such, the Department is entitled to a terminate a grant of parole at any time. Second, the government may contend that the recent Board of Immigration Appeals case Arrabally and Yerrabelly governs only inadmissibility based on unlawful presence — not other grounds of inadmissibility.
In any case, if you have some reason to believe that you may be inadmissible to the United States, be extra-cautious about trying to reenter the country, even if you were issued an advance parole document. To consult with an attorney familiar with removal and deportation policies, call The Vinesh Patel Law Firm today.