Thursday, December 1, 2005
In anticipation of the holiday travel season, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) urges individuals with an application for adjustment of status to that of lawful permanent resident, or an asylum application to consult with an immigration attorney before making any foreign travel plans.
These foreign nationals must obtain advance parole before traveling abroad by filing Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, with USCIS. However, travel outside of the may have severe consequences for certain aliens who are in the process of adjusting their status.
Foreign nationals who depart the after being unlawfully present in the for certain periods may be barred from admission to lawful permanent resident status even if they have obtained advance parole. Those aliens who have been unlawfully present in the for more than 180 days but less than one year are inadmissible for three years; those who have been unlawfully present for a year or more are inadmissible for 10 years. Foreign nationals who are unlawfully present, who depart the , and who subsequently reenter under a grant of parole may nevertheless be ineligible to adjust their status.
Advance parole is permission for certain foreigners who do not have a valid immigrant visa to reenter the after traveling abroad. Such people must be approved for advance parole before traveling abroad; they may not be permitted to reenter if they have not obtained it before leaving the U.S. Foreign nationals who need advance parole before leaving the U.S. to enable them to return include aliens in the U.S. who have an application pending for adjustment of status, have been admitted as a refugee or have been granted asylum, have been granted temporary protected status, or have a pending asylum application.
In a similar announcement made earlier this year, USCIS pointed out that processing times vary from 60 to 150 days, necessitating advance planning for applicants who will be traveling abroad.
Number of Refugee Admissions
President Bush issued a determination on October 24, 2005, announcing the Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 refugee admissions numbers and authorizations of in-country refugee status. A total of 70,000 refugee admissions numbers will be allocated as follows: Africa: 20,000; East Asia: 15,000; Europe and Central Asia: 15,000; Latin America/Caribbean: 5,000; Near East/
South Asia : 5,000; and 10,000 unallocated numbers, which will be allocated to regional ceilings as needed. Additionally, the Secretary of State is authorized to transfer unused numbers originally allocated to a particular region to one or more other regions in the event that there is a greater need. President Bush also specified that, for FY 2006, persons in , , and the former Soviet Union may, if otherwise qualified, be considered refugees for the purpose of admission to the within their countries of nationality or habitual residence. Also included in this category in exceptional circumstances are certain persons identified by a embassy.
Sanctions Against Sudan
On November 1, 2005, President George W. Bush signed a notice continuing the national emergency with respect to , which was signed by President Clinton on November 3, 1997. The 1997 order imposes sanctions on in response to the policies and actions of the Sudanese government, including support of international terrorism and human rights violations, such as slavery. President Bush continued the national emergency and the measures adopted on November 3, 1997, to deal with that emergency for one more year through November 3, 2006. In doing so, President Bush stated that the actions and policies of the Sudanese government continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the
Please note that nothing on this page should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. The information is intended to be general and should not be relied upon for any specific situation. For legal advice, consult an attorney experienced in immigration law.