Advance Parole: Frequently Asked Questions

Themes/Topics: Law & Policy

Geography: California, National

Audience: Undocumented Youth

Are you interested in traveling outside the U.S. with Advance Parole? Read on to learn some of the basics!

What is Advance Parole (AP)?

Advance Parole (AP) is a travel document issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that allows certain immigrants to travel outside of the United States and return lawfully.

How does it work?

You must apply for Advance Parole before leaving the country, and once you receive it, keep it with your passport and other important documents while you travel. An Advance Parole document does not replace your passport or the visas you will need to visit countries abroad. You’ll also need a passport issued by your country of birth and in some cases, visas, to visit most countries outside of the U.S.

It’s important to note that even with an Advance Parole document, it is still possible for you to be denied reentry to the U.S. by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer. We recommend talking to an attorney about your unique situation before you travel.

Who is eligible for Advance Parole?

If you are a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, you may apply for Advance Parole through USCIS under one of 3 categories: humanitarian, educational, or work purposes. If you have Temporary Protected Status (TPS), asylum/ refugee status, a pending green card, or certain other types of immigration avenues pending or approved, you might also be eligible to travel abroad; whether you need to request a special travel document in advance before you go will depend on several considerations – get legal help.

Keep in mind, approval of your Advance Parole application is not guaranteed. Consider making your travel arrangements with refundable tickets or investigate cancellation policies carefully in case it is unclear whether your application can be approved before your desired travel dates.

What are some examples of travel abroad that fall under the 3 categories?

Humanitarian Purposes
  • Visiting sick or aging relatives
  • Seeking medical assistance
  • Attending funeral services
  • Other urgent family-related purposes
Educational Purposes
  • Study abroad programs
  • Academic research, competitions, or conferences
Employment Purposes
  • Overseas assignments for your job
  • Job interviews
  • Professional conferences, trainings, or meetings
  • Self-employment or entrepreneurial activities (provide proof of your self-employment)

What do I need to apply?

Our Advance Parole Travel Guide covers this under the “How to Apply for AP” section. Visit to learn about what materials you may need to provide to complete your Advance Parole application.

This resource is part of the Advance Parole project. To learn more, visit

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