Advance parole (Form I-512) is an immigration document issued by the United States. It is not a re-entry permit; it is only issued to aliens without permanent residency. Advance Parole is permission for certain aliens, who do not have a valid immigrant visa, to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad. Such aliens include those who have applied to adjust their status to that of permanent resident or to change non-immigrant status. Advance parole must be approved before the applicant leaves the United States, or any residency application will in general be denied.
Who needs Advance Parole?
Aliens in the United States who have:
- an application for adjustment of status pending.
- been admitted as a refugee or have been granted asylum.
- been granted benefits under the Family Unity Program.
- been granted Temporary Protected Status.
- an asylum application pending.
- an emergent personal or bona fide reason to travel temporarily abroad.
Note: Aliens holding valid K-3 or K-4 visas, as well as H-1 (temporary worker in a specialty occupation) or L-1 (intra-company transferee) visas and their dependents in H-4 or L-2 status who have filed for adjustment of status do not have to file for advance parole as long as they maintain their non-immigrant status. 
Who is not eligible for Advance Parole?
Aliens in the United States are not eligible for Advance Parole if they are:
- in the United States without a valid immigration status.
- an exchange alien subject to the foreign residence requirement.
- the beneficiary of a private bill.
- under removal proceedings.
How does one obtain advance parole?
To obtain advance parole, file USCIS Form I-131 (Application for Travel Document), complete with supporting documentation, photos and fee, at your local USCIS office or the Service Center having jurisdiction over your place of residence. After receiving USCIS Form I-131, read it carefully and note the documentation and photos that must be submitted. Detailed information is provided in the instructions. Further information on forms, filing fees, and fee waivers is available in Forms, Fees & Filing Locations.
Advance parole can come on a letter-sized piece of paper titled "Authorization for Parole".
For applicants who apply for advance parole together with an Employment authorization document (EAD), USCIS issues a "combo card", a variant of the EAD card which contains the words "SERVES AS I-512 ADVANCE PAROLE".
Does Advance Parole guarantee admission into the United States?
Advance parole does not guarantee admission into the United States. Aliens who have obtained advance parole are still subject to the CBP inspection process at the port of entry. However, aliens who would otherwise be automatically inadmissible due to a period of unlawful presence, will not be inadmissible if they have advance parole.
- 8 Code of Federal Regulations s. 245.2(a)(4)(ii)(C), July 1, 1999, http://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/SLB/HTML/SLB/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-11261/0-0-0-24520/0-0-0-24707.html
- Matter of Arrabally and Yerrabelly. April 17, 2012. http://www.justice.gov/eoir/vll/intdec/vol25/3748.pdf