Articles Posted in Application for Travel Document

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The Department of State has issued an alert announcing that as of June 26, 2015 all visa issuing US embassies and consulates are now able to continue visa processing. Staff at US consulates and embassies were able to work over the weekend and resolve backlogs which are expected to be eliminated this week.

As you may recall between the time period of June 9, 2015 to June 19, 2014, 335,000 visas were unable to be printed due to clearance and technological issues. Of those 335,000 visas, approximately 300,000 have now been printed.

Consulates and embassies worldwide are now scheduling visa interviews and issuing non-immigrant and immigrant visas.

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You have Questions, We have your Answers. Here are answers to 5 of your Frequently Asked Questions

In this blog we are answering 5 of your frequently asked questions in detail. Please remember that every case and every story is different and unique. You should not compare your situation to anyone else’s. We hope that our answers will provide you with further guidance on your immigration journey. For any further questions please visit our website or call our office for a free legal consultation. We thank you for your continued trust in our law office.

Q: I am visiting the United States as a tourist from a non-visa waiver country. My duration of stay will expire in approximately 1 month. Is it possible for me to extend my stay in the United States?

A: Yes, it is possible to extend your duration of stay if you plan to remain in the United States for purposes of tourism, leisure, or medical treatment. In order to extend your duration of stay you must file Form I-539. The process can be confusing for some, we recommend that all applicants seek counsel from an accredited legal representative or attorney to guarantee success.  In order to extend your duration of stay, you must be able to provide documentation proving that they have strong ties home including but not limited to: proof of employment, proof of academic enrollment, deed of property ownership, proof of financial obligations, etc. You must also be prepared to provide documented evidence supporting the fact that your stay will be for temporary purposes of tourism and/or leisure including a detailed personal statement establishing the fact that you will be in the United States for a temporary period of time, and will be returning back to your home country at the conclusion of your trip. Lastly, you must provide evidence that you have the sufficient finances to support yourself in the United States. The more evidence you can provide to support your claims, the better chances of your application being approved.

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Prospective clients often ask our law office, how long does the adjustment of status to permanent resident usually take? At what point can I legally work in the United States? How can I obtain my social security number and driver’s license? When can I travel internationally?

Below is an approximate timeline that will give you an idea on what the current wait times are for the adjustment of status process, based on your marriage to a U.S. Citizen:

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During the 2-3 month mark, the applicant will receive a very important document in the mail, known as the employment authorization card. The employment authorization card is important for a variety of reasons:

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The Department of State (DOS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have announced a joint initiative, in response to the technical problems the U.S. Department of State’s Consular Consolidated Database (CCD)—responsible for the issuance of visas—has been experiencing. These technical problems have had a significant impact on the department’s ability to process nonimmigrant visas, causing worldwide delays. Together the DOS and CBP will waive the visa requirements for nonimmigrant visa applicants seeking admission into the United States on a case by case basis. Applicants who have applied for but have not been issued non-immigrant visas, due to such delays, may request consideration from DOS and CBP for special travel permission to the United States under the following conditions:

The applicant’s travel to the United States must be considered urgent, involving a bona fide emergency, such as urgent humanitarian travel and life and death situations, or a situation that impacts U.S. national interests. DOS and CBP will respond to such requests via their joint task force teams. Travel permission that has been approved will be facilitated by the DOS.

All individuals requesting emergency travel are required to have a pending visa application with the DOS that has not been approved as a result of delays caused by the Consular Consolidated Database.

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By Marie Puertollano, Esq. 

Form 1-131 Application for Travel Document is the form you must file with immigration when requesting a travel authorization from USCIS. This Application for Travel Document can be requested in various situations for the purposes of obtaining a reentry permit or advance parole.

One of the most common Form I-131 application’s we file within our practice, is the advance parole for an applicant who has a pending I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status application for a green card. While awaiting a decision from USCIS about the green card application, the applicant CANNOT leave the United States without a travel authorization issued by USCIS, or the application will be considered abandoned.  Given that many applicants need to travel while their green card application is pending, we submit an I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status application along with Form I-131 Application for Travel Document to request an advance parole which will allow the green card applicant to travel once it is issued by USCIS, approximately 60-90 days after being filed. The applicant need not pay any fees for the I-131 Application for Travel Document, if it was submitted with an I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to obtain a green card.