How can I submit questions to be answered on this page?
What is advance parole and when do I need it?
Advance parole is essentially travel permission and is most commonly used when someone has Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status, pending. If you depart the United States while your I-485 application is pending without first obtaining advance parole, your case may be denied, unless you fit into a narrow exception for those maintaining certain nonimmigrant statuses. Advance parole is not needed if you travel directly between parts of the United States (including Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, etc.) without entering a foreign port or place on your trip.
I have an emergency and need to leave the country, but do not have advance parole. What can I do?
If you are experiencing an extremely urgent situation, you may visit your local USCIS field office to request an emergency advance parole document. When visiting a field office to request emergency advance parole, you should bring the following items: 1) a completed and signed Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, 2) the correct I-131 filing fee or receipt from a pending Form I-131, 3) evidence to support the emergency request (e.g. medical documentation, death certificate), and 4) two passport-style photos.
I am a legal permanent resident. If I plan to travel outside the US for more than one year, do I need to take any special precautions?
For an LPR planning to travel outside of the United States for 1 year or more, it is important that you apply for a reentry permit before you depart the United States. If you stay outside of the United States for 1 year or more and did not apply for a reentry permit before you left, you may be considered to have abandoned your permanent resident status. If this happens, you may be referred to appear before an immigration judge to decide whether or not you have abandoned your status. (From www.uscis.gov.)
How can I find out the status of my case? Where can I find information from USCIS?
The USCIS website is a good starting place to check on the status of a pending application. You will need the receipt number from your I-797 notice. Visit www.uscis.gov.
If your office is located in Chicago, how are you able to meet the immigration needs of those located in other geographic locations?
Immigration law is federal, not local, allowing us to work with clients from across the country and around the world. While we often rely on email, we are also happy to communicate by phone or fax. And of course, if you visit Chicago, please stop in!
Do you charge a consultation fee?
Since we use this session to discuss your situation and sketch out some possible approaches to meeting your goals, we do charge a fee. This fee is discounted for students and goes towards attorney fees should you hire us.
When do I need an immigration lawyer, and how do I find the right lawyer for my particular situation?
The answer is not a simple one and depends on your personal circumstances. We strongly suggest that you make initial contact with a lawyer as soon as you can. Please also see our article, “Selecting An Immigration Attorney.”