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Is travel outside or within US legitimate after the petition has been filed with the USCIS?

Englewood, CO |

My petition has been filed with USCIS on September 3,2013 and my I-94 will expire on September 15,2013. I have received an email from my Employer stating not to plan any business/vacation travel within or outside the US until petition is approved.However, at this moment i have a personal emergency and may need to travel outside the US for 3-5 days. Is it legitimate to travel at this time? Also, will it impact the processing of my petition in case my I-94 gets changed?

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Attorney answers 4


You are always free to leave the U.S. If you do, any application for change of status is deemed abandoned and you will need a new visa to return.

The above is intended only as general information, and does not constitute legal advice. You must speak with an attorney to discuss your individual case.



Thank you for your advice. I shall be back to the United States by Sep 8,2013( Before I-94 expiry and i have a visa valid till Sep 15,2013). My Petition application was filed on Sep 3 2013. Do I still need a new visa to reenter USA? And will my travel plan still leave my application as abandoned?


Great advice by Mr. Berman.

The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are interested in his legal services, feel free to call Chris at (303) 409-7635 at his law office in the Denver Tech Center. All initial consultations are free of charge.


not entirely sure what your refer to as "petition" (application?). Change of status, adjustment of status, or extension of status from Employer. You may consider looking into advance parole application for emergency travel depending on your circumstances. Spend a few hundred on good advice from immigration attorney or stay put while your "petition" is adjudicated.

We are full service immigration and international family law firm with attorneys licensed to practice in Colorado and Federal Courts. We do not give legal advice on this website and you can not rely on internet without proper legal consultation or legal representation. If you need legal advice please contact this firm or other attorneys in your jurisdiction.


To truly answer this question, we need to know what kind of "petition" you filed. As a general (and very important) rule, you should NEVER, EVER leave the U.S. while a petition is pending without talking with an immigration attorney first, as doing so could cause your petition to be abandoned, and could have very negative future consequences on your ability to re-enter. However, depending on the situation, you may be able to qualify for advanced parole, which is special permission from the U.S. government to leave and come back in while the petition is pending. Again, this should be approached very carefully, and preferably with the help of an attorney.

Please be aware that this response does not constitute the formation of an attorney-client relationship between you and me. I am licensed to practice in Colorado, Arizona and Utah only. Unless I indicate otherwise, my answer is based on general legal principles, and not necessarily the laws of your state or the particular facts of your situation. If you would like to discuss the potential for establishing an attorney-client relationship, please feel free to contact me so that we can discuss the particulars of your circumstances, and our firm's requirements for engaging our services.