It used to be that individuals who applied for permanent residency or adjustment of status and whose cases were still pending ran the risk of having their application denied if they left the United States without first obtaining a special permission called Advance Parole. Currently, applicants who are granted Advance Parole are issued Form I-512 and papers documenting this. Now, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that certain immigrants who are applying for permanent residency (green card) or change of status can be issued a single card that acts as both a work permit and travel authorization. The new card will look like an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), but this new dual-purpose card will have additional text that will read, “serves as I-512 Advance Parole.”
Applicants for residency may get the new card if they apply for work authorization (Form I-765) and a travel permit (Form I-131) at the same time or if they do so after they apply for permanent residency or adjustment of status. Applicants will still be able to obtain Advance Parole documents and EAD cards separately, but the new dual-purpose card will be both more secure and more durable than the old Form I-512 paper document. The new card is also going to be accepted as a list-A document by employers who are completing Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification for new employees. Even though individuals carrying Form I-512 will not be guaranteed admission into the United States, the card will, however, serve to request parole at the port-of-entry as the applicant returns to the U.S. from their trip abroad.