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I am currently having an F1 Visa which will expire this December and I applied for PERM which is still pending. Can I travel abroad and come back to US without affecting my pending perm application?

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Short answer - NO, not without first getting Advance Parole.

DO NOT leave the U.S. without the Advanced Parole Document!

If you do, your application will be considered abandoned & you just wasted a bunch of time and money.

Since you didn't apply for this along with the Adjustment of Status application, it is a separate process (Form I-131) with a separate $360 fee. Depending how long ago you submitted your application, it might be better to just wait for the Green Card.

If you really need to travel (medical or family emergency, etc), apply for the travel document as soon as possible & hopefully it'll be approved quickly. You need to have the paper with you when you try to re-enter the country.

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If you have applied for an adjustment of status and your application is still pending you can apply for Advance Parole Document from USCIS in which allows you to travel outside United States without having your application for adjustment of status be deemed abandoned by the USCIS.

  • I am still applying for perm and I didn't apply for adjustment of status yet. Is it better to travel now or wait till I get the perm approved and apply for advance Parole Document? – mmohab Sep 14 '14 at 19:01
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PERM is done with regards to the job opening and is a Department of Labor process. Until your application to adjust status reaches USCIS (i.e.: you file form I-485), you're in the same status as you were before and can travel (assuming you have a valid visa to be able to come back) as you like.

Once you file I-485, leaving the country without the "Advance Parole" is considered abandoning the application.

  • Even after applying for adjustment of status, he is still in the same status as before, as long as he does not violate the conditions of that status. – user102008 Sep 15 '14 at 4:16
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    "and can travel (assuming you have a valid visa to be able to come back) as you like." He has an F1 student visa, and in order to enter on that visa, he needs to prove that he does not have intention to use it to immigrate (i.e. he does not have intention to adjust status in the duration of this entry). The fact that he is going through the PERM process puts this in serious doubt. – user102008 Sep 15 '14 at 4:34
  • Good point, although I'm not sure PERM is something DHS people see. They definitely see the I-485. As to status while on AOS - you can, technically, lose your current status (for example stay beyond your OPT, or B2, or whatever status you're in), and still be legal. So you don't have to remain in the same status. – littleadv Sep 15 '14 at 5:48
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PERM is not related to your status.

In website it says:

Q: Am I allowed to leave the U.S. while my PERM labor certification application is pending?

A: Yes, you can. However, note that just because your PERM labor certification application is filed and pending will not aid your re-entry into the U.S. You still will have to secure a visa for re-entry and resolve all related issues. To this end, prior to your departure, consult a seasoned immigration attorney who’s able to resolve all issues that could impact your re-entry.

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