Can I travel out of the country for a family emergency while petitioning for US citizenship? 4 Answers as of July 23, 2011

I am an Algerian citizen and waiting to be petitioned by my US citizen husband. However, nothing has been processed yet. I just learned my mom is very ill in France with a chronic leukemia. What are my rights as far as traveling in emergency.

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Law Office of Baoqin Wang
Law Office of Baoqin Wang | Baoqin Wang
What's your current immigration status? Have you filed the adjustment application yet? If yes, you usually need to have an approved travel document before you leave, otherwise your adjustment application will be deemed abandoned. Please be sure to bring all your immigration papers to an immigration attorney for consultation before you leave the country.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 7/23/2011
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Reza Athari
If you have not started the process yet and you leave, you will have to stay outside US for consular processing. Most of the times, it takes around a year to have an appointment with a consular officer. If you have over stayed your visa by 180 days, or 365 days, you will be barred to come back for 3 or 10 years respectively and you will need a waiver to overcome the bar.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 7/21/2011
Law Offices of Caro Kinsella
Law Offices of Caro Kinsella | Caro Kinsella, Esq.
You would have to have the advance parole approved before departing.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/21/2011
The Law Offices Jonathan D Montag
The Law Offices Jonathan D Montag | Jonathan D Montag
Dear Sir or Madame: I can respond to your question in general terms. Do not construe this response as legal advice as I would have to meet with you and learn a lot more facts about your case to see if the general principles in my answer apply to your specific case or if facts in your case make the general principle inapplicable. Generally speaking: A person can be petitioned for permanent residence by a U.S. citizen spouse. Along with the petition the foreign spouse applies for permanent residence. While the petition is pending the foreign spouse cannot leave the country unless he or she first gets an advance parole document which is filed concurrently with the rest of the adjustment of status package. It can take 90 days to get the advance parole. USCIS may expedite the processing if there is a family emergency. If a person has been in the United States and accrued unlawful presence for more than 180 days and then departs, the person can be barred from returning to the U.S. for three years. If the unlawful presence is for a year or more, there could be a 10 year bar. USCIS will give you an advance parole even if departing it will trigger these bars. I cannot schedule an appointment through email. Please call me to schedule an appointment.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/21/2011
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