During the USCIS Ombudsman Annual Conference on November 16, 2018, USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna confirmed that USCIS will end its recently-adopted practice of denying pending Advance Parole applications (Form I-131) when an applicant travels abroad during the time the Advance Parole is pending at USCIS. USCIS had previously, for years, adjudicated Advance Parole documents despite international travel. However, in the fall of 2017 and without public notice, USCIS starting denying all Advance Parole applications when the applicant travel internationally. There is no legal basis for this change in policy (other than a statement in the I-131 Form instructions), and it has meant that thousands of individuals remained in the U.S. for 5-6 months, or, spend additional time and money refiling applications, and then remain in the U.S. until USCIS approved the application in an additional 5-6 months.
Director Cissna did not provide a timeline for implementing the change back to its prior policy, but did state that a policy would be forthcoming. SPS Immigration will provide an update when USCIS releases official guidance.
Please contact SPS Immigration if you have questions on how this may impact your immigration case.