The United States Citizen and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) recently announced that it is now issuing combined Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) and Advanced Parole cards. The new combined EAD/Advanced Parole cards look similar to the current EAD cards, but they also include text that reads: “Serves as I-512 Advance Parole.” The purpose of this new card is to prevent adjustment of status applicants from having to carry both an EAD card and a separate paper Advanced Parole document while waiting for adjudication of their Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) applications. This one card will serve as proof of both the cardholder’s authorization for employment and authorization for travel.
More specifically, the employment authorization part of the card will provide proof that the cardholder is legally authorized to work in the United States. An employer will be able to use this card as a “List A Document” when completing an employee’s Employment Eligibility Form.
In regards to the card’s advance parole function, it is important to note that although the card authorizes parole, it does not authorize admission to the US. Thus, this card does not guarantee a cardholder’s reentry into the US after travel abroad. After travel abroad, and upon arriving at a port of entry, a cardholder would present the card to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer to request parole. Issuance of an Advanced Parole document does not guarantee that CBP will parole the cardholder into the US. If parole is granted, the application will be permitted to come into the US as a parolee, but will not have been “admitted”. Individuals who have been unlawfully present in the US and subsequently leave and seek reentry through a grant of parole, may be inadmissible and ineligible to apply to adjust their status.
An applicant may receive one of these new cards when he or she files a Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) and Form I-131 (Application for Travel Document) concurrently with, or after filing, a separate Form I-485. The USCIS will continue to issue separate EAD and Advanced Parole documents as necessary.
If an applicant already has an Advanced Parole document and an EAD card with separate expiration dates, the application may only receive this new card if both the documents are have less than 120 days of validity left, or if the EAD has less than 120 days of validity left and the Advanced Parole document is for a single entry only.
Additionally, this new card is not available to everyone. It is only available to certain individuals how have pending family or employment based Forms I-485