Advance Parole gives a Thai fiancée the right to re-enter the United States on a K-1 Visa after leaving the country. This is important because your fiancée cannot leave the country on a K-1 Visa and return without obtaining this crucial travel document.
The reason this is so important: immigration presumes anyone who is in the US on a K-1 visa and then departs is abandoning their K-1 Visa. Therefore, should your Thai fiancée leave the US without obtaining advance parole her K-1 visa will be cancelled and the only way for her to come back into the country is by reapplying for a visa at the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. Essentially, the process starts afresh.
ADVANCE PAROLE AND ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS FOR A THAI FIANCÉE
The question of Advance Parole often arises when a Thai fiancée wishes to return to Thailand while her application for Adjustment of Status is still pending. The problem is that the visa will be considered abandoned by USCIS as well as the application to adjust status so once again this leaves the Thai fiancée outside of the country with no visa to get back in. Advance Parole is very necessary if your Thai fiancée wishes to leave the US no matter what stage of the process her Adjustment of Status petition is in. Once she has obtained Permanent Residence she can leave the country and return, but until then it is wise for your fiancée/wife to stay in the US.
MY THAI WIFE ENTERED THE USA ON A K-3 IS ADVANCE PAROLE NEEDED?
A Thai wife in the US on a K-3 Visa, even though it’s a non-immigrant K visa, can leave and return to the US without needing to worry about obtaining advance parole, because the K-3 is a multiple reentry visa. It is as if advance parole is built into the K-3 Visa. A Thai wife in the United States on one of the Immigrant Visas (IR-1/CR-1) does not need advance parole as she is a permanent resident and can come and go as she pleases, so long as she doesn’t stay out of the country so long that it is deemed by Immigration officials to have abandoned her residence in the US. In this case she would have to stay outside the US for an extended period.
THE HONEYMOON AND A THAI WIFE: ADVANCE PAROLE TRAPS TO AVOID
Advance Parole becomes an issue for some American/Thai couples because of the Honeymoon. For most people wishing to honeymoon outside of the US the necessity of advance parole can either postpone or cancel a prospective honeymoon. This is better than the alternative: leaving the United States only to find out that your Thai fiancée, now wife, cannot reenter the US. Some people have asked me if they can take their Thai spouse to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Although both of these locales, along with Guam and a few other American possessions, are under US jurisdiction there is some legal question as to whether going to one of these places constitutes “leaving the country” for immigration purposes.
I think going anywhere outside of the 50 US states while the adjustment of status application is being processed is unwise. Puerto Rico is technically another country, although a country in a perpetual union with the US, and now anyone traveling between the US and Puerto Rico has to go through customs. Due to this, it is best to just avoid going to either Puerto Rico or The US Virgin Islands until your Thai wife’s Adjustment of Status is finished.