This past summer, a common question I received during the Visa Bulletin mess was whether a person could travel and re-enter the US with the H-1B or L-1 visa rather than waiting months on an advance parole document. The answer is yes, but the rules require one to actually have the I-485 receipt to actually benefit from this exception to the normal requirement. Unfortunately, the huge number of filings meant USCIS took an abnormally longer period of time to issue I-485 receipts.

USCIS has just released a welcome rule that will be published in the Federal Register on Monday and is immediately effective that does away with this needless, time wasting requirement. H-1Bs and L-1s have previously had to demonstrate the following:

1. continuing eligibility for H-1/H-4 or L-1/L-2 status;
2. resumption of employment with the same employer as before departure;
3. possession of a valid visa if a visa is required;
4. possession of the receipt for the I-485 petition.

The fourth requirement is being dropped.

Now how about just scrapping the whole antiquated advance parole requirement all together?  I have yet to hear anybody offer a convincing policy reason in support of the advance parole document.