Traveling Outside the U.S. as an Asylum Applicant, an Asylee or a Lawful Permanent Resident Who Obtained Such Status Based on Asylum Status

USCIS on January 4, 2007 issued a “fact sheet” regarding traveling outside the U.S. as an asylum applicants, asylees, and lawful permanent residents who obtained such status based on their asylum status. Those people are subject to special rules.

For an asylum applicant, if he leaves the U.S. without first obtaining advanced parole, he will be presumed to have abandoned his or her asylum application. Advance parole does not guarantee that the alien will be paroled into the U.S.

For an asylee, he can travel with a refugee travel document which is valid for one year. Like advance parole, a refugee travel document does not guarantee admission into the U.S.

For lawful permanent residents who obtained such status based on their asylum status, they can also travel abroad with refugee travel documents.

There may be serious consequences of those people returning to the county of claimed persecution. Asylum status could be terminated based on fundamental change in circumstances in the asylee’s country of persecution. Termination could also occur due to fraud in the asylum application. Return to the country of feared persecution can in some circumstances, be considered evidence that the asylee’s alleged fear of persecution is not genuine.

An individual’s underlying asylum status may be terminated even if the individual has already become a lawful permanent resident. Accordingly, an asylee or a lawful permanent resident may be questioned as to why he was able to go back to the country of alleged prosecution, and in some circumstances, may be subject to proceedings to terminate asylum status.