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Can I leave the U.S. if I have asylum?

August 25, 2021
  • Business Immigration
  • Individual Immigration

Leaving the country without having applied for permission will cause authorities to consider your asylum application abandoned or will not allow you to re-enter the United States.

Although it is a common doubt among many people, asylum seekers and beneficiaries can travel outside the United States under special measures, however, for no reason can they leave the country without authorization.

As you can see, they are very different situations. Here’s everything you need to know about the travel of beneficiaries and asylum seekers.

Travel for asylum seekers

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), asylum recipients are subject to special rules in order to travel outside the U.S. Anyone wishing to leave the country must obtain prior permission through the Refugee Travel Document.

The RTD can be used to travel temporarily abroad, in addition, you will need it to be readmitted to the United States as an asylee.

If you do not obtain your RTD in advance before your departure, you may not be able to re-enter the United States. On the other hand, removal proceedings may also be initiated in immigration court.

To apply for an RTD, an asylee or asylum seeker will need to file a Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, with the required fee or a fee waiver application under 8 CFR § 103.7(c) to:

Nebraska Service Center
P.O. Box 87131
Lincoln, NE 68501-7131

What about benefit applicants?

According to USCIS, if an asylum seeker has not yet received a decision, he or she should not leave the U.S. without first obtaining an advance of entry.

Advanced parole, which is requested using Form I-131, allows certain aliens to return to the country without a visa.

If you leave the country without having applied for this permit, it will cause the authorities to consider your application as abandoned.

On the other hand, advanced parole does not guarantee that you will be automatically allowed to re-enter the United States. Instead, you must still be inspected by a Customs and Border Protection immigration inspector, who will determine whether the applicant will be allowed to re-enter.


Source: Domínguez, A. (2021, August 13). Asylum: If I have already received it or am in process, can I leave the USA? Conexion Migrante. https://conexionmigrante.com/2021-/08-/13/un-beneficiario-o-solicitante-de-asilo-puede-salir-de-usa/