August, 2022


Afghan nationals in the U.S. should be advised that travel outside of the U.S. for any reason may have serious impact on their ability to return to the U.S. and/or to obtain permanent status such as asylum in the U.S. Below are some important things to consider before traveling outside of the U.S. If you have any questions or concerns about traveling, you should talk to an authorized immigration legal representative or attorney prior to departing the U.S.

Parole and Travel

  • If you received parole under Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) and you depart the U.S. without travel permission, you will lose parole status, and you will not be able to re-enter the U.S.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) & Travel

  • If you have TPS you may be able to apply for a TPS travel permit allowing you to travel outside the U.S.  However, if you use a TPS travel permit to return to Afghanistan, or if you use your Afghan passport to travel to any country, you will likely be disqualified from asylum. 
  • If you have TPS and leave the U.S. without first getting a TPS travel permit, you may lose TPS and you may not be able to re-enter the U.S.
  • If you have a pending TPS application and leave the U.S. without first getting advance parole, USCIS may deny your application for TPS, and you may not be able to re-enter the U.S. Also, if you depart the U.S. while your request for TPS is still pending, you may miss important notices or requests for additional evidence, which may result in denial of TPS.

Asylum and Travel

  • To qualify for asylum, you must show that you cannot return to Afghanistan for fear of harm or persecution by the current government (the Taliban) because of your race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. By traveling back to Afghanistan, even if it is just for a short visit, you are showing that you do not fear persecution there.
  • Even if your asylum application has been approved, or you have adjusted your status from asylum to permanent residence (Green Card), and you return to Afghanistan before you become a U.S. citizen, your asylum and green card could be revoked. This is because, by returning to Afghanistan, even if it is just for a short visit, you are demonstrating that either you did not really fear returning when you applied for asylum, or that you no longer fear returning.

Other Considerations

  • If at any time before becoming a U.S. citizen, you have been arrested or convicted of a crime in the U.S. check with an immigration attorney or legal representative before you travel. Certain criminal conduct will prevent you from re-entry into the U.S.
  • Long absences from the U.S. may impact your ability to get or keep permanent resident status or get U.S. citizenship.
  • We encourage you to read and understand the travel warnings in the instructions for USCIS Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, before you apply for a travel document. You are encouraged to seek legal advice before you travel, even if your travel document is approved.