On December 28, 2006, the USCIS published a Fact Sheet with guidelines for travel abroad relevant to asylum applicants, asylees, and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) who obtained such status based on their asylum status. According to the Fact Sheet, such persons are subject to the following special rules with regard to traveling outside the United States.
Asylum Applicants: An asylum applicant must obtain an advance parole document before leaving the United States.
Asylees: Asylees (individuals who have been granted asylum) may travel abroad with the prior approval of the Secretary of the DHS in the form of a refugee travel document.
LPRs:LPRs who obtained such status based on their asylum status may also travel abroad with refugee travel documents.
USCIS notes that neither a refugee travel document nor advance parole guarantee admission into the United States. Rather, both asylum applicants and asylee must still undergo inspection by an immigration inspector from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
An asylum applicant who leaves the United States without advance parole and returns to the country of claimed persecution shall be presumed to have abandoned his or her asylum application, unless the applicant is able to establish compelling reasons for the return. If an asylum applicant returns to his or her country of claimed persecution without advance parole, he or she should be prepared to explain the reason for the return. Asylum status may be terminated for specific reasons as listed in INA § 208(c)(2). An individual’s underlying asylum status may be terminated even if the individual has already become a lawful permanent resident.
Returning to one’s country of claimed persecution may be relevant to a number of termination grounds. Termination could also occur due to fraud in the asylum application such that the asylee was not eligible for asylum. In this regard, 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. In addition, termination of asylum status could occur if an “alien has voluntarily availed himself or herself of the protection of the alien’s country of nationality . . . by returning to such country with permanent resident status or the reasonable possibility of obtaining such status with the same rights and obligations pertaining to other permanent residents of that country.” Accordingly, an asylee or a lawful permanent resident who obtained such status based on a grant of asylum status may be questioned about why he or she was able to return to the country of claimed persecution and, in some circumstances, may be subject to proceedings to terminate asylum status.