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pappu245

How to get back into the U.S. after losing I-765 EAD/Advance Parole Combo Card while traveling in Europe

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My father recently traveled to Europe for a business trip and had his laptop bag stolen while catching a train in Brussels. Unfortunately, aside from his laptop, the bag also contained ALL his travel paperwork (EAD, Advance Parole, Indian passport, you name it...). He approached the U.S. embassy the day after, and was given the cold shoulder as many AOS travelers have come to expect. However, he was able to convince them to work with them via a method I will detail further along this post.

 

While we were scrambling to figure out what to do next (as you may be doing now) I compiled a list of options, from most ideal to worst case scenario, by scouring through all the forums. Therefore, I wanted to create a centralized post which contains all methods that I read have worked in the past (with varying success probabilities...) including the personal method that worked for us.

 

Options (Best to worst case scenario):

 

1. Visit U.S. embassy: The EAD card that you receive in the mail (after each renewal period) comes attached to a letter with personal information in the front and generic information in the back. I scanned the front and back of this letter and sent it to my father in Europe. The key part in this letter is in the generic part which says that the U.S. embassy will assist you if you lose your combo card while abroad (the back of the letter with the line, highlighted, has been attached to this post). You'll need to scan over the letter that YOU received with the front part that contains your personal information along with the back portion. My father was able to convince the workers at the embassy that they were supposed to help him, according to the rights he earned associated with the card. The embassy are ONLY familiar with Greencard holders and American citizens. Thus, they usually do not help any other type of visa holders because there's too many visa types and too many unique details associated with each visa that they end up dismissing everyone who's not a citizen nor a permanent resident. However, my father was able to show that his combo card came with the right to assistance from the U.S. embassy. The Embassy employees were very understading from that point forward and very helpful as weel. His trip was only extended by one extra week on aggregate. That being said, AOS travelers with lost paperwork are known to be in a "grey area" because what works for one individual, may not necessarily work for another individual. Thus, I have listed other options that I have read have also worked for other people in the past.

 

2. Customs Border Patrol (CBP) has hotline —> Regional Carrier Liaison Group (RCLG). Talk to airline to call RCLG to confirm that CBP will approve entry into US

Entry into the U.S. up to the discretion of CBP and if you can prove to them that you had a valid AP (copy of the card or the approval letter) they will let you in at the POE. 

the airlines are the biggest problem because they have most to lose if you're not allowed the entry (because they’re fined by the CBP). Thus, boarding a plane is hard.

Thus, if you can get the OK from CBP prior to boarding, and get the airline to see that approval then the airline will let you board. 

Therefore, this option does not deal with the US Embassy nor USCIS. The Embassy merely provides the documentation that CBP and airlines use to let you travel; you physically interact only with airlines and CBP. So if you can individually convince the CBP and airlines that you are indeed legitamate, then you can travel without the parole. The CBP officers at the POE to be perfectly understanding and the easiest of parties to deal with based off experiences I read in other forums) .

 

3. Pre-clearance Locations - if the airport has pre-clearance, then you can get to CBP that way. they have CBP officers at international airports Canada, UAE, Dublin and more. CBP Officers conduct the same immigration, customs, and agriculture inspections of international air travelers typically performed upon arrival in the United States before departure from foreign airports.

 

4. Take a flight to Canada/ Mexico. Try to drive across border. As I said POE seems to be the easiest hurdle. Physically getting back to the border seems to be the hardest part. 

 

5. Apply for Humanitarian Parole. But coming in under a different designation may null disqualify your greencard application. So you'll have to look more into it...

 

Edited by pappu245

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I always keep my passport and my green card in my wallet and that wallet is in my pocket while travelling. I also take pictures of all the important documents through my phone before travelling. Your post is very helpful for other people in the same limbo.

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6 hours ago, pappu245 said:

My father recently traveled to Europe on a business trip and had his laptop bag stolen while catching a train in Brussels. Unfortunately, aside from his laptop, the bag also contained ALL his travel paperwork (EAD, Advance Parole, Indian passport, you name it...). He approached the U.S. embassy the day after, and was given the cold shoulder as many AOS travelers have come to expect. However, he was able to convince them to work with them via a method I will detail further along this post.

 

While we were scrambling to figure out what to do next (as you may be doing now) I compiled a list of options, from most ideal to worst case scenario, by scouring through all the forums. Therefore, I wanted to create a centralized post which contains all methods that I read have worked in the past (with varying success rates...) including the personal method that worked for us.

 

Options (Best to worst case scenario):

 

1. Visit U.S. embassy: The EAD card that you receive in the mail (after each renewal period) comes attached to a letter with personal information in the front and generic information in the back. I scanned the front and back of this letter and sent it to my father in Europe. The key part in this letter is in the generic part which says that the U.S. embassy will assist you if you lose your combo card while abroad (the back of the letter with the line, highlighted, has been attached to this post). You'll need to scan over the letter that YOU received with the front part that contains your personal information along with the back portion. My father was able to convince the workers at the embassy that they were supposed to help him, according to the rights he earned associated with the card. The embassy are ONLY familiar with Greencard holders and American citizens. Thus, they usually do not help any other type of visa holders because there's too many visa types and too many unique details associated with each visa that they end up dismissing everyone who's not a citizen nor a permanent resident. However, my father was able to show that his combo card came with the right to assistance from the U.S. embassy. The Embassy employees were very understading from that point forward and very helpful as well. His trip was only extended by one extra week on aggregate. That being said, AOS travelers with lost paperwork are known to be in a "grey area" because what works for one individual, may not necessarily work for another individual. Thus, I have listed other options that I have read have also worked for other people in the past.

 

2. Customs Border Patrol (CBP) has a hotline —> Regional Carrier Liaison Group (RCLG) which airline employees are supposed to call to determine whether to let certain passengers board their planes.

Talk to airline to call RCLG to confirm that CBP will approve entry into US; you will have to call CBP to get their approval prior to calling the airlines. Entry into the U.S. up to the discretion of CBP and if you can prove to them that you had a valid AP (copy of the card or the approval letter) they will let you in at the POE. The airlines are the biggest problem because they have most to lose if you're not allowed the entry (because they’re fined by the CBP). Thus, boarding a plane is hard. So, if you can get the OK from CBP prior to boarding, and get the airline to see that approval then the airline will let you board. 

Therefore, this option does not deal with the US Embassy nor USCIS. The Embassy merely provides the documentation that CBP and airlines use to let you travel; you physically interact only with airlines and CBP. So if you can individually convince the CBP and airlines that you are indeed legitamate, then you can travel without the parole. Based off experiences I read in other forums, the CBP officers at the POE seem to be perfectly understanding and the easiest of parties to deal with. 

 

3. Pre-clearance Locations - if the airport has pre-clearance, then you can get to CBP that way. they have CBP officers at international airports Canada, UAE, Dublin and more. CBP Officers conduct the same immigration, customs, and agriculture inspections of international air travelers typically performed upon arrival in the United States before departure from foreign airports.

 

4. Take a flight to Canada/ Mexico. Try to drive across border. As I said POE seems to be the easiest hurdle. Physically getting back to the border seems to be the hardest part. 

 

5. Apply for Humanitarian Parole. But coming in under a different designation may null disqualify your Greencard application. So you'll have to look more into it...

 

9

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This has just happened to me....I lost a bag between the baggage hall and the train ticket machine in Geneva which had my advanced parole...but luckily not my passport. 

 

Anyway, I am in the process of going through  option 2; it’s memorial weekend so embassies are closed on Monday when I am due to fly from Paris back to the US.

 

i will provide updates...but for now I wanted to share that I called the CBP in the POE I would be going to and explained my situation. The senior director on duty ended up talking to me, and asked my name and date of birth with which he located my record, reviewed and explained they would absolutely let me in because A) I am in the green card process B) I have a valid AP and C) I also have a renewal on my AP innplace. In other words as he said ‘we will not penalize you for losing a bit of plastic’. I have copies of all my documents including my AP card and he pointed out he found me without any of that so I was fine to travel.

 

Now the next bit has been a bit tricky, you then have to get the airline to call the regional Carriers Liaison Group to confirm you are good to travel. As the OP pointed out, the airlines will be fined heavily if they allow someone to travel without valid documents. However, it seems that you can only get Delta to do this at the airport through a ticketing agent. There seems no way for them to do this ahead of me getting to the airport. 

 

Will update once at Charles De Gaulle airport on Monday morning.

 

 

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Let us know how it goes.


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Ok everyone...I am successfully sitting in my lounge in Boston, MA :)

 

Apologies for the delay, however, my flight yesterday got cancelled and I had to start from scratch again today. 

 

The first thing I must point out, if you can go to the embassy, please go there and get a boarding foil, that is always going to be the best option.

 

This said, taking route number 2, working with CBP does work but keep in mind a few things.

 

There are basically 3 hurdles you have to get through to make this option work:

 

a) Check-in and bag drop

You can only drop your bag once they have verified your status to travel in general. Obviously if you do not have your AP card this raises flags. The airline is supposed to call the Regional Carriers Liaison Group (RCLG), but they may not, like in my case. Supposedly, for Delta in Paris there was someone they contact in the airport that has mobile, but they did not respond. I got lucky with the staff who decided to let me check-in as I had a photo of my actual AP Card on my phone. What struck me at this point is the lack of communication between organisations, like no-one had heard of the RCLG and I was told to go ticketing, but I should have just gone to check in / bag drop. Also note, I had also called the CBP at Logan airport and spoken to them on the Saturday and they had said that the CBP would approve my boarding. The fact I had so much info and my papers and a photo of my card worked in my favour. Whatever you do get there early!

 

 b) US Security check at the Gate

I have seen this a lot around the world. Before you can board American security check passports again and papers, note these people are part of US Immigration. At this stage these security personnel call the CBP to get permission to let you board. The CBP will try pull up your file to verify, in my case the officer with me at the gate had to take a photo and text it to the CBP guy he was talking to on the phone. Based on verifying my status I was allowed to board. Please do not underestimate the stress of this situation; the immigration guy had to call the CBP 4 times; they call give some info and then have to chase the CBP to get back to them. In the meantime, you have to stand by the side. I was there at the beginning of boarding and by the time everyone bar 4 people had boarded they had not heard back from the CBP and there was now only 7mins before they were due to close the planes door. Everything worked out and I was approved, BUT I had to go through extra screening where they pull you to the side to check all your bags and person before letting you actually board the plane.

 

c) when you land: this for me was the easiest part. The Logan CBP are genuinely nice people, professional and polite. There are one or 2 that have let power go to their heads but I was good today and had a nice guy, once I explained I was processed the way I normally am with my AP card.

 

One word of warning, be weary of the CBP; I called them over the weekend and explained the situation and they were incredibly helpful at Logan airport which is why I felt I could take this option. However, on Monday when I was originally supposed to fly back my flight got cancelled and I got rebooked initially on a flight where my first port of entry would be Indianapolis. While the CBP is one organization, I don’t live there and was nervous as I had not discussed this with the CBP in Indianapolis. So I called and the CBP and the officer I spoke to was completely unprofessional, yelled at me as if I was some kind of idiot. It was incredibly upsetting considering the stress I was already under. Hence, I had the airline rebook me on the same flight I was supposed to take but just a day later so I could fly directly into Boston. 

 

I hope this helps others and good luck.

 

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