When your Advance Parole application is pending:
Last weekend, we got the bad news from India that Aditi's uncle passed away. He had helped her in everything -- from teaching bicycle to helping her in studies to helping her come to US. He was there during our marriage helping in every aspect -- from planning,fixing the hall, helping find caterer, making hotel arrangements, helping us in travel -- all over. So, she wanted to go at least for his 10th day ritual -- that is the least she could do. But the problem was, her advance parole application was pending for the last 40+ days. If she travels without the approval, her I-485 application might be considered abandoned.
She found the USCIS link as mentioned below and she called the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 1-800-375-5283, on Monday. The customer service representative was very helpful. She listened to Aditi patiently. After that, she read out the section for the criteria on expediting in the below link and asked her which option Aditi falls under and then the representative took all the particulars -- like name, address, phone number, email, receipt numbers. She double confirmed the information and told that the information will be forwarded to Nebraska Service Center, since that is where our I-485 application is pending. The representative told that, the service center will give a result in 5 business days and they will contact if further information is needed, and gave a reference number for the phone call.
We decided we will be proactive and we faxed a requisition letter to expedite the pending application along with copy of the receipt notice and the death certificate to 402-219-6171.
The next day (Tuesday) evening, she got an email saying the application is approved. 4 days later
(Saturday), she got her combo card (EAD and AP) by Prority Mail.
We could have got it earlier, have we mentioned our FedEX account number in fax and had requested an overnight delivery.
When your Advance Parole application is not pending:
Few months back, one of my friends had to go to India because his Dad passed away. In his case, he did not have an Advance Parole application pending. So, he went in person, to local USCIS office in Irving. Officer asked him about the proof from Hospital as fax/email. Then he asked him to go online and fill the AP application, pay the fees online and bring the online receipt as a proof along with 2 latest passport size photos.
Once he gave the receipt and photos, the officer at the local office was able to issue him emergency AP. Usually they are allowed to issue only for 1 month. But he requested for 2 months, as he has to take care of few things in India. Officer accepted it and issued immediate AP for 2 months.
Having seen these instances personally, We are very appreciative and wanted to thank USCIS for their customer service and really working on applications and expediting it when it really needed as in -- during emergencies. When I told this to my friends who have got Green Cards long back, they were very surprised and told during their days, there was no easy way to contact USCIS. So, USCIS have come a long way by tremendously improving their customer service and making the procedures and contact methods available online. Kudos !
USCIS link on Emergency Advance Parole: Please click here
USCIS link on Customer Service Contact: Please click here