Understanding the I-485 Adjustment of Status Impact on Travel

Embarking on international travel while your I-485 adjustment application is pending requires careful consideration to avoid potential setbacks. Let’s delve into the key aspects you need to know.

1. Risks of Unauthorized Departure

Leaving the United States without obtaining advanced permission during a pending I-485 adjustment application may lead to the abandonment of your adjustment status. This necessitates restarting the entire immigration process.

2. Consequences of Traveling Abroad

Traveling without sanctioned approval not only entails restarting the immigration process but may also restrict your re-entry into the United States until a legitimate immigrant visa is secured. It’s crucial to confirm travel permission before venturing on international travel with a pending adjustment application.

3. Traveling Abroad on H-1B or L-1 Visas

For individuals holding valid H-1B or L-1 visas, international travel during a pending adjustment may be feasible under specific conditions:

  • No ongoing immigration proceedings
  • Assured return to the same US employer
  • Possession of a valid H-1B or L-1 visa

Ensuring compliance with these conditions is essential to minimize risks and facilitate a smooth international travel experience.


Navigating international travel with a pending I-485 Adjustment of Status requires a nuanced understanding of the risks and conditions. Stay informed, confirm travel permission, and adhere to specific visa guidelines for individuals on H-1B or L-1 visas. For personalized guidance, consult immigration professionals.

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