Sharing My Experience of Expediting the I-131 (Advance Parole): Steps for Quick Processing and the Journey to Approval

Form I-131 AOS
Due to a family emergency, I needed to expedite the processing of my I-131, Application for Travel Document (Advance Parole). As a result, I went through the entire issuance process. In this article, I want to share the detailed steps and timeline of this process. I hope this will be helpful for those who need prompt responses in urgent situations.

The Reason Behind My Expedited Processing Application

In January 2024, I received my EAD (Employment Authorization Document), but my I-131 (Travel Document) remained pending. Many people around me and those I follow on X (formerly Twitter) received their combo cards, but I was an exception.

Despite frequently checking the status on my USCIS account, my I-131 had not been issued. I feared the worst, which was a family emergency. Suddenly, a family member fell ill, and I decided it was best to be prepared for an immediate return to Japan. This is why I needed to expedite my I-131 (Travel Document) application.

How to Expedite

The expedite request is completed in two main steps:

1. Upload the required documents via your USCIS account.
2. Submit the expedite request through USCIS’s AI chatbot “Emma.”

I will explain each step in detail.

1. Submit Required Documents Using the ‘Unsolicited’ Section on Your USCIS Account

First, submit the required documents via your USCIS account page.

Navigate to the section for Form I-131, then click on the hyperlinked “Unsolicited” section. This will take you to a page where you can upload files. Proceed to upload the necessary documents.

Depending on your situation, I submitted the following documents:

  • Proof of the need to return to my home country
      • Medical diagnosis (signed by a physician)
      • Test results
  •  Cover letter detailing the necessity of family illness and the need to return

2. Submit Your Expedite Request via USCIS’s AI Chatbot ‘Emma’

Next, here is the method to submit the Expedite request through Emma.
✳︎This method is for people who have completed biometrics.

  1. From USCIS homepage, select Emma and then “Connect to live chat.”
  2. Select “GreenCard” from the options that appear next. This will bring up the “Connect to live chat” button again.
  3. Connect with an agent by clicking the button. Once connected successfully, you will need to input your I-131 receipt number (this will be hidden).
  4. Once your receipt number is confirmed, the agent will proceed with verification.
  5. Explain to the agent that you would like to expedite your I-131. It helps to mention that you have already uploaded the necessary documents on your USCIS account.
  6. The agent provides you with a Service Item Number. Take a screenshot or make a note of it for your records. This completes the request process.

Common Errors

During the process, it’s common to experience frequent server disconnections even after connecting with an agent. You either need to persistently wait or start over from the beginning without giving up.

I timed myself to be at my computer promptly at 8:00 AM to coincide with when agents are available. In the first 30 to 40 minutes, I encountered continuous errors no matter how many times I tried. An hour later, I finally connected with an agent and progressed to the identity verification stage before encountering another error.

The second attempt encountered errors at the same time, but it was finally completed on the third try. It took a total of 1 hour and 40 minutes. Sometimes, even when errors appeared midway, messages that should have been sent five minutes earlier suddenly appeared due to time delays. Conversely, messages from the agent also arrived with delays.


  • May 2024
    Submitted Expedite request. Received confirmation number via email.
  • May 2024 (3 days after applied)
    Received email stating, 'We are reviewing your documents as you meet the minimum Expedite criteria.'
  • June 2024 (11 days after applied)
    Received email from a different department stating, 'Your request has been received.'
  • June 2024 (15 days after applied)
    Received extension notice stating, 'We will notify you of the request outcome within 10 to 30 days.'
  • June 2024 (21 days after applied)
    Request approved.
  • June 2024 (27 days after applied)
    Received documents.

I received my I-131 27 days after I applied ! It took some time since my EAD was issued back in January this year, but I finally received the Expedited I-131 document. It was issued as a standalone paper document (I-512L).

For Emergencies, Make a Call

If you need to depart the United States within 15 days, please call USCIS directly instead of using Emma.
You will need to call the number above to request expedited processing.

Before calling, make sure to upload the required documents through the ‘Unsolicited’ section. Failure to upload the documents may require you to call again.