Certain Families of Veterans and Current Military May Be Entitled to Immigration Relief

If you are closely related to someone serving in the U.S. military or a veteran you may be eligible for “parole in place” immigration relief. This allows individuals who came to the United States without immigration authorization to remain in the U.S. in a status that is similar to a truce. 

Parole in place grants you lawful immigration status for certain benefits and provides the potential for some immigrants to acquire a Green Card. However, it does not excuse periods of unlawful presence that occurred before parole was granted.

Who is Eligible for Parole in Place?

To qualify for parole in place relief, you must be closely related to someone serving on active duty in the U.S. armed forces, someone in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve, or a veteran of one of these types of service. Relatives who are eligible include:

  • Spouses
  • Widows/widowers
  • Parents
  • Sons
  • Daughters

If the relative who served in the military is deceased or discharged, that does not affect eligibility unless separation from service was due to a dishonorable discharge.

The government grants parole in place based on a case evaluation. An applicant must show that parole is justified due to “urgent humanitarian reasons” or “significant public benefit.”

How Does Parole in Place Work?

The parole in place program is designed to help people who entered the U.S. without official authorization and who need to apply for lawful admission. It does not help those who were admitted lawfully but who stayed in the U.S. beyond their period of authorization. (Those individuals may be eligible for relief through deferred action.)

If you are approved for parole in place, then you can take advantage of several benefits. First, you can apply for a work permit for the duration of your parole status. Parole is granted for one year, but those approved may apply for renewal.

During the time while someone is authorized for parole in place, they do not accrue unlawful presence. They can also apply for some immigration benefits that usually require lawful entry, such as a Green Card.

The Process for Requesting Parole in Place

Individuals who want to be approved for parole in place should be prepared to document their qualifications. They will need to show their relationship to a service member or veteran and persuasively explain why humanitarian concerns support their application or grant of parole in place would lead to substantial public benefit. 

Applicants need to complete form I-131 and submit it to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with supporting documentation. In Part 2 of Form I-131, applicants seeking parole in place should handwrite the term “Military PIP” instead of checking one of the standard boxes.  

Assistance from an immigration attorney helps applicants present their strongest arguments in favor of parole and can ensure that all requirements are met to help give the application the best available chances for approval.

Talk to an Immigration Attorney About Parole in Place or Other Immigration Relief

In many situations, you only get one chance to apply for particular opportunities for immigration assistance to reach your goals. It makes sense to ensure that your application is as strong as possible before submitting it.

Working with an experienced immigration lawyer at Luis F. Hess, PLLC can give you the advantages you need to reach a successful outcome. Our team is dedicated to helping our clients immigrate under the most advantageous provisions of the law. Contact us today for a confidential consultation to learn more about how we can assist in your case.