Parole in Place
On November 15, 2013, USCIS issued a policy memorandum entitled "Parole of Spouses, Children and Parents of Active Duty Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve, and Former Members of the U.S. Armed Forces or Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve and the Effect of Parole on Inadmissibility under Immigration and Nationality Act §212(a)(6)(A)(i).”This memorandum addresses a possible path to citizenship for immediate relativesof U.S. citizen members of the U.S. military, who are presently in the U.S. and have entered unlawfully. The administration has applied the memorandum broadly,extending it to all active-duty members of the armed forces, to reservists including the National Guard, and to all veterans. Their spouses, children and parents will be eligible for a “parole in place” or “PIP,” which allows those who are already qualified for a green card based on this close family relationship to adjust status without leaving the U.S., despite their past illegal entry and stay.
Under INA 245(a), a person cannot adjust status unless s/he has been “admitted or paroled” into the U.S. Usually, a person who has not been “admitted or paroled” into the U.S. cannot obtain lawful permanent residence unless s/he leaves the U.S. to collect visas they applied for through marriage to an American citizen or some other family relationship; however, the person will most likely face a 3-year or 10-year inadmissibility bar that is triggered by exiting the U.S. PIP is an attempt to avoid the separation of military families by allowing some family members to adjust status inside the U.S. Under this policy, those immigrants who are in military families will not have to leave to complete their visa applications.
In order to request parole, the alien must submit to the director of the USCIS office with jurisdiction over the alien’s place of residence:
A completed Form I-131, Application for Travel Document;
- Evidence of a family relationship with one of the following:
- A current member of the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve, or;
- Someone who has previously served in the U.S.Armed Forces or the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve (which must be proven through documentation such as a photocopy of both the front and back of the service member’s military identification card (DD Form 1173));
- Two identical, color, passport style photographs; and
- Evidence of any additional favorable discretionary factors that the requester wishes considered.
- Once you have obtained PIP approval, you can now proceed with filing a visa petition (signed by the U.S. citizen) and adjustment of status application, all at the same time.
NOTE: Please keep in mind that anyone with a criminal conviction or other “serious adverse factors” will not be granted PIP. Also, PIP is discretionary and decided on a case-by-case basis, which means that immigration authorities do not have to grant PIP if they feel that you are not eligible.
If you would like to apply for PIP or have further inquiries, please feel free to contact our office to schedule a consultation with our highly experienced immigration attorney and we would be happy to assist.