A new initiative has been launched to assist illegal aliens who are present without admission or parole and who are spouses, children and parents of those serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve or who previously served in the U.S. Armed Forces or Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve.
In an effort to demonstrate its commitment to assisting military families, the Department of Homeland Security will use a discretionary tools called “parole in place” to help military dependents secure permanent immigration status in the United States as soon as possible. Although it is most frequently used to permit an illegal alien who is outside the United States to come into U.S. territory, parole may also be granted to aliens who is already physically present in the U.S. without inspection or admission (sometimes called “parole in place”). The basic authority for parole in place is INA § 212(d)(5)(A), which expressly grants discretion to parole “any alien applying for admission to the United States.”
The grant of “parole in place” allows illegal aliens who entered the U.S. without inspection or illegal aliens subject to the 3 years and 10 years ban for unlawful presence to adjustment status in the United States without having to leave the United States. Also, there is no requirement to file a waiver in or outside the United States. The illegal alien must not have criminal convictions of any other grounds of inadmissibility besides the two mentioned grounds mentioned in this paragraph.
STEP 1: Determine Eligibility
Remember, the decision whether to grant parole in place under INA § 212(d)(5)(A) is discretionary (on a case-by-case basis, looking at “urgent humanitarian reasons ”). The applicant must be a spouse, child or parent of an Active Duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces, an individual in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve or an individual who previously served in the U.S. Armed Forces or the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve.
Absent a criminal conviction or other serious adverse factors, parole in place would generally be an appropriate exercise of discretion for such an individual. If USCIS decides to grant parole in place, the parole should be authorized in one-year increments, with re-parole as appropriate.
To request parole, the alien must submit to the director of the USCIS office with jurisdiction over the alien’s place of residence:
(1) Completed Application for Travel Document;
(2) Evidence of the family relationship;
(3) Evidence that the alien’s family member is an Active Duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces, individual in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve or an individual who previously served in the U.S. Armed Forces or the Selected Reserve or the Ready Reserve such as a photocopy of both the front and back of the service member’s military identification card (DD Form 1173);
(4) Two identical, color, passport style photographs; and
(5) Evidence of any additional favorable discretionary factors that the requestor wishes considered.
STEP 2: Apply for Adjustment of Status
Once you have obtained approval of your parole in place, you can proceed with filing a visa petition (signed by the U.S. citizen) and adjustment of status application, all at the same time. It is advised that you seek the advise of an experienced immigration lawyer when pursuing this new process of obtaining “parole in place” in order to seek adjustment of status in the United States as a family member of military personnel.