On November 15, 2013, USCIS issued a new policy memorandum outlining procedures for “Parole In Place,” granting certain benefits to spouses, parents and children of certain military personnel.
This is good news. It’s a recognition that worrying about immigration status of family members is severe enough a condition to warrant a very sparingly used benefit.
You can read the full memo here.
We’ve boiled it down; here is what you need to know:
What Is “Parole In Place” (PIP)?
- Parole in place is an immigration benefit that makes your entry into the United States lawful, without having to leave the United States, even if you entered the United States without inspection.
- If you are granted “Parole In Place,” you will be “paroled” into the United States. This is not the same as being admitted with a visa, but it does allow, under some circumstances, for you to apply for permanent residence. Usually this means because you are married to a US citizen, but there are other times it may apply.
- While you are “paroled in place” you will not be deported.
- PIP is granted in one-year increments, so every year you would have to renew it if granted.
- There is no age limit or physical presence requirement to apply for PIP.
Who Can Apply For PIP?
You must have a parent, spouse, or child who is serving, or has served in:
- US Army
- US Navy
- US Marine Corps
- US Air Force
- US Coast Guard
- Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve
Remember, either someone currently serving or a veteran of one the above-named units.
How Do I Apply?
Submit Form I-131 (without a filing fee) to your local USCIS Office, with two color photographs, proof of your identity, relationship with the qualifying relative, and proof of your qualifying relative’s current or former service in the US Armed Forces or Selected Reserve. You should also submit proof of any positive or countervailing equities, such as absence of a criminal record.
My Spouse (Or Parent Or Child) Is Out Of Status; Can I Enlist In The Army To Help Them?
So far, it appears the answer to this question is yes, but there is no way to tell how USCIS might view this. It is important to remember that PIP is discretionary. If USCIS says no, there is no way to appeal the decision. And the memo does not contain any provisions about not sharing information provided with ICE, which may inadvertently put your loved one on ICE’s radar. (When deferred action, or DACA, came out, there were assurances made by USCIS that information collected by DACA applicants would not be used to initiate removal proceedings.)
Also – some military branches such as the Navy and the Marine Corps – do not allow new applicants who have dependents (spouses and children) who are out of status. Whether these requirements can be amended for PIP purposes is something we will have to wait and see.
We are able to direct prospective applicants and will be using PIP as a viable means of immigration relief for people who otherwise might not have any options. If you have a relative who served in the US Armed Forces, or yourself served and have a parent, spouse or child out of status, contact us by completing the form below to see if we can help. You might want to join our LawFeed, to stay on top of updates as they come out.