Parole in Place for Immediate Relatives of Active Duty Military US Citizens
Thousands of U.S. citizens serving active duty in the Armed Forces have spouses, children or parents who are undocumented. The USCIS and the Department of Defense recognized that their family’s immigration status may result in stress and anxiety either in active service or as veterans. In response, Congress, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense identified tools that would help military dependents secure permanent immigration status as soon as possible. This included granting parole to certain family members which would allow them to adjust their status within the United States without being subject to a ban – resulting in prolonged periods of family separation. As such, INA § 212(d)(5)(A) grants the Secretary discretion to parole for “urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit” an otherwise undocumented and inadmissible spouse, parent, or child under 21, who wishes to apply for lawful status to the United States. This is known as Parole in Place. Stated simply, undocumented spouses, parents, and children of U.S. citizens who are actively serving may be granted parole – thus effectively changing their status from “unlawful” to “lawful.” If a spouse, parent, or child of a military-serving U.S. citizen is granted parole, the U.S. citizen can then file a petition to sponsor the dependent for a green card as immediate relatives. Parole only applies to the dependent’s unlawful status in the United States. It does not negate any other grounds of inadmissibility, such as criminal convictions or medical conditions. If you are the spouse, parent or child of a U.S. citizen active military service member, contact the immigration law firm of Maximilian Law Inc. to see if you are eligible for Parole in Place.