As a Miami immigration lawyer and an Austin immigration lawyer, I sometimes get questions from immigrants in Miami or immigrants in Austin about military parole in place. Below is a basic FAQ about how this program may benefit you, or your loved one.
What is parole in place?
Parole in place is a status that allows undocumented family members of those who are in the U.S. Armed Forces the right to reside in the United States and qualify for certain benefits. Those benefits include eligibility for employment authorization and, for some individuals, eligibility for adjustment of status. The Department of Homeland Security paroles people into the United States for humanitarian reasons or significant public interest in cases where they would otherwise not qualify to enter with a visa. Parole in place, on the other hand, is the term used by DHS when granting parole to people who are already physically present in the United States after an entry without inspection. If you have any questions about what military parole in place is, you may want to speak with an Austin immigration lawyer or a Miami immigration lawyer.
Who qualifies for military parole in place?
At the time of posting of blog, the individuals who qualify for military parole in place are the spouses, parents, and children of those who:
- Are serving as active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces
- Are current members of the Selected Reserve or the Ready Reserve, or
- Previously served in the U.S. Armed Forces or Selected Reserve or the Ready Reserve
Again, if you have any questions about whether military parole in place will benefit you, you may want to speak with an Austin immigration lawyer or a Miami immigration lawyer.
Do I have to worry about the immigration status of the military member or veteran relevant?
In order to serve in the military one must be either a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident (LPR). Therefore, it is unlikely that the military member will not be in one of these categories. However, the memo is silent on the necessary immigration status of the military member. Only the spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens – immediate relatives – can qualify to adjust status after being granted parole in place. If the military member is a legal permanent resident, the spouse, parent, or child would still benefit from parole in place by being granted permission to remain here and being eligible for employment authorization. Again, if you have any questions about whether military parole in place will benefit you, you may want to speak with an Austin immigration lawyer or a Miami immigration lawyer.
What is the processing time for an application for such a program?
The USCIS district offices have not reported the processing times for parole in place applications. However, you can expect that it will take approximately three months or more to receive a decision. But the processing times will vary depending on the district office. If you have any questions about whether military parole in place will benefit you, you may want to speak with an Austin immigration lawyer or a Miami immigration lawyer.
Is the grant of parole automatic?
No. The one thing that any applicant should remember about the process is that the grant of parole is discretionary. However, the USCIS memo notes that being the spouse, parent or child of an individual who is on active duty in the military or is a veteran “ordinarily weighs heavily in favor of parole in place.” In addition, the memo notes that, absent a criminal conviction or other serious adverse factor, parole in place would generally be an appropriate exercise of discretion. If you have any questions about this, you may want to speak with an Austin immigration lawyer or a Miami immigration lawyer.
I have been granted parole. Can I request employment authorization?
After being granted parole, you or your Miami immigration lawyer or your Austin immigration lawyer can request employment authorization under category (c)(11). Individuals who qualify to adjust status and are ready to apply upon approval of parole can request employment authorization in conjunction with the application for adjustment.
If granted, for how long is the parole and employment authorization valid?
You should confirm this with your Austin immigration attorney or Miami immigration attorney, but typically, the parole and employment authorization will each be valid for one year. The applicant will be allowed to apply for re-parole at the end of that period.
What if the application for parole in place is denied?
The first thing you should do if you receive a denial for your application for parole is to contact your Austin immigration lawyer or Miami immigration lawyer. Note that the USCIS memo does not address the issue of when enforcement might be pursued where an application for parole in place is denied. However, according to the November 2011 USCIS policy guidance, USCIS will refer an applicant to ICE for consideration of NTA issuance in cases involving certain criminal offenses, a statement of findings substantiating fraud, or a threat to public safety or national security. If you have any questions about this, you may want to speak with an Austin immigration lawyer or a Miami immigration lawyer.
My relative has been granted parole in place. Does she/he qualify to adjust status under INA § 245(a)?
That depends. If a person is an immediate relative – the spouse, unmarried child, or parent of a U.S. citizen – he or she is eligible to file for adjustment of status under INA § 245(a) after being “inspected, admitted, or paroled” into the United States. Those who entered the country illegally would satisfy that requirement if they are subsequently granted parole in place. Without the status of parole in place, many would have to depart the country and consular process, thus triggering the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility. If a person is in one of the family-based preference categories – adult or married sons/daughters of U.S. citizens, siblings of U.S. citizens, and spouses or children of lawful permanent residents (LPRs) – he or she would likely not qualify for adjustment of status after being inspected, admitted, or paroled. This is because the person would also need to have always maintained lawful immigration status, pursuant to INA § 245(c). This restriction does not apply to immediate relatives. Again, it is advisable to check with an Austin immigration lawyer or a Miami immigration lawyer in regard to the this.
If you would like more information on military parole in place, obtaining a green card, or obtaining U.S. citizenship, please contact Miami immigration lawyer and Austin immigration lawyer Michael G. Murray, Esq. at (305) 895-2500 or visit our website at www.mmurraylaw.com.