Honoring Military Service: Understanding Parole in Place for Immigrant Families

Navigating US immigration law can be daunting, especially for families with ties to the military. One essential program for eligible immigrants in these families is Parole in Place (PIP). This special program offers an opportunity for certain individuals, who entered the US unlawfully but are family members of active-duty military or veterans, to be formally admitted to the country.

In this blog post, we’ll look at the details of Parole in Place, exploring what it is, who qualifies, the application process, and the compelling reasons why eligible immigrants should consider this option. Join us to learn more about the significance of PIP and its impact on immigrant families with connections to the military community through providing a pathway to stability and security within the United States.

What is Parole in Place (PIP)?

Parole in Place is a program designed to provide certain individuals who entered the US illegally with a legal entry to the US. Typically, these individuals would have to leave the US, triggering an unlawful presence bar, and navigate their immigration process from outside the US. Instead, PIP grants permission for eligible immigrants to adjust their immigration status without having to return to their home country, streamlining the process and reducing the stress and uncertainty for these families.

This program not only honors the sacrifices of their US citizen family members but also ensures that those who serve can do so without the fear of their loved ones facing deportation or doing consular processing in a third country.

Who is Eligible for Parole in Place?

Parole in Place is typically for immediate family members of active-duty military personnel and veterans, such as spouses, parents, and children. However, each case is unique, and eligibility depends on a variety of factors. If it’s unclear whether you’re eligible, working with an experienced immigration attorney can help determine your eligibility and guide you through the application process. 

Here are the basic eligibility requirements to consider:

Relationship to Active-Duty Military Personnel or Veterans

Applicants must be the spouse, parent, or child (under 21 years old) of active-duty military personnel or veterans who are United States citizens.

Presence in the United States 

Applicants must currently reside in the United States. Parole in Place is typically not available for individuals who are outside the country.

Unauthorized Entry

Applicants must have entered the United States without inspection or parole. This means they did not go through an official port of entry or were not admitted by an immigration officer. PIP will grant a formal admission for one admission, but if an Applicant has multiple illegal entries, a PIP grant may not solve all of their immigration issues.

Good Moral Character

Applicants must demonstrate good moral character. One typically does this by providing documentation of a clean criminal record and compliance with immigration laws during their stay in the United States. Other documents, such as supporting statements, can also be included.

Request for Parole in Place

Applicants must submit a formal request for Parole in Place to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), along with supporting documentation proving their relationship to the military member and their eligibility for the program.

What is the Process for Obtaining Parole in Place?

The process for obtaining Parole in Place involves submitting the necessary documentation and evidence to support your eligibility, such as proof of relationship to the military member or veteran and evidence of their active-duty status or honorable discharge. Once approved, individuals under PIP status can then apply for adjustment of status (AOS) to obtain lawful permanent residency (green card) without the need to leave the US.

Here is a breakdown of the Parole in Place process from start to finish:

Form I-131

The applicant fills out and submits Form I-131, which is the application for a travel document and indicates that you are applying for Parole in Place.

Supporting Evidence

The applicant gathers and attaches all required supporting documents to your Form I-131, demonstrating your eligibility for Parole in Place. This includes proof of the family relationship with a current or former military member, evidence of the military member’s U.S. citizenship, and supporting documents establishing the applicant’s identity and continuous physical presence in the U.S. Examples include marriage certificates, birth certificates, military service records, and any other relevant proof.

Submit the Application

The applicant mails the completed Form I-131 along with all supporting documents and the required filing fee to the appropriate USCIS address. 

Attend Biometrics Appointment

If required, the applicant attends a biometrics appointment to provide fingerprints, photographs, and a signature for identity verification purposes.

Wait for a Decision

After completing the necessary processing steps, USCIS will issue a decision on your Parole in Place application. If approved, you are granted parole status.

After Being Paroled

After being approved for Parole in Place, the applicant can use the status for travel purposes. It allows the parolee to remain in the U.S. without the risk of being considered unlawfully present. Parole in Place also provides an opportunity to pursue Adjustment of Status without leaving the U.S. This step allows transitioning from parole status to lawful permanent resident status.

Why Consider Parole in Place?

Choosing Parole in Place can be life-changing for eligible immigrant families, offering a pathway to legal status and stability in the country they call home. It honors the service and sacrifices of our military members and veterans while providing peace of mind to their loved ones. If you believe you may qualify for Parole in Place or have questions about your immigration options as a military family member, don’t hesitate to contact our team for guidance and support.

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