New Policy Update: Parole for Immigrants with U.S. Citizen Spouses

Some exciting news came from the White House earlier this week that gives us hope for many of those who have been stuck in status limbo or the lengthy process of applying for an I-601A waiver and Consular Processing for an Immigrant Visa. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a new policy to promote family unity for certain immigrants married to U.S. citizens. This update to immigration policy offers a pathway for eligible immigrants to apply for lawful permanent residence (a green card) without having to leave the United States. Here’s an overview of the new policy, its requirements, and what it means for eligible immigrants and their families.

Why is this a Good Opportunity?

For many families, the only pathway to remain with their family in the US long-term is through the lengthy process of applying for a waiver and Consular Processing; this process could easily take five years and create anxiety for families. Until now, Consular Processing was really the only option for many immigrant families, resulting in prolonged, and sometimes indefinite, periods of separation. 

This new policy doesn’t change who is eligible for a green card, but how someone can obtain one. It’s going to save at least 3-4 years of processing time, undue uncertainty, and stress, and will save a significant amount of money for these families.

Who is Eligible for Spousal Parole?

Physical presence:

Must have been present in the United States on or before June 17, 2014, without parole or admission.

Marital status:

Must have been married to a U.S. citizen on or before June 17, 2024.

Immigration status:

Must not currently have lawful status. For this policy, DACA and TPS recipients should be eligible as these are not considered lawful status.

Inadmissibility factors:

This policy forgives one unlawful entry but does not forgive prior removal orders or certain crimes of inadmissibility. We are waiting for more guidance to see if USCIS will allow those who require an I-601 waiver for fraud, criminal issues, or other grounds of inadmissibility to receive parole. 

Adjustment eligibility:

Besides certain factors that previously required leaving the country (like an unlawful entry), the applicant should meet all other requirements for adjusting status.

Age considerations:

Minor children of eligible individuals can also qualify for parole in place under this policy if they are physically in the U.S. without admission or parole and have a valid stepchild relationship to a U.S. citizen on or before June 17, 2024.

What is the Process?

A lot is still unknown at the moment, as the policy was just announced this week. As of yet, there is no set date for when this policy will go into effect, although we expect it to happen around 60 days from now.

We are waiting to hear from USCIS about the forms, the fees, and the start date of this new program. For now, we recommend that people who may be eligible for this program start collecting evidence of their presence in the US for the last ten years. 

What’s Next?

If you believe you or your spouse may be eligible for this new parole policy, it is crucial to consult an experienced immigration attorney. There are a variety of factors to consider before beginning the process and we want to ensure that the application process goes as smoothly as possible. 

Here’s what we recommend for next steps:

  1. Schedule a Consultation: Meet with an attorney to discuss your specific situation and determine if you are eligible for this type of parole. Both spouses should attend the consultation to ensure all questions and concerns are addressed.
  2. Gather Documentation: Start collecting documents that prove your continuous presence in the U.S. since June 17, 2014, and your marriage to a U.S. citizen. If you start gathering documents now, you will be ready to submit everything shortly after the applications go live.
  3. Stay Informed: Keep an eye out for updates from USCIS, and Hope Immigration, regarding the application process and fees.

How Can Hope Immigration Help?

The Hope Immigration team is extremely excited about this new policy and what it will do for our eligible clients. It is estimated that 500,000 noncitizen spouses of U.S. citizens could be eligible for this new process, having spent, on average, 23 years in the U.S. without a clear path forward. In addition, about 50,000 children of these spouses will be eligible as well. Finally, many families have a clear path to status, especially for certain noncitizens like DACA and TPS recipients. 

This new policy marks a significant step in promoting family unity and providing stability for many immigrant families. At Hope Immigration, we are committed to helping our clients navigate these changes and seize new opportunities.

For our current clients, once the guidance is announced, we will review your case and see if you are eligible and what the path forward may look like. 

For potential clients, we would love to learn more about you and your family. Please schedule a consultation with our attorney, Tracie, and she would be happy to talk with you about this opportunity.

If you’d like to learn more, you can read the memo from USCIS and DHS here.

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