An immigration program known as “parole in place” allows people who have close family members that are serving or served in the United States military to get a green card without leaving the
United States, even with a past illegal entry and stay. The goal of the program is to avoid the separation of military families by allowing certain family members to get immigration papers while
they are in the United States so the family can avoid a long separation that could harm the military member’s morale, readiness, or ability to complete military service.
You must be the spouse, unmarried child (under age 21), or parent of a U.S. citizen to apply for Parole in Place. Your military family member must be:
An Active Duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces;
- A current member of the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve (SELRES); or
- Someone who has previously served in the U.S. Armed Forces or the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve (SELRES).
If you have a criminal conviction or other “serious adverse factor” then USCIS probably won’t grant you parole in place. USCIS grants parole in place only on a “discretionary” basis, which means
the government does not have to grant it if they don’t want to. It’s up to the applicant to convince the federal government that they deserve an exercise of discretion.
Form I-131 Application for Travel Document
- Evidence that you are the spouse, unmarried child (under age 21), or parent of a U.S. citizen military service member like a marriage or birth certificate.
- Evidence of military service (such as a photocopy of a military identification card).
- Two identical, color, passport-style photos.
- Evidence of any additional favorable factors you want USCIS to consider. For example, letters from family members or community members.
- There is no fee to apply for Parole in Place.
After USCIS reviews your application and documents, they may call you in for an interview. Usually, these are short interview but if USCIS needs more information to make a decision in your case
then they may conduct a more extensive investigation and interview.
Normally, if you entered the United States without being inspected by an immigration officer, then you need to go back to your home country to apply for a visa (also known as consular
processing). Additionally, you would also have to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence which can be difficult to obtain. However, if USCIS grants you parole in the United
States, then you will be eligible to adjust status and become a legal permanent resident (green card holder) without ever leaving the United States. You can get work authorization and stop
worrying about deportation. After a few years, you will also be eligible to become a U.S. citizen.
At the Law Office of Adrian Murati, our Rockford immigration law firm helps people through various stages of the Parole in Place program including:
Determining whether you are eligible for the “parole in place” program;
- Helping you gather the necessary evidence and apply for “parole in place”; and
- Once you are approved, we can file a visa petition and apply for adjustment of status so you can get a green card.
If you have a family member that served or is currently serving in the United States Military, then you may be eligible to become a legal permanent resident through Parole in Place. Call us at
(815) 289-3209 to discuss your immigration options with a Rockford immigration lawyer.