Veterans and Members of the Armed Forces: Take Advantage of Parole in Place Rules

Parole in place is somewhat recent government policy that not many people know about. It was passed in 2013 by the Obama administration. In short, it is a special kind of status that allows the immediate undocumented family members of those serving in the United States armed forces the right to reside in the United States and potentially have some other benefits as well.

This is a significant benefit over the typical petition process for undocumented individuals, which does not allow a person to apply for permanent residency while already in the United States unlawfully.

To qualify for parole in place, the person needs to have entered the United States unlawfully. If you entered the United States lawfully and overstayed your visa, you are not eligible for parole in place and you should instead look into applying for adjustment of status.

To be eligible for parole in place, the applicant’s family member needs to be one of the following:

  • An active duty member of the United States Armed Forces
  • A current member of the Selected Reserve or the Ready Reserve
  • Previously member pr veteran in the United States Armed Forces or Selected Reserve or the Ready Reserve

Only immediate family is eligible to apply for parole in place. This includes the spouses, children, and parents of the individual affiliated with the Armed Forces.

Additional Benefits

After being granted parole in place, an individual can apply for legal permanent residency and also request employment authorization.  Individuals who qualify to adjust status and are ready to apply upon approval of parole do not have to wait: they can request employment authorization in conjunction with the application for adjustment of status (the green card application).

The Application Process

Applicants for parole in place need to file the following:

  • Form I-131, Application for Travel Document with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Proof of relationship to the armed forces member
  • Proof of the armed forces member’s active duty membership or past membership in the United States Armed Forces, the Selected Reserve, or the Ready Reserve. Typically, a copy of the service member’s military identification card (DD Form 1173) is used.
  • Two passport style photographs
  • Evidence of any favorable discretionary factors

Renewal Considerations

The parole in place and any additional benefits granted normally last for one year. At the end of this term, the person is allowed to re-apply to extend the status if necessary.

The Future of the Parole in Place Program

In February 2017, Trump’s Executive Order entitled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States” included language that appeared to rescind the Parole in Place program. However, as of right now, the  status of parole in place program continues. The Department of Homeland security has confirmed that the program is still in place, and information on the program is still available on government websites.

Those looking to apply are advised to do so expeditiously, as a more formal rescinding of the program could happen at any time. Reach out to us today to start your application process!