Parole (United States immigration)

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In United States immigration law, the term parole has three different meanings.

A person who does not meet the technical requirements for a visa or is inadmissible may be permitted to enter the United States on humanitarian parole for a temporary period of time, which includes a person who has been previously removed from the U.S.[1] Humanitarian parole is granted on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.[2]

Another use related to immigration is advance parole,[3] in which a person who already legally resides in the U.S. needs to leave temporarily and return without a visa. This typically occurs when a person's application to adjust status to permanent residency (to obtain a green card) is pending and the person must leave the U.S. for emergency or business reasons. In the wake of September 11, 2001, there has been greater scrutiny of applications for parole and advance parole.[4]


  1. ^ U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: Humanitarian Parole, accessed August 7, 2011
  2. ^ New York Times: Nina Bernstein, "A Contest of Suffering, With the U.S. as a Prize," October 14, 2005, accessed August 7, 2011
  3. ^ U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Advance Parole, accessed August 7, 2011
  4. ^ U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services