Parole (United States immigration)
Parole, in the immigration laws of the United States, generally refers to official permission to enter and remain temporarily in the United States, under the supervision of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), without formal admission, and while remaining an applicant for admission.
Among the categories of parole are port-of-entry parole, humanitarian parole, parole-in-place, removal-related parole, and advance parole (typically requested by persons inside the United States who need to travel outside the U.S. without abandoning status, such as applicants for LPR status, holders of and applicants for TPS, and individuals with other forms of parole).
Parole has also been used systematically by some presidential administrations to bring into the United States targeted groups of foreign nationals, many instances of which can be classed as refugee-related parole programs, family reunification parole programs, and Cuban parole programs. The use of broad parole authority has been controversial and subject to limitation and modification over time.
Cuba and Haiti
Under the Cuban Family Reunification Parole and the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program, certain eligible U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents are eligible to apply for parole for their family members in Cuba or Haiti. If the family member is granted parole, the family member would then be allowed to enter the U.S. before their immigrant visas were available. After entering the U.S. under parole, the family member would need to wait for their immigration visa priority date to arrive before applying for lawful permanent resident status, although the family member would have the option of applying for discretionary work authorization in the meantime.
El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras
Under the Central American Minors Refugee and Parole Program, individuals who are lawfully present in the U.S. may apply for refugee status for their child so the child may enter the U.S. In order to qualify, the child must be under the age of 21, unmarried, and a national of El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras. The child of a qualifying child may also be eligible if the child is under the age of 21 and unmarried.
If a person is approved for the Central American Minors Refugee and Parole Program but the person is not eligible for refugee status, the person will be considered for parole. Parole allows the person to lawfully enter the U.S. and live temporarily in the U.S. A person on parole is eligible to apply for work authorization. In most cases, parole is approved for a three-year period.
In January 2017, President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13767, instructing the Secretary of Homeland Security to exercise its parole authority "only when an individual demonstrates urgent humanitarian reasons or a significant public benefit derived from such parole." As a result, the Secretary of Homeland Security stopped processing applications under the Central American Minors Refugee and Parole Program, and several months later ended the program entirely. A parent of eligible children sued, saying the program was ended in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, constitutional due process, constitutional equal protection under the law, and equitable estoppel. While the court case is ongoing, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services continues processing certain Central American Minors parole cases under the previous Central American Minors parole policies and procedures, in accordance with a settlement agreement.
On March 10, 2021 the U.S. Department of State announced that the reopening of the Central American Minors Refugee and Parole Program would reopen. Details about the process and reopening date of the program have not yet been announced.
Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program
Under the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program, Filipino World War II veterans and their spouses who are U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents were eligible to apply for parole for certain family members. Following President Donald Trump's Executive Order 13767, which instructed the Secretary of Homeland Security to exercise its parole authority "only when an individual demonstrates urgent humanitarian reasons or a significant public benefit derived from such parole", the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program was ended. No new applications under the program are being accepted, although individuals already in parole status continue to maintain that status until its expiration date, they may request re-parole, and they may apply to adjust status when eligible to do so.
In 2017, DHS published a new rule, effective July 17, 2017, adding new provisions regarding the use of parole on a case-by-case basis with respect to entrepreneurs of start-up entities who demonstrate that they will provide a significant public benefit to the United States.
In May 2018, DHS published a proposed rule to remove those IEP regulations. As of February 10, 2020, USCIS had received a total of 28 IEP applications, of which 1 was approved, 22 were denied, 3 were withdrawn, and 2 were pending.
Build Back Better
A proposed provision in Joe Biden's Build Back Better proposed legislation would grant immigration parole to about eight million formerly undocumented immigrants living in the country since 2011 or earlier. The parole, which would allow immigrants to work and to freely come and go from the country, would be granted for five years and renewable for another five years up to a maximum of ten years.
Advance parole is permission for a non-U.S. national, who does not have a valid immigrant visa, to request re-entry to the United States after traveling abroad, and to temporarily leave the U.S. without abandoning an ongoing immigration status. Such persons include those who have applied to adjust their status to that of permanent resident or to change their non-immigrant status.
Advance parole must be approved before the applicant leaves the United States, or any residency application be denied unless exceptional circumstances are demonstrated by the alien. It is granted when immigration document Form I-512 is issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which enables an alien to be paroled into the United States. It is not a U.S. visa or a re-entry permit; it is only issued to people without permanent residency.
To obtain an advance parole, an applicant must file Form I-131 ("Application for Travel Document"), with supporting documentation, photos, and fee, at a local USCIS office or the service center having jurisdiction over their place of residence.
Aliens in the United States need an advance parole if they have:
- an application for adjustment of status pending.
- been admitted as a refugee or have been granted asylum.
- been granted benefits under the Family Unity Program.
- been granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
- an asylum application pending.
- an emergent personal or bona fide reason to travel temporarily abroad.
Aliens holding valid K-3 or K-4 visas, as well as H-1 (temporary worker in a specialty occupation) or L-1 (intra-company transferee) visas and their dependents in H-4 or L-2 status who have filed for adjustment of status do not have to file for advance parole as long as they maintain their non-immigrant status: 8 CFR 245.2.
Aliens in the United States are not eligible for an advance parole if they are:
- in the United States without a valid immigration status.
- an exchange alien subject to the foreign residence requirement.
- the beneficiary of a private bill.
- in removal proceedings.
Advance parole can come on a letter-sized piece of paper titled "Authorization for Parole of an Alien Into the United States". For applicants who apply for advance parole together with an employment authorization document (EAD), USCIS issues a "combo card", a variant of the EAD card which contains the words "SERVES AS I-512 ADVANCE PAROLE".
Re-entry into the United States
Advance parole does not guarantee re-entry into the United States. Aliens who have obtained advance parole are still subject to the inspection process of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the port of entry. However, aliens who would otherwise be automatically inadmissible due to a period of unlawful presence, will not be inadmissible if they have advance parole.
Path to lawful permanent residence
Originally, the 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act did not contain provisions for a parolee to apply for adjustment of status, which is ordinarily the standard process of obtaining lawful permanent residence (green card holder) status while in the United States.
in 1960, INA section 245(a) was amended to allow for the adjustment of status of an alien who had been inspected and admitted, or paroled, into the United States, subject to a number of requirements and restrictions. Among the requirements, an individual must be eligible to receive an immigrant visa, and the individual must have an immigrant visa immediately available in order to adjust status.
References and notes
- Bruno, Andorra (October 15, 2020). Congressional Research Service (ed.). "Immigration Parole". Retrieved March 2, 2021.
- New York Times: Nina Bernstein, "A Contest of Suffering, With the U.S. as a Prize," October 14, 2005, accessed August 7, 2011
- "The Cuban Family Reunification Parole (CFRP) Program". U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. January 4, 2021. Retrieved August 10, 2021.
- "The Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program". U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. October 22, 2020. Retrieved August 10, 2021.
- "S.A. v. Donald J. Trump: Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss". Case No. 18-cv-03539-LB. United States District Court Northern District of California San Francisco Division. December 10, 2018.
- "S.A. et al v. Trump" Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse. University of Michigan Law School. Retrieved August 10, 2021.
- "Joint Statement by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of State on the Expansion of Access to the Central American Minors Program". U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of State. June 15, 2021.
- "Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program". U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. January 4, 2021. Retrieved August 10, 2021. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- "USCIS Final Rule on Parole for Start-ip Entrepreneurs". Givi Kutidze. January 15, 2017.
- King, Ledyard; Groppe, Maureen; Morin, Rebecca; Jansen, Bart; Rouan, Rick; Garrison, Joey (October 28, 2021). "What's in Biden's latest budget offer: Climate programs and universal preschool, but no paid leave". USA Today. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
- Beitsch, Rebecca (November 3, 2021). "House outlines immigration provisions in latest Build Back Better package". The Hill. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
- ("The term 'exceptional circumstances' refers to exceptional circumstances (such as battery or extreme cruelty to the alien or any child or parent of the alien, serious illness of the alien, or serious illness or death of the spouse, child, or parent of the alien, but not including less compelling circumstances) beyond the control of the alien.")
- "8 CFR § 245.2(a)(4)(ii)(C), July 1, 1999".
- Matter of Arrabally and Yerrabelly, 25 I&N Dec. 771 (BIA 2012) ("An alien who leaves the United States temporarily pursuant to a grant of advance parole does not thereby make a 'departure . . . from the United States' within the meaning of section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(II) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, (2006). Matter of Lemus, 24 I&N Dec. 373 (BIA 2007), clarified").