Parole in Place for Spouses, Children, and Parents of Veterans and Military Members
New Policy Memorandum from the Obama Administration Makes it Possible for Certain Relatives of Military Members and Veterans to Remain in the U.S. and Possibly Adjust Status
A policy memorandum was issued on November 15, 2013 by the Obama administration to allow spouses, children and parents of active duty or veteran members of the U.S. Armed Forces or the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve to remain in the U.S. and potentially “adjust status” to obtain Permanent Residence from within the United States.
As of November 15, 2013, a spouse, child, or parent of a military member or veteran may be able to adjust status to Permanent Resident (i.e. get a “Green Card”), even if they entered without inspection. They can apply for what is called “parole in place,” which USCIS is now directed, as a matter of policy, to strongly consider granting on the basis of military family member relationships, in the absence of criminal convictions or other adverse factors. “Parole in place” effectively would replace their “entry without inspection” and overcome grounds of inadmissibility that would have previously applied and prevented them from remaining in the U.S. or from becoming Legal Permanent Residents while remaining in the U.S. While “parole in place” is not a new concept, this policy memo underscores that applications for it filed by military family should generally be considered favorably. The memo also clarifies that “parole in place” allows for adjusting status within the U.S.
Among other reasons for the policy, the memorandum stated that, “there is a concern within DoD [Department of Defense] that some active members of the U.S. Armed Services, individuals serving in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve and individuals who have previously served in the U.S. Armed Forces or Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve face stress and anxiety because of the immigration status of their family members in the United States. … Military preparedness can potentially be adversely affected if active members who can be quickly called into active duty, worry about the immigration status of their spouses, parents and children.”
Parole in place is granted on a case-by-case basis and is purely discretionary. If granted, whether parolees are eligible to adjust status without a waiver is a critical question that should be understood before filing for Permanent Residence. The help of a competent immigration attorney is strongly encouraged when applying for either parole or adjustment of status on this basis.
If you think you may be affected by this development, please call our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys who will be happy to explain in more detail your options and how our law office can assist you in the process.
The policy memorandum by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, released November 15, 2013, is available here:
Note: Foreign nationals seeking lawful status in the U.S. are subject to all immigration laws, and even with a lawfully recognized qualifying family relationship, may be inadmissible or otherwise unable to obtain Permanent Residence in the U.S. on other grounds, such as certain criminal convictions or immigration violations. This is true of anyone seeking immigration benefits from the U.S. Government.