Skip to Content
  • Law Office of Kelli Y. Allen, PLLC
Top

FAQ Regarding New Parole-In-Place Program for Spouses of U.S. Citizens

Male Attorney
|

(Information as of 6-24-24)

Q. What is parole-in-place?

A. Parole-in-place is a document issued by the Department of Homeland Security formally allowing your entry into the United States even though you are already physically inside the U.S.. While not the same as a visa, it cures your illegal entry and allows you to be treated the same as someone who entered the U.S. with a visa and overstayed. Most importantly, this allows a foreign nation who meets all other eligibility requirements to apply for adjustment of status (process of applying for a green card without leaving the U.S.).

Q. How does this program help spouses of U.S. citizens obtain a green card?

A. Parole-in-place is not the final objective. Rather, it would be used as a stepping stone to gain eligibility for adjustment of status (process of applying for a green card without leaving the U.S.). Currently, foreign nationals who entered the U.S. without a visa (EWI) are not allowed to apply for a green card without leaving the U.S. and interviewing at a U.S. consulate in the foreign national’s home country. For those who have been present in the U.S. without legal status for more than a year, he or she must remain outside the U.S. for 10 years before interviewing to return, or most obtain a very costly, time-consuming waiver. If a foreign national obtains a parole document, this takes the place of having entered with a visa and, so long as all other eligibility requirements are met, will allow the foreign national to apply for a green card without leaving the U.S.

Q. If I am married to a U.S. citizen, do I automatically qualify for this program?

A. No. You must have been continuously present in the U.S. since July 17, 2014 and must have been legally married to a U.S. citizen on July 17, 2024. Once more guidance on the program has been issued, you will be required to file an application, pay processing fees, and prove that you meet all requirements and deserve a favorable exercise of discretion.

Q. I heard that I have to be in the U.S. for 10 years. Can I qualify for this program later once I reach the 10 year requirement?

A. No. You must have been physically present in the U.S. since July 17, 2014, thus meeting the 10-year requirement as of July 17, 2024. People who reach the 10-year requirement in the future will not be eligible.

Q. Will I receive employment authorization?

A. Uncertain. This program calls for an application for parole-in place. Specifics regarding employment authorization have not yet been addressed. It is possible that parole-in-place applicants will be allowed to simultaneously file for an EAD or will be allowed to file once parole-in-place has been approved. At the very least, once parole-in-place has been approved, those eligible for adjustment of status (application for permanent residency) will be able to apply for employment authorization in connection with the adjustment of status application.

Q. What proof will be needed for my parole-in-place application?

A. The new application and instructions have not yet been released. However, at a minimum, applicants will need documentation that they have been physically present in the U.S. since July 17, 2014, a marriage certification, proof of the spouse’s U.S. citizenship, and evidence of good moral character.

Q. When can I submit an application?

A. Unknown. USCIS is currently not accepting applications. In the next few weeks, guidance should be issued regarding the date applications will begin being accepted. If you submit an application prior to the announced start date, your application will be rejected.

Q. How much will a parole-in-place application cost?

A. Unknown. Once USCIS creates the new application form, it will announce the applicable filing fee. Most likely, applicants will also be required to pay a fee for biometrics as well. Once more specifics are published, attorneys will be able to determine an appropriate legal fee for handling this process. The Law Office of Kelli Y. Allen will determine a flat fee with monthly payment options.

Q. I have a final order of removal but meet the other criteria; do I still qualify?

A. Unlikely. Most of the guidance indicates that to be eligible for this program, the foreign national must be “otherwise eligible” to adjust status. Individuals who have an order of removal are not eligible for adjustment of status. However, if the official guidance does not obtain this provision, is it theoretically possible that an applicant may be eligible to receive parole-in-place but would not be able to use that to obtain a green card.

Q. I entered the U.S. more than once without a visa but meet the other criteria; do I still qualify?

A. Unlikely. Most of the guidance indicates that to be eligible for this program, the foreign national must be “otherwise eligible” to adjust status. Most individuals who have multiple illegal entries are not eligible for adjustment of status. However, if the official guidance does not obtain this provision, is it theoretically possible that an applicant may be eligible to receive parole- in-place but would not be able to use that to obtain a green card.

Q. I already have an approved I-130 spousal petition; what do I need to do?

A. If your approved I-130 was sent to the National Visa Center, make sure that you keep the case open by contacting the NVC at least once a year. This will preserve your approved I-130 and should allow it to be used as a basis for adjustment of status if parole-in-place is granted.

Q. I am in the process of filing an I-601A waiver; what should I do?

A. Anyone with an I-601A case in progress should continue to move forward with that case unless and until a parole-in-place document is actually received. This is an executive action, so there is no guarantee that this program will survive court challenges, nor is there any guarantee how long this program will last.

Q. I have a criminal record; will I qualify?

A. Unknown. Foreign nationals with serious criminal convictions, including most drug convictions will be ineligible. Many criminal convictions render an individual ineligible for adjustment of status. Presumably, those individuals will also be ineligible for parole-in-place. However, it is also possible that more stringent requirements will be placed on applicants for parole-in-place as it is a discretionary measure. More guidance on this issue should be published in the next few weeks.

Q. What stepchildren are eligible for this program?

A. Under immigration law, a parent/stepchild relationship is established when the marriage between parent and spouse occurs before the child reaches the age of 18. To remain a stepchild, the child must remain unmarried and under the age of 21. To qualify for this program, the foreign nation must meet the definition of a stepchild on June 17, 2024.

Categories: