USCIS recently issued a policy memorandum allowing for “parole in place” for certain foreign nationals who are related to members of the military. This new policy guidance provides a mechanism by which foreign nationals who are otherwise ineligible to apply for “adjustment of status” in the US may now be considered eligible. Let’s explain the process and define the terms.
“Parole” refers to an immigration status where a foreign national is permitted to remain in the US but who is not “admitted” in a permanent or in a temporary status. Parole is a “discretionary action” meaning that USCIS can decide when and under what circumstances it will provide this status on a case-by-case basis.
“Adjustment of status” is the process by which a foreign national applies for permanent residency. This process can only occur in the US and if successfully completed, the applicant will be granted status as a permanent resident without being required to depart the US.
Here is the problem, many close family members of those serving in the US military or those who previously served in the US military are present in the US without having been inspected. And while many of these close family members would be eligible for an immigrant visa based on their relationship as the spouse, child or parent of an eligible member of the military, these individuals cannot apply for adjustment of status as a result of having entered without inspection.
Here is the solution. Eligible family members of current military members or those who previously served can submit an application to their local USCIS Field Office for “parole in place,” and if approved the eligible family member will be issued a parole document. While the parole document does not provide permanent immigration status, it should result in the individual becoming eligible to submit an application for adjustment of status to USCIS based on their relationship to their qualifying family/military member.
This is very welcome news to the many family members who are physically present in the US but who were previously ineligible to apply for adjustment of status. We recommend that you consult with a licensed attorney before filing any application for any immigration benefit. Deal with a licensed and reputable attorney and ask for their written qualifications. Always ask for a written fee agreement and remember that you have rights here in the US.
Notaries and paralegals can complete immigration forms, but cannot represent you before USCIS or any government agency. Be careful, ask questions and demand answers. Make wise decisions about whom you trust to assist you and do not let yourself be a victim of unscrupulous individuals who want to convince you that something can be done for you when you are not eligible for any benefits under the immigration laws.