The U.S. Congress has again extended the validity of Public Law 101-67, a provision known as the Specter Amendment (formerly Lautenberg Amendment). Under this provision, parole in the public interest is offered to some nationals of the former Soviet Union, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. These parolees may apply for green cards if they were paroled into the U.S. during the period of August 15, 1988 through September 30, 2001 (as extended), after being denied refugee status.
Affidavit of Support
Before an individual can be granted parole status, a friend or relative must submit an Affidavit of Support, using INS form I-134, to ensure that the parolee will have adequate means of financial support and will not become a public charge while in the United States. The affidavit of support should be prepared by an individual whose income will be sufficient (according to federal poverty guidelines) to support him/herself and all dependents, as well as the person(s) coming as a parolee. A bona fide offer of employment by an established U.S. employer may substitute for an I-134.
Public interest parolees are eligible to apply for work authorization. Upon arrival, the parolee should apply for an Employment Authorization Document, using INS form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, together with the current fee. Persons admitted as parolees for humanitarian or emergency reasons are not eligible for employment authorization.
Benefits of Parole Status
* Permanent Residence:
Parolees under the Specter Amendment are eligible to apply for permanent residence (green card) after one year of physical presence in the United States. They file form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or adjust Status, in accordance with accompanying instructions, with their local INS office. In addition to the required INS filing fee, applicants between ages 14 and 79 must also include a fingerprinting fee. (Check with the INS for current fee information.)
Parolee applicants for permanent residence must also undergo a medical examination by an INS-approved physician and must also comply with vaccination requirements.
Caution: Parole is not a permanent status. strongly encourages all public interest parolees eligible for adjustment of status to apply for a green card as soon as they become eligible. Because the process of getting a green card is complicated, parolees are strongly advised to seek competent assistance from an attorney or an agency such as HIAS, which is qualified to provide assistance in all immigration matters.
Individuals who are paroled for humanitarian or other urgent reasons are not eligible to become permanent residents unless they qualify under other provision of U.S. immigration law, either on the basis of family relationship or an offer of employment.
* Immigration Options for Relatives:
Until parolees adjust their status to that of permanent resident, they cannot file immigrant visa petitions on behalf of their relatives abroad. However, if the relatives are otherwise eligible for refugee processing, parolees can file an affidavit of relationship on their behalf.
Parolees generally are not permitted to travel abroad. However, parolees who qualify for permanent residence and obtain a green card will be allowed to travel, and should obtain a re-entry permit for this purpose.
Parolees are eligible to apply for citizenship five years from the date they entered the United States as parolees, provided they have since adjusted status to a lawful permanent resident.