22 December 2008

Parole Primer – Brief Description of “Parole Status”

Humanitarian Parole Status

An individual who is ineligible to enter the United States as a refugee, immigrant or nonimmigrant may be Humanitarian Parole Status

An individual who is ineligible to enter the United States as a refugee, immigrant or nonimmigrant may be paroled? into the United States by the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. This provision is only used for emergency, humanitarian and public interest reasons. The individual who is paroled into the United States is known as a parolee.

Humanitarian parole can only be requested for persons outside the United States. Anyone can file an application for humanitarian parole, including the prospective parolee, a sponsoring relative, an attorney or another interested individual.

Requests for humanitarian parole must be submitted to the following address: Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Attn: Chief, International Operations Division, 20 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 3300, Washington, D.C., 20529.

A request for humanitarian parole is submitted on Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, along with the correct filing fee in the form of a cashier?s check. Additionally, Form I-134, affidavit of support, is needed to ensure that the applicant will not become a public charge. A parole request should include information that is specific, verifiable and complete. Evidence of the claimed circumstances should also be submitted. Aliens currently in Canada should submit Form I-131 to the director of the office that has jurisdiction over the area where the alien intends to enter the United States.

To check the status of a humanitarian parole application, applicants should contact the Parole and Humanitarian Assistance Branch in Washington, D.C., in writing. Humanitarian paroles are granted for a period of time to coincide with the duration of the emergency or humanitarian situation that forms the basis for the request. There is a maximum time limit of one year.

The denial of a request for humanitarian parole is a discretionary determination based upon a review of all of the evidence submitted. There is no statutory provision for appeal. If there are new facts that should be considered, a new submission may be sent to the Parole and Humanitarian Assistance Branch for consideration, along with the filing fee.

Public Law 101-67, also known as the Lautenberg Amendment (formerly known as the Specter Amendment), allows for the status adjustment of individuals who are nationals of the former Soviet Union, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. These individuals may apply for green cards after one year of physical residence in the United States on Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status with the appropriate fees (applicants ages 14 to 79 years must also pay a fingerprinting fee). They must also submit medical exam results. All other individuals paroled for humanitarian or other emergency reasons are not eligible to apply for green cards as parolees, unless they qualify under another immigration provision, such as employment.

Once granted parole status, parolees may not travel abroad. Only those who have adjusted their status to permanent residents may travel outside the United States, using a travel document. Parolees admitted for humanitarian or emergency reasons are not eligible to apply for employment authorization.

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