Parole – The “Hail Mary” Option
The granting of parole was recently in the news. As discussed elsewhere on this site, parole is the “last chance” after other visa options have been exhausted. A sympathetic case was the recent approval for a team of girls from Afghanistan to participate in a robotics competition in the United States. Their B visa applications had been denied twice by the US Embassy in Kabul. An outcry ensued, with the President apparently intervening. DHS then issued the special parole permission for all of the girls and their coach to enter the US to compete. More details can be found in this Washington Post story.
A stranger situation revolves around the case of the Russian lawyer caught up in the election collusion scandal. Apparently, she had been denied US visas, but eventually was granted parole so that she could attend court hearings in the US on behalf of a client. The LA Times provides some background.
These cases show the disparate uses and possibilities in applying for parole – either humanitarian parole or significant public interest parole. Most humanitarian parole applications center on medical emergencies, family separations, or sympathetic circumstances. We have had particular success in helping those with “split families” – parents in the US as permanent residents, with minor children stuck outside the US because they are no longer eligible for Diversity Lottery visas or subject to long visa lines. While the average humanitarian parole application takes approximately 4-5 months to adjudicate, review can be expedited, as can be seen in the Afghan girl case. In addition, it has become more feasible to obtain humanitarian parole; while the approval rate used to hover around 25%, it has recently increased to over 40%.
While the documentation requirements for a humanitarian parole application can be very strict, securing humanitarian parole has become much more of a realistic hope for those with truly no visa option. Please contact us to discuss how we may help.