Humanitarian Parole – The Last Chance

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The Department of Homeland Security’s Secretary has the authority to grant parole into the United States for foreign individuals in urgent medical or humanitarian situations or during emergencies. Humanitarian Parole is typically considered a final opportunity for entry into the US for individuals who do not qualify for a visa through standard means. The evaluation process for these requests is rigorous, with approximately three-quarters of humanitarian parole applications rejected. It is granted on a case-by-case basis and should not be used to bypass regular visa procedures or applications for refugee status.

To illustrate the various situations in which humanitarian parole may be used, below we can provide a few case studies from our own experience. For example, after an encounter at the airport in the US, one client was paroled into the United States for one month. But he was not given a copy of his Record of Sworn Statement in Administrative Proceedings (I-877) and his ongoing medical condition required additional treatment in the US. We contacted CBP on his behalf at the airport in which he entered the US. We requested a copy of his Sworn Statement and that it extend his humanitarian parole for two months. Within 48 hours, the airport sent to us a copy of the Sworn Statement and extended his humanitarian parole status for two additional months.

In a case that could have ended tragically, another client received an immigrant visa to join her US citizen son in the United States based on his I-130 petition. But she was unable to use her visa before the onset of the pandemic, and the US Embassy in her home country refused to issue a new one until it re-opened. As a result she was stranded in her home country — where the pandemic raged. We then applied for humanitarian parole for her — and it was granted. The Embassy then issued to her a boarding document, and she was able to move to the United States. After her arrival, we submitted a new I-130 petition, as well as an I-485 adjustment of status package. After 6 months, the petition and application were approved, and she received her permanent green card.

Another common situation is when parents are located in the United States and become separated from their children after winning the Diversity Visa Lottery: the parents are able to adjust status in the United States, but their children are unable to obtain immigrant visas at the Embassy abroad before the September 30 deadline. Humanitarian parole may be appropriate for the children in such a case.

These cases are extremely fact-intensive and time-consuming.  The stakes could not be higher: whether it is obtaining urgent medical care in the United States, trying to reunify with separated children, or dealing with a family tragedy.  Sometimes a situation may call for re-parole – where the initial humanitarian parole time period is not enough. 

To discuss your unique situation, please feel free to contact us so that we may be able to provide legal guidance.