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Parole in Place for Undocumented Immigrant Spouses of US Citizens

Ethics Before Profits
Law Offices of Ernest Goodman > Immigration Law  > Parole in Place for Undocumented Immigrant Spouses of US Citizens

Parole in Place for Undocumented Immigrant Spouses of US Citizens

Introduction

Today, we are going to discuss a new executive order enacted by the Biden administration.

On June 18, President Joe Biden announced a new program that will allow certain spouses of United States citizens to apply for “parole-in-place” from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This program, which is not yet open for applications, will enable up to 550,000 people to receive temporary protections and work permits in the United States. Additionally, it will allow them to apply for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status (also known as a green card) through their spouses without risking years of separation from their families.

Watch our video about parole in place for undocumented immigrants:

Current Challenges in the Immigration System

Under the existing immigration framework, noncitizens married to U.S. citizens can apply for lawful permanent residence (a green card). However, this often necessitates that they first leave the United States to be processed abroad. This requirement results in prolonged and potentially indefinite periods of separation from their U.S. citizen spouses and children, causing considerable emotional and financial hardship. Additionally, applicants must file the I-601A waiver, which involves an average wait time of about four years and yields uncertain results, further complicating and delaying the process.

New DHS Process for Family Unity

To mitigate these challenges, DHS is implementing a new process for certain noncitizen spouses of U.S. citizens. This process will be considered on a case-by-case basis and aims to allow eligible individuals to apply for lawful permanent residence without leaving the United States. The key criteria for eligibility include:

  1. Continuous Residence: The noncitizen must have lived continuously in the U.S. for at least 10 years as of June 17, 2024.
  2. Marriage to a U.S. Citizen: The marriage must be legally valid and have been in existence as of June 17, 2024.
  3. Public Safety and National Security: The noncitizen must not pose any threat to public safety or national security.
  4. Merit-Based Consideration: The noncitizen must be eligible for adjustment of status and demonstrate a favorable exercise of discretion.

Impact of the New Process

DHS estimates that approximately 500,000 noncitizen spouses of U.S. citizens may be eligible for this process, with an average residence in the United States of 23 years. Additionally, around 50,000 children of these spouses will also be eligible. However, those posing a threat to national security or public safety will be excluded from this process.

Continued Efforts for Family Reunification

Today’s announcement builds on the Administration’s previous efforts to enhance family unity, including:

  • Implementing family reunification parole processes for nationals of Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Ecuador.
  • Modernizing the Cuban and Haitian family reunification parole processes.
  • Leading the Family Reunification Task Force, which has successfully reunified nearly 800 children with their families who were previously separated.
  • Establishing country-specific parole processes for nationals of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela who have U.S.-based supporters.

Eligibility and Application Process

Again, to be considered for this new process, individuals must:

  • Be present in the United States without admission or parole.
  • Have been continuously present in the United States for at least 10 years as of June 17, 2024.
  • Have a legally valid marriage to a U.S. citizen as of June 17, 2024.
  • Have no disqualifying criminal history or pose any threat to national security or public safety.
  • Merit a favorable exercise of discretion.

Noncitizen children of potential applicants can also be considered for parole if they are physically present in the U.S. without admission or parole and have a qualifying stepchild relationship to a U.S. citizen as of June 17, 2024.

Individuals will need to file a form with USCIS, along with supporting documentation and a fee. Further information regarding the application process, including a Federal Register notice, will be released soon. USCIS will begin accepting applications later this summer.

Our Services

We provide services from the beginning of the process to the final point. We welcome you to call us or complete our convenient online form, and our team will be happy to guide you towards a successful, stress-free resolution.

 


Note: This post is a general overview and does not constitute legal advice. For specific legal concerns, it’s always recommended to consult with a qualified attorney.

 

 

 

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