During World War II, an estimated 250,000 Filipino soldiers were drafted into the U.S. armed forces and bravely fought alongside American soldiers against Japanese occupation in the Philippines. The Filipino soldiers were given assurances (by then-U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt) that they would acquire U.S. citizenship and obtain the same veterans’ benefits as American soldiers. In 1990, Congress finally made good on its promise to provide Filipino veterans the opportunity to obtain U.S. citizenship; however, this opportunity was not extended to their children.
As a result, the Filipino veterans after obtaining citizenship quickly filed immigrant petitions for their immediate family; but, because of the enormous backlog of immigration applications, the sons and daughters of Filipino war veterans have to wait for as long as eighteen years before a visa can become available to them.
What is the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole (FWVP) Program?
Under the FVWP Program, these veterans who are now in their 80s and 90s can finally be reunited with their children in the U.S. The FWVP Program allows certain eligible U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) to be reunited with family members in the U.S. before their immigrant visas become available and apply for work authorization.
Who is eligible to request parole?
Veterans may be eligible to request parole for their qualifying relatives if:
- They are either a U.S. citizen or LPR living in the U.S.;
- They have established that they are either a Filipino WWII veteran or are the surviving spouse of such individual;
- They, the Filipino WWII veteran or surviving spouse, filed an immigrant petition for a family member and it was approved on or before the date they filed the request for parole; and
- An immigrant visa is not yet available for their relative.
USCIS has strongly encouraged eligible individuals interested in requesting parole under the FWVP Program do so within 5 years from June 8, 2016.
When Will the FWVP Program Take Effect?
USCIS began accepting applications on June 8, 2016.
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