What is Parole in Place (PIP)?
Parole in Place is essentially a retroactive permission to enter the country for individuals who previously entered the country without permission. It effectively forgives unlawful entry. Parole in Place is a policy that allows certain undocumented family members of U.S. citizens to adjust status (i.e., get their green card) in the U.S. and become lawful permanent residents without being required to leave the country.
Why Does an Undocumented Person Need Parole in Place?
For foreign nationals who entered the U.S. without inspection, Parole in Place provides a significant benefit. Barring minor exceptions, a person who has not been “admitted or paroled” into the U.S. cannot gain permanent residency without first leaving the U.S. and being interviewed at a consular post abroad.
Why Can’t an Undocumented Person Just Go Abroad to Get an Immigrant Visa Instead of Filing for Adjustment of Status?
Undocumented individuals who are immediate relatives of a US citizen are caught between a rock and a hard place: they aren’t permitted to adjust their status inside the country because they have not been “admitted or paroled,” yet upon leaving the U.S. to apply for the immigrant visa, they almost always trigger inadmissibility grounds based on their unlawful presence in the U.S. When unlawful presence bars are triggered, individuals are required to remain outside the U.S. for either three or ten years, depending on the length of their prior unlawful presence in the U.S. Although these bars can be waived, the legal standard is onerous and arbitrary. Waivers are only granted if USCIS is satisfied that the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent (not child) will experience “extreme hardship” if the foreign national is not allowed to come back to the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident. Both preparing and adjudicating the waiver can take many months, and positive outcomes are far from guaranteed. The process is grueling for families who remain in a state of constant fear and uncertainty about their futures. Parole in Place essentially provides a fast-track for the undocumented family members of some military members to get green cards without having to apply for waivers or leave the country.
Who Currently Can Get Parole in Place?
“Parole in Place” can be granted for undocumented parents, spouses, and children of U.S. military personnel. For purposes of Parole in Place, “U.S. military personnel” includes Active Duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces, individuals in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve or individuals who previously served in the U.S. Armed Forces or the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve.
Contact one of our Parole in Place attorneys at Becker & Lee LLP to learn more about how we can help.