Military families have an additional option when it comes to obtaining a green card. Called the Parole in Place program (PIP), this option was first implemented in 2013. Since then, it has given undocumented family members of U.S. military personnel the option to apply for a green card without leaving the country.
At Solano Law Firm, our founder is a proud army wife, and we understand the challenges that you face. Below, our immigration lawyers explain the powerful military parole in place program and how it may help keep your family together while your loved ones apply for green cards.
What Is Military Parole in Place?
Military parole in place is a valuable benefit available to undocumented family members of U.S. service members. Typically, if you enter the United State unlawfully (without a visa), you cannot apply for legal permanent residency or citizenship from inside the country. Once you return to your home country for consular processing, you’ll also have to wait either three or ten years before you can obtain a visa or green card (sometimes called the three and ten-year bars).
The U.S. government realizes that these rules can create stress and disrupt a family’s stability. Because the government wants military service members focused on their job, the PIP program lets undocumented military family members remain in the U.S. while they apply for permanent residency and waives the three and ten-year bars.
Parole in Place Keeps Military Families Together
Family members who are eligible for military parole in place may benefit from a series of protections:
- Ability to remain in the U.S. and work: Family members do not have to worry about deportation once they receive military parole in place and may be able to lawfully work while they apply for legal permanent residency.
- Adjustment of status options: Parolees receive an I-94 immigration record, even though they entered the U.S. without inspection (unlawfully). This record is essential to a green card application. For those who are the spouses, children, or parents of a U.S. citizen, that means they may be able to adjust their status to legal permanent resident almost immediately. Family members of legal permanent residents can live and work in the U.S. while they wait for an available visa.
These benefits can give a military family peace of mind and help the service member focus on their important duties and responsibilities.
Who Is Eligible for Military Parole in Place?
At its core, the PIP program keeps families together. The immediate families of U.S. military members, active or veteran, may be eligible. In order to be eligible for PIP, the current U.S. citizen and member of the military must be one of the following:
- An active duty member of the U.S. armed forces
- A current member of the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve
- A person who previously served in the U.S. armed forces or Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve
The immediate family member who is seeking parole in place must be the following relation to military personnel:
- A spouse
- A parent
- An unmarried child under the age of 21
However, the military parole in place program does have its limitations. The United State Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) can also reject a parolee’s green card application if there is evidence that they are inadmissible, due to a serious criminal record, national security concerns, or other issues.
If you’re unsure whether your family is eligible for military parole in place, contact Solano Law Firm today. We will listen to your story, assess your situation, and explain your family’s immigration options. Our team has extensive experience handling military immigration issues and would love to speak with you.
Applying for PIP
Before you or your loved one applies for military parole in place, you’ll need to complete a series of forms and collect important evidence.
In order to apply for PIP, you must fill out the Form I-131 Application for Travel Document. You will also need the following documentation:
- Evidence of family relationship to the U.S. citizen military service member (copy of a birth or marriage certificate)
- Evidence the U.S. citizen family member is either an active duty member of the U.S. armed forces, in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve, or previously served in the U.S. armed forces or the Selected Reserve or the Ready Reserve (photocopy of the military identification card)
- Two identical, color, passport-style photographs of the non-citizen applicant
- Evidence of any favorable discretionary factors to share with USCIS (letters from community leaders or teachers showing your involvement in volunteer activities, education, or your children’s education)
Once your application for parole in place is approved, you may be eligible to obtain your green card through Adjustment of Status.
If you have questions about the parole process, give Solano Law Firm a call. Our immigration lawyers understand the nuances of a parole application and can help you compile your information and submit them to USCIS. Just as importantly, we can also answer your questions, walk you through each step of the process, and give you peace of mind.
Request a Consultation and Learn More About PIP
If you’re ready to learn more about the military parole in place program, contact us today. We have extensive experience helping military families with immigration issues and would love to educate you and your loved ones about your legal options. We understand the struggle and sacrifices that military families make and are honored to serve them.
To request a confidential, no-risk consultation, contact Solano Law Firm today.