Humanitarian parole is a type of discretionary relief meant for foreign residents who cannot otherwise obtain a U.S. visa. The USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) may grant humanitarian parole for compelling emergencies such as urgent humanitarian reasons. Additionally, certain individuals may receive humanitarian parole if their entrance to the U.S. would result in an important public benefit.
Who is eligible for humanitarian parole, how does the application process work, and how can immigration lawyers help? Nash Joseph Fayad, founding attorney of immigration law firm Fayad Law, P.C., in Richmond and Fairfax, Virginia, explains.
Who Is Eligible for Humanitarian Parole?
Every year, the USCIS grants humanitarian parole to a certain number of foreign citizens who seek to enter the United States but are ineligible for an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa. Some examples of purposes for which foreign residents may obtain humanitarian parole include:
- Visiting or caring for critically ill, elderly, or otherwise vulnerable family members who legally reside in the U.S.
- Attending the funeral of a deceased family member or arranging their last affairs
- Testifying in a U.S. court
- Obtaining indispensable medical treatment
A USCIS officer will consider each request on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the applicant’s reasons justify granting humanitarian parole.
Who Is Not Eligible for Humanitarian Parole?
Foreign residents who do not present a compelling humanitarian reason for visiting the U.S. need to seek entrance through a standard visa-issuing procedure.
Additionally, USCIS may deny a humanitarian parole request if evidence exists that the applicant has participated in terrorist activity or otherwise constitutes a security threat.
Applying for Humanitarian Parole
Individuals may apply for humanitarian parole if they are currently outside the U.S. but cannot obtain a regular visa or if U.S. authorities have detained them for immigration violations. Additionally, foreign residents without a visa or lawful immigration status may apply for “advance parole” if they need to leave the U.S. temporarily and seek re-entrance.
To request humanitarian parole, the applicant or another individual issuing the request on their behalf must file:
- Form I-131, or Application for Travel Document
- Form I-134, or Affidavit of Support presenting a financial support source for the applicant during their visit
- Additional supporting documentation
Supporting documentation typically includes identification documents like a birth certificate, a detailed explanation of all the circumstances related to the humanitarian parole request, and the reasons for the applicant’s inability to obtain a visa. The applicant may also attach medical records and other relevant documents supporting their request.
Filing Form I-131 requires a $575 fee. Alternatively, applicants may submit a fee waiver request (Form I-912). Form I-134 involves no filing costs.
How Long Does the Application Process Take?
If the applicant files all the necessary documentation properly, the process of approving a humanitarian parole request typically takes 60 to 120 days. However, an application may warrant expedited processing in life-threatening emergencies or highly urgent situations.
Applicants who need the USCIS to process their request more quickly must state so in their application and provide relevant supporting evidence like a written medical opinion.
If the USCIS denies the humanitarian parole request, the petitioner will receive an official denial letter. While it’s impossible to appeal a denial, the petitioner may submit a new request if circumstances change.
The Duration of Humanitarian Parole
Humanitarian parole usually lasts as much time as the immigrant needs to resolve an emergency situation or deal with a humanitarian need. The maximum duration of humanitarian parole is typically one year.
Parole may also end before its expiration date if the beneficiary leaves the U.S. or gains another immigration status.
Additionally, the U.S. government may revoke parole without prior notice if the humanitarian emergency ceases to exist or if the beneficiary violates parole conditions.
How an Immigration Attorney Can Help You
If you plan to file for humanitarian parole for yourself or on behalf of a family member, our experienced immigration attorneys can help you:
- Check that you comply with all application requirements
- Ensure your application lists compelling reasons for humanitarian parole
- Explore legal options for more permanent immigrant status, such as a visa or refugee relief
Our skilled immigration lawyers at Fayad Law focus on overcoming all immigration-related hurdles. We have helped many clients file for humanitarian parole and apply for a visa, gain permanent residency and citizenship, reunite with family, and secure their future in the United States.
Fayad Law, P.C.: Immigration Lawyer Near Me in Richmond and Fairfax, VA
If you’re looking for an “immigration lawyer near me,” you are likely dealing with a complex and stressful legal situation. For many people, stability, physical safety, and their entire future may depend on the outcome of a petition for humanitarian parole, an immigration issue.
At Fayad Law, we focus on protecting the rights and fighting for the interests of immigrants to the United States. We will leverage every legal tool to help you achieve your American Dream.
Contact our immigration law firm today at 804-249-4747 or complete our online form for a consultation with immigration lawyers in Richmond and Fairfax, Virginia, in the suburbs of Washington, DC.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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