“Parole in Place” for Immigrant Relatives of Military – What to Know

On November 15, 2013,  the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a very important Policy Memorandum.

This new Immigration rule is based on existing law.

It will give legal status to immigrant relatives of military.

The Policy Memorandum will keep immigrant spouses, children and parents of active duty military – as well as immigrant relatives of military reserves, and veterans of the United States armed forces – all together.

Also, the Policy Memorandum directs that immigrant relatives of military will be given a status known as “parole in place.”

“Parole in place” is a pre-existing policy that allows undocumented immigrants in the United States  to live here, in some cases  temporarily and in others, permanently.

The Policy Memorandum states: “absent a criminal conviction or other serious adverse factors,” that immigrant spouses, children and parents of active duty military plus reservists and veterans could be given parole in place status based on prior policy.

Parole will be given in one-year terms.

The Policy Memorandum further instructs that some immigrant relatives of miltary given parole are able to apply for green cards in the United States.

Foreigners without legal immigration status often must depart the United States to apply for green cards through marriage to an American citizen.  However, once those immigrants leave the United States, they are subject to a ten year bar, before returning with green cards.

  • Under the Policy Memorandum, certain immigrant relatives of military will be able to stay in America.
  • Minimally, thousands of immigrant relatives of military will be eligible for work permits, renewable annually.
  • Moreover, some immigrants given parole in place will be eligible to apply for green cards (adjustment of status) in the United States.
  • The Policy Memorandum has its roots in a partnership between the Department of Defense and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  • The reasons for this policy are humanitarian in nature.

Written by: Harlan York

Immigration Attorney Harlan York is Former Chair, Immigration Section, NJ State Bar Association and Former Co-Chair, NY State Bar Association CFLS Immigration Committee. Mr. York appeared on National Television on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Primer Impacto on Univision, as well as Telemundo, NBC, and PBS. He was honored as First Ever Immigration Lawyer of The Year in NJ by Best Lawyers.

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