By Attorneys Robert L. Reeves and Frances E. Arroyo

As comprehensive immigration reform’s momentum slows down, humanitarian parole is one avenue that is available and that is solely based on discretion for those seeking entry into the United States.  When foreign nationals are unable to obtain a visa for admission into the United States those with an applicable humanitarian need may apply for this relief with the Department of Homeland Security “DHS”.  

Humanitarian Parole is an extraordinary measure used to bring an otherwise inadmissible foreign national into the United States for a temporary period of time due to a compelling urgent situation.  Humanitarian parole’s legal foundation lies primarily in INA 212(d)(5)(A), which holds that the Attorney General may, at his or her discretion, temporarily parole into the United States individuals who demonstrate that their entry would significantly benefit the public or who demonstrate an urgent humanitarian need.

This type of parole generally encompasses non citizens outside of the United States who need to travel into the United States temporarily for emergency reasons. Anyone can make an application on behalf of someone who is outside of the United States and has an urgent need to enter the country. Individuals may also self petition for Humanitarian Parole if they are outside the United States. Humanitarian parole is sought on behalf of noncitizens needing urgent medical treatment, family unification or to attend a pending criminal or civil court proceeding and any other emergent issues.

Humanitarian parole is also invoked in situations where the non-citizen is affirmatively asking for asylum at a port of entry into the United States. Generally, arriving foreign nationals who seek asylum and establish a credible fear of persecution or torture are detained for further consideration of their applications.  For asylum seekers applying at entry points, the first interview usually takes place at the airport or at the land border, and most of the applicants await the decision on the admissibility of their application in that location. Such non citizens, however, may be paroled on a case by case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons provided the foreign national present neither a security threat nor a risk of absconding. For instance, affirmative asylum applicants who have serious medical conditions, pregnant women, certain juveniles or those whose continued detention is not in the public interest will be candidates for humanitarian parole.  The Humanitarian Parole application, filed with the U.S Citizen and Immigration Services requires an affidavit of support with a sponsor who is a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen.  The application must support the reason for the parole request by providing supporting documentation and show that he or she will not become a public charge.  Once the DHS approves the application for a humanitarian parole visa, the DHS will notify the appropriate consular post for issuance of the parole visa to the alien. The Humanitarian Parole program is not intended to be used to circumvent normal visa issuing procedures including any waiver for inadmissibility to the United States. Nevertheless, it is possible that a parolee can adjust to a permanent status from parolee if granted asylum, if he or she is the beneficiary of a family based visa petition and for Cubans through the Cuban Adjustment Act.

Humanitarian Parole is granted for a period of no more than one year.  There are no provisions to extend a parole for an individual who is present in the United States. A parole ends on the date the parole period expires or when the alien departs the U.S if this occurs prior to the expiration of the parole.  Nevertheless, a non citizen that has been granted humanitarian parole may request for Re-Parole and extend their stay in the U.S.

Reeves Miller Zhang and Diza are able to give clients a fighting chance by putting together comprehensive applications that demonstrate not only the exigency of the situation but also support those reasons with the appropriate expert opinions and scientific backing. We also aim to show that our clients do not pose a risk of overstaying their granted parole date of expiration.  If you have been denied a visa to enter the U.S and must do so for urgent reasons consult an expert at our firm.

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