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Humanitarian Parole

The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security may parole into the United States any foreigner on account of urgent medical or humanitarian reasons or other emergencies. Humanitarian Parole is often a “last chance” to gain entry to the US for those individuals who are not otherwise eligible for a visa. Review of these applications is quite stringent: approximately 3/4 of all humanitarian parole applications are denied. It is prescribed on a case-by-case basis and may not be used to circumvent normal visa-issuing procedures or applications for refugee status.

Who Can Apply?

Humanitarian Parole can only be requested for persons who are outside of the U. S. Anyone can file an application for humanitarian parole: the prospective parolee, a sponsoring relative, an attorney or any other interested individual or organization.

How long is the Parole valid for?

Humanitarian parole is granted for a period of time to coincide with the duration of the emergency or humanitarian situation that forms the basis for the request. There is a maximum time limit of 1 year, although this time can be extended indefinitely while in the U.S. For example, if the individual has a pending adjustment of status application, parole can be renewed through the approval of the application for permanent residency.

What is the process?

An application along with supporting documentation is submitted to the Humanitarian Parole Branch of USCIS. The supporting documentation should show the relationship with the sponsor; the humanitarian problem or emergency; and the financial wherewithal of the sponsor. The sponsor must complete an I-134 form and provide tax and income documentation.

USCIS uses a totality of circumstances test when evaluating an application for humanitarian parole. The examiner will review a number of factors before making a decision, such as the urgency of the situation; how an approval or denial will impact that person; and whether any suffering may result from a refusal of the humanitarian parole. Other factors that the examiner considers include how likely the purpose will be achieved within a limited duration of time; the beneficiary’s immigration and criminal history; the level of financial support in the United States; the beneficiary’s reputation, character, and potential impact in the US; and whether other visa options exist. USCIS will process on an expedited basis medical emergencies and applications which concern children under 16, physically and/or mentally challenged individuals, and family reunification issues.

Upon approval, the individual being paroled into the United States must obtain an entry document from the nearest US consulate. If denied, the refusal letter usually will not provide specific details for the refusal. However, a new application can be submitted with new evidence or a request to reconsider the initial denial can be filed.

How does W&A help?

White & Associates can help people in emergency or “last chance” situations to successfully present their case for humanitarian parole. Our firm has helped several clients successfully petition for humanitarian parole in the past. For example, we helped to reunify a 9-year- old girl with her family in the United States after she was unable to receive an immigrant visa before the expiration of the diversity lottery visa program. In another case, our firm helped a woman obtain humanitarian parole after she was separated from her husband and children because of paperwork lost by an embassy and after she had sold her real estate in anticipation of receiving a visa. For another client, we helped her secure humanitarian parole for her two minor children, renew their parole status in the United States, and obtain permanent residency without leaving the US.

These cases can be very complicated and labor-intensive. Financial support, DNA evidence, congressional support, and voluminous evidence documenting the emergency or humanitarian situation are often required. We will formulate a strategy for your case and prepare the application and supporting documentation in order to maximize the chances of its approval. If you were denied, we can assist in preparing a new application. Please feel free to contact us so that we may be able to assess your case.

Case Studies

Over the course of two years, Ms. P spent most of her time in the US with her teenage daughter, who was enrolled at a famous ballet school. When Ms. P returned to her home country to renew her visa, her application was denied under Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The consular officer accused her of illegally working in the US and spending too much time in the US; the officer made these claims despite the fact that when Ms. P had applied for the visa two years prior, she had honestly notified the Embassy in advance of her plan to accompany her young daughter for two years and presented bank statements showing her ability to support themselves in the US. Over the next two years, the Embassy denied her visa three more times. She then retained our firm, and we were able to clarify information about her refusals, present evidence to rebut the claims of the consular officers, and help her obtain a new multi-entry B-1/B-2 visa.

Case of M.P.