What Is Humanitarian Parole?
Humanitarian parole is used to bring someone who is otherwise inadmissible into the United States for a temporary period of time due to an emergency.
Who is Eligible for Humanitarian Parole?
- You may apply for humanitarian parole if you have a compelling emergency and there is an urgent humanitarian reason or significant public benefit to allowing you to temporarily enter the United States
- Anyone can file an application for humanitarian parole
- If you do not have an urgent humanitarian reason for your visit, you must follow the normal visa issuing procedures set by the Department of State.
Please Note: You cannot use parole to avoid normal visa-issuing procedures or to bypass immigration procedures.
If you are currently in removal proceedings or have been previously removed from the United States, you must submit your request to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Please refer to the Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, Instructions for details.
When to Apply for Humanitarian Parole Instead of a Visitor Visa?
- Remember, it should be your last resort to enter the U.S.
- Humanitarian parole may be your only option for entering the U.S. if you are inadmissible; in other words, your personal circumstances include grounds or issues that make you ineligible for a visa to enter the United States
How To File for The Humanitarian Parole?
To apply for parole, you must:
- Read the instructions for Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, and the Form I-134, Affidavit of Support;
- Complete and sign your Form I-131 and Form I-134
- Pay the filing fee for each parole applicant, if applicable
- Provide all required evidence and supporting documentation
- To receive an email or text message when we accept your form, complete Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance, and attach it to the front of the application.
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What Happens After Filing the Form?
Once we receive your Form I-131 and Form I-134, you will receive a:
- Receipt notice confirming that we received your forms
- Biometric services notice, if applicable
- Notice to appear for an interview, if required; and
- Notice of the USCIS’s decision
- Form I-131 is used for various purposes related to travel to and from the United States
- Hence, many sections are not applicable to people applying for humanitarian parole
- It is important to review the instructions for Form I-131 before you complete it
- Pay special attention to Part 2, Questions 1a through 1f
- Please note that Form I-131 does not include a box to check for “humanitarian parole.” Instead, the form will ask you about “advanced parole” in question 1e
- Check box 1e if you are applying for yourself
- However, If you are in the U.S. and you are applying for someone who is outside the U.S., you should check box 1f
- You should specify how long you will need to stay in the United States
- The maximum amount of authorized time USCIS will grant for humanitarian parole is one year
- It is also important to include evidence supporting your need for this emergency form of parole
- Start with a cover letter outlining the reasons for the request. If unable to obtain a regular visa, be sure to explain the reasons why not, and to state when and where you applied for a visa. Also, include a copy of the visa refusal
- Also, supply evidence that you can pay for your entire trip (including any medical treatment) and for your return home
Is It Possible to Expedite Processing?
If you need an answer in less time than USCIS typically takes–which may be several weeks or months — you will also need to request what’s called “expedited processing,” and supply evidence of why USCIS should speed up its decision in your case.
To request expedited processing, the petitioner should:
- Follow the guidance on the Form I-131 instructions (PDF, 327.03 KB).
- Write the word EXPEDITE in the top right corner of the application in black ink
- Provide an email address, phone number, and fax number for the petitioner or representative with an expedited request
- Include a detailed explanation of the reason for the expedited request along with any available supporting evidence
Generally, all requests for parole are based on urgent needs; therefore, the petitioner must demonstrate significant reasons for expediting the request, such as a life-threatening or other extremely urgent situation.
Are Humanitarian or Significant Public Benefit Parole available for Individuals Outside the United States?
Individuals who are outside of the United States may be able to request parole into the United States based on humanitarian or significant public benefit reasons.
All humanitarian or significant public benefit parole requests must include important identity and other documents for the petitioner, the beneficiary and sponsor, as noted in Documents to Submit in Support of All Parole Requests
Note: There is no statutory or regulatory definition of “urgent humanitarian reasons.”
What is The General Eligibility for Parole?
A USCIS officer considers each request and the evidence provided on a case-by-case basis, taking into account all of the circumstances. (See Section 212(d)(5) of the INA.) The burden of proof is on the petitioner to establish that parole should be authorized. Parole will be authorized only if we conclude, based on all the evidence the petitioner submits and any other relevant evidence available to us, that
- There are urgent humanitarian or significant public benefit reasons for the beneficiary to be in the United States
- The beneficiary merits a favorable exercise of discretion
Urgent Humanitarian Reasons
As mentioned before, there is no statutory or regulatory definition of “urgent humanitarian reasons.” USCIS officers look at all of the circumstances, taking into account factors such as (but not limited to):
- Whether or not the circumstances are pressing
- The effect of the circumstances on the individual’s welfare and wellbeing; and
- The degree of suffering that may result if parole is not authorized
An applicant may demonstrate urgency by establishing a reason to be in the United States that calls for immediate or other time-sensitive action, including (but not limited to) critical medical treatment, or the need to visit, assist or support a family member who is at an end-of-life stage of an illness or disease
The factors considered in determining urgent humanitarian reasons are dependent on the type of parole request
See Guidance for Certain Types of Humanitarian or Significant Public Benefit Parole Requests for more information on factors often considered in some of the more common types of requests.
Significant Public Benefit
There is no statutory or regulatory definition of “significant public benefit.” Parole based on significant public benefit includes, but is not limited to, law enforcement and national security reasons or foreign or domestic policy considerations. USCIS officers look at all of the circumstances presented in the case.
While the beneficiary may personally benefit from the authorization of parole, the statutory standard focuses on the public benefit in extending parole. For example, a beneficiary’s participation in legal proceedings may constitute a significant public benefit, because the opportunity for all relevant parties to participate in legal proceedings may be required for justice to be served.
There may be circumstances where a request is based on both urgent humanitarian reasons and significant public benefit reasons. For example, a person may be paroled if they have a request for medical care that involves experimental treatment or medical trials from which a larger community in the United States may benefit.
What Type of Evidence Should Be Submitted?
The petitioner must show, through the parole request and supporting evidence, that the beneficiary qualifies for parole and merits a favorable exercise of discretion. Submitting all relevant supporting evidence will avoid delays
A USCIS officer may issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) to seek additional information
In addition to the Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, Form I-134, Affidavit of Support (PDF, 463.53 KB), and the filing fee or request for fee waiver, the petitioner should submit the following evidence to support their parole request:
- A detailed explanation of the reasons why the petitioner is requesting parole
- A detailed explanation of the length of time for which the beneficiary needs parole
- A detailed explanation of why the beneficiary cannot obtain a U.S. nonimmigrant or immigrant visa from the U.S. Department of State including:
- When and where the beneficiary attempted to obtain visas, if applicable
- If a visa application was denied, include a copy of the denial letter
- If applicable, a detailed explanation of the reasons why the beneficiary cannot obtain any required waiver of inadmissibility and a copy of any denial letter received.
- Copies of any previously filed immigrant petitions (Forms I-130, I-140, I-360, etc.) or nonimmigrant petitions filed by or for the beneficiary, if available
- Copies of any documents that support the request, including a clear and legible copy of a government-issued identification that indicates the beneficiary’s citizenship
- If a birth certificate is provided, please submit a copy of the front and back of the original birth certificate
- Copies of a U.S. passport, lawful permanent resident card, birth certificate or other evidence of valid U.S. immigration status or citizenship for the petitioner and sponsor, where applicable
- See Guidance for Certain Types of Humanitarian or Significant Public Benefit Parole Requests for information on what additional evidence may support specific types of parole requests
Requesting Parole for Children
Depending on the circumstances, when parole is requested for a minor child (a child under the age of 18), the USCIS will require proof of parentage, and in addition, may require the following types of evidence in the interest of protecting the child:
Where the minor beneficiary is traveling with one parent and the other parent will remain outside the United States:
Written authorization from the non-traveling parent for the minor to travel, to include:
- Permission from the non-traveling parent for the child to accompany the traveling parent
- The duration of authorized travel
- If the parents of the child are divorced or separated, proof showing that the traveling parent has been awarded legal custody of the minor
Where neither parent is traveling:
Written authorization from both parents for the child to leave the country with an appointed guardian, to include:
- The duration of travel and
- Proof of legal guardianship issued by a government authority
Where the parent or parents’ consent cannot be obtained
- A written explanation from the petitioner or beneficiary explaining efforts to locate the parent
- The circumstances surrounding their unavailability
- Evidence of guardianship for the person who is accompanying the child on travel or receiving the child once he or she arrives
If you are facing an emergency and you need to travel to the U.S. as soon as possible, it might be worth your time and money to seek legal help from an experienced immigration attorney.
our office will be happy to analyze your case’s specifics and provide some suggestions, as every situation is different