Immigration Law and the Military: What Is Happening?

Not so long ago, undocumented family members of active military personnel were subject to deportation. For most people involved with Immigration Law, this was shocking news. But, since then, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has talked about a policy change that would allow immediate family members of those in the armed forces –who are in the process of applying for a Green Card–, to remain in America.

The good news: this policy change that enables close relatives of U.S. Military and Veterans to stay in the United States (by being granted "parole in place") is not only a step forward in family unity, it is also an act of good faith in favor of the potential immigration reform. A policy change like this (Immigration Law), it is a perfect example of why it is important to work with an AILA Lawyer.

Parole in Place: What is it exactly?

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Parole in place could be considered as a tool that will help to “minimize periods of family separation, and to facilitate adjustment of status within the United States by immigration ­­who are spouses, parents and children of military members.” In other words, it allows individuals who are “paroled” to apply for a Green Card without having to leave the country.

Keep in mind, that while important, this practice has been in use before on a case-by-case basis. In fact, if certain individuals met all requirements detailed on the Immigration Law, they were eligible for parole in place. The biggest change that came with this latest policy announcement, is that the parole in place has been expanded to the children, parents and spouses of active military personnel.

Parole in Place: Step by step

Of course, there are specific requirements that individuals must meet in order to take advantage of this policy change. First, all immigrants requesting for parole in place must do it so where they currently reside. Second, they need to complete Form I-131. And third, they must provide incontrovertible evidence of family relationship to an active U.S. military member. Please, keep in mind that additional evidence may be requested.

Immigration Law: A word of advice…

All immigration lawyers assisting individuals with parole in place requests must stay up-to-date with the latest developments regarding this change of policy. Since November of 2013, there have been some important updates on the matter, and more changes are expected to follow over the next few months. We also urge all immigrants to employ an expert immigration attorney to handle their case.