Parole in Place

 

Parole in Place (PIP) is a way for U.S. non-citizen spouses, parents, and unmarried children of U.S. citizen members of the U.S. military to file for adjustment of status even after an unlawful entry.  There are several requirements before an individual can successfully accomplish such an adjustment, but the material below will hopefully shed some more light on this intricate area of immigration law:

 

Who are the non U.S. green card holders or citizens who are helped by this process?

 

In order to qualify for PIP, the applicant must be an "immediate relative" of the U.S. citizen member of the U.S. military.  These include the U.S. citizen's:

1.  spouse

2.  unmarried child under 21 years of age

3.  parent.

 

Do I always need PIP if I am an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen member of U.S. military?

 

No.  PIP is specifically designed to remove two grounds of inadmissibility that might not otherwise allow an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen member of U.S. military to adjust status.  First, PIP takes care of any noncitizen “present in the United States without being admitted [inspected by a border official] or paroled.”  PIP approval retroactively "paroles" the applicant into the U.S.  Second, PIP takes care of any noncitizen who “arrives in the United States at any time or place other than as designated by the [Secretary of Homeland Security].”  In other words, PIP is beneficial only if the applicant is determined to have entered the U.S. unlawfully because of these two grounds.  If you did not enter unlawfully, you may apply through the regular "immediate relative" petition.

 

Note that PIP does not remove the bar from inadmissibility which arises from a criminal conviction or other "serious adverse factors".  It is granted on a "discretionary" basis, and you should consult an expert immigration attorney if you believe that you have anything negative in your personal history which may be harmful to your case.

 

Which U.S. citizen military members are covered under this process?

 

In order to be eligible for PIP approval, the immediate relative must be a spouse, unmarried child, or parent of either:

 

1.  an Active Duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces

2.  a current member of the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve, or

3.  someone who has previously served in the U.S. Armed Forces or the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve.

 

What are the application requirements for a PIP?

 

An applicant for PIP must first take care of the issue of his or her illegal entry into the U.S.  To do so, the applicant must submit the following documents to USCIS:

 

1.  Form I-131, Application for Travel Document

2.  Evidence of the family relationship to the U.S. citizen U.S. military person - this is usually a copy of a birth or a marriage certificate

3.  Evidence that the U.S. citizen family member is either an Active Duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces, in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve, or previously served in the U.S. Armed Forces or the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve.  This generally includes a copy of the military identification card (DD Form 1173).

4.  Two identical, color, passport style photographs

5.  Evidence of any additional factors that may weigh the case in your favor and convince USCIS to grant you parole.  These can be letters from community leaders or teachers showing active involvement in volunteer activities, personal education or your children's education. 

 

Note that there is no immigration fee for this application.

 

Once USCIS approves PIP, the non U.S. citizen can apply for the Immediate Relative permanent residence through the regular process.