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New “Parole-in-Place” (PIP) Immigration Process for Certain Family Members of U.S. Citizens

On June 18, 2024, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a new immigration program for certain immigrant spouses and children of U.S. citizens living in the U.S. This program is designed to make it easier to apply for legal status without having to leave the U.S. through a process known as Parole-in-Place (or “PIP” or “parole” for short).

Many immigrants in mixed-status families are unable to obtain their green cards in the U.S. because they entered without permission. Instead, they must request waivers and apply for their immigrant visas outside through a U.S. consulate. That process is lengthy and carries the risk of being separated from their families while abroad.

The purpose of this program is to help these immigrants by providing a better pathway to become lawful permanent residents without leaving the country and avoiding family separation.

If approved for PIP, applicants are provided temporary protection from deportation and can apply for a work permit. More importantly, approved applicants could be eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence in the U.S. based on a family immigrant petition through a process known as “adjustment of status.”

Basic Qualifications

To qualify for this parole or PIP benefit, the applicant must meet the following basic requirements:

  • Must be present in the U.S.
  • Must have entered the U.S. without admission or parole (in other words, must have entered illegally without permission)
  • Must have been continuously present in the U.S. for at least 10 years as of June 17, 2024
  • Must be legally married to a U.S. citizen as of June 17, 2024
  • Must have no disqualifying criminal history
  • Must not present a threat to national security or public safety
  • Must otherwise be eligible to apply for a green card in the U.S.

USCIS will evaluate these requests individually and decide if the applicant merits this benefit at their discretion.

USCIS will provide additional details about these requirements, including a definition of what constitutes a disqualifying criminal history and more information on other bars to eligibility.

Children

Children of PIP applicants may also apply for parole under this process if they meet certain basic requirements:

  • Must be physically present in the U.S. without admission or parole as of June 17, 2024
  • Must be unmarried and under 21 years of age
  • For stepchildren, the marriage of their parent and stepparent must have occurred before the stepchild’s 18th birthday

USCIS will provide additional information about these requirements.

Can I file for this benefit now?

As of now (June 28, 2024), no forms or procedures for this program have been released. USCIS will be publishing additional information about the filing process through the Federal Register sometime soon (hopefully this summer).

In the meantime, you can start gathering documents to show that you meet some of the basic requirements:

  • Proof of legal marriage to a U.S. citizen as of June 17, 2024:
    • Copy of your marriage certificate and divorce decrees if any
    • Copy of your spouse’s U.S. birth certificate or U.S. passport
  • Proof of continuous presence in the U.S. for at least 10 years as of June 17, 2024:
    • Income taxes, bills, bank statements, payments, receipts, medical records, school records, etc.

What if I was not officially married to a U.S. citizen as of June 17, 2024?

Depending on the law of your state, it may be possible to claim “common law” marriage by meeting certain requirements. A common law marriage is a legal recognition of a couple’s relation as a marriage without a formal ceremony or license. In Texas, for example, a couple may be common law married if they (1) had agreed to be married, (2) lived together in the state after their agreement, and (3) represented to others that they are married. However, not all states recognize common law marriage.

Please consult with an attorney to determine if you meet the specific requirements for common law marriage, which vary by state.

Will I get my green card if I am approved for PIP under this new process?

Not immediately. If you are granted PIP, you will have temporary legal status for up to three years. You may apply for work authorization after you are approved.

If approved for PIP, eligible applicants may apply for lawful permanent residence in the U.S. based on a family immigrant petition through the adjustment of status process.

Is the new Parole-in-Place (PIP) process secure for the future?

The new PIP process offers temporary relief for certain undocumented individuals, but it is not a guaranteed solution at this point. There are significant concerns about potential litigation that could challenge its legality and disrupt its implementation. Additionally, the process is vulnerable to changes in administration, as new leaders with differing immigration policies could revoke or alter the program. In some cases, it might be advisable to continue forward with your current case or explore other options. Always check with an attorney to understand the risks and determine the best course of action.

Avoid Scams

Be cautious of scams related to this new process, especially from people pretending to know the process. Only seek information and assistance from trusted sources, such as licensed immigration attorneys and accredited legal representatives.

Chavez & Valko – Your Key to Immigration Solutions

To speak with one of our immigration lawyers about your case or this new process

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Disclaimer: This info-sheet is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. As of this day (June 28, 2024), USCIS has not published additional information or clarification on the process above. It is important to check for any updates before determining your eligibility. Please consult with an immigration attorney for advice specific to your situation.