Humanitarian Parole

Immigration Practice Areas > Humanitarian Parole

What is Humanitarian Parole?

Humanitarian parole is a method that lets the U.S. government allow people into the country while bypassing the normal immigration process.

This is not a path towards citizenship, it is used during times of urgent need.

It’s often used for humanitarian reasons like medical emergencies or urgent family situations, but it’s also been used in times of humanitarian crisis such as war, disaster, or invasion.

Humanitarian Parole - Davis & Associates

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) uses its discretion when allowing people into the country using humanitarian parole through the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Humanitarian parole is a temporary solution to an immediate humanitarian need. It’s important to realize that humanitarian parole is not considered “formally admitted into the United States for immigration law.”

Historically, humanitarian parole programs have also been set up to help mass amounts of migrants experiencing dangerous conditions find safety in the United States. In the 1950s, humanitarian parole was used to admit people from Hungary into the country. In the 1970s, it was used to bring people from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia to the United States.

In recent years, the United States has used humanitarian parole to airlift tens of thousands of people from Afghanistan after the Taliban took over Kabul and from Ukraine after the Russian invasion. More recently, humanitarian parole was used to help admit people from Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Haiti. There have been other examples of mass humanitarian parole use, and there will likely be many more.

Who Can Apply For Humanitarian Parole?

Immigration Help - Obtaining Humanitarian Parole - Davis & AssociatesYou can apply for Humanitarian parole for urgent humanitarian reasons if you are outside the United States. There isn’t a specific definition of this which is why it’s been used in many different ways by various administrations over the decades. USCIS officers look at all circumstances to decide if your need is an urgent humanitarian need. They will consider many factors including the following:

  • The effects of your circumstances on your well being
  • The degree of suffering you will experience if parole were denied
  • Whether you have a disease requiring critical medical treatment
  • Whether the parole can serve its intended purpose
  • Whether you intend to leave after parole or obtain a lawful immigration status
  • Whether you are a risk to national security or if your parole would otherwise create a risk to national security
  • If you have a criminal history
  • If you have earlier immigration violations
  • If you have enough financial support
  • Your character
  • Whether you should obtain a visa instead of parole

There are other considerations too. Humanitarian parole is decided based on many factors. Some people find that they could qualify for a visa. Your attorney can let you know whether you might be a good candidate for humanitarian parole.

How Do You Apply For Humanitarian Parole In The United States?

You can request parole by filing a Form I-131, Application for Travel Document or having someone file it for you. USCIS typically needs to see proof that you have an urgent need for the parole and that you have a financial supporter.

USCIS will consider the Health and Human Services’ federal poverty guidelines and allow you to have multiple financial supporters. You can also be your own financial supporter. Your financial supporter doesn’t have to have an immigration status of their own or citizenship, but USCIS typically is more likely to approve your parole if your supporter is a lawful permanent resident or a U.S. citizen.

The petitioner should submit a Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support for each financial supporter. Many times, people are granted humanitarian parole by getting a nonprofit organization as their financial supporter.

What Is The Application Process Like?

When you submit your petition for humanitarian parole and your declaration of financial support, you will need to pay a filing fee or submit a Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver along with all the supporting documents and evidence. After that, the parole request is sent to the USCIS International and Refugee Affairs Division.

Keep in mind, USCIS looks at all the information to see if there is a time-sensitive or especially urgent nature to your request. They also figure out jurisdiction. For example, if you have been deported and are petitioning for humanitarian parole, they will usually direct your petition to ICE instead of USCIS.

The typical USCIS process often includes these steps:

  • You may be sent a notice that you have an appointment for an interview. You must attend this interview if they ask you to.
  • All the evidence will be looked over by U.S. officials and they will do vetting on you to make sure you’re eligible. If they need more evidence, they will let you know.
  • If you’re in a country with a U.S. embassy or consulate, officials will let them know of the decision. If you aren’t in a country with a U.S. embassy or consulate, you have to let them know when you get to a location with one before they can complete your parole processing.
  • They may issue your travel document with conditional approval.
  • If it looks like you are eligible for parole, they will usually schedule your biometric services appointment and let you know the conditions of your parole. Anyone who is 14 years old or older has to provide

The process usually takes between two and four months to get approval, but it is possible to get “expedited processing” and your attorney can explain whether you qualify for that or not and how to do it. Keep in mind though, all humanitarian parole petitions are based on an urgent need, so for expedited processing, your situation will need to be exceptionally life-threatening, time-sensitive, or urgent.

Examples Of Situations That Are Often Approved

Obtaining Humanitarian Parole - Davis & AssociatesThere are many reasons why someone may apply for humanitarian parole. For example, you may petition for parole to care for a family member in the United States who is sick or to visit a family member who is dying. You might petition for humanitarian parole to attend to the affairs of a family member in the United States who has died. You may need to testify in a lawsuit. You may be a detainee who is pregnant, underage, ill or pregnant.

What Humanitarian Parole Can’t Do

Humanitarian parole should never be used to avoid normal visa procedures or visa timelines. Humanitarian parole should never be used to avoid the inadmissibility waiver processing time. It also shouldn’t be used in place of the normal process of becoming a refugee. The length of parole is set on a case-by-case basis, but it absolutely doesn’t offer you a long term or permanent way for you to be in the United States.

People who want to stay in the country should consult with a skilled immigration attorney to create a reasonable, legal, and attainable plan. Parole ends at the timeline specified by USCIS or at the point when the person gets an immigration status, whichever comes first.

Can Humanitarian Parole Be Revoked?

If you are granted parole in the U.S. for humanitarian reasons, USCIS can revoke it without notice if they decide that it’s no longer needed or if the parolee doesn’t follow the conditions of the parole.

Can You Work While On Humanitarian Parole?

Work permits are sometimes issued for people in the country on humanitarian parole, but any employment authorization, like the parole, is temporary.

Do You Need Help With Humanitarian Parole?

If you would like legal representation while petitioning for humanitarian parole, if you are detained and seeking humanitarian parole, or if you already have been given humanitarian parole and are interested in finding an immigration pathway so that you can stay in the country longer, contact Davis & Associates. We are the immigration law firm of choice in Texas. We offer free consultations, so contact us today.