JESSE J. BAÑUELOS, A LOS ANGELES IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY
Green Card without having to leave the US with “Parole in Place” (PIP) for Immediate relatives of US Citizens in the Military
What is Parole in Place?
Parole in place [PIP] is a status that allows undocumented family members of those who are in the US Armed Forces the right to reside in the US and to qualify for certain benefits. Those benefits include eligibility for employment authorization and, for some individuals, eligibility to apply for adjustment of status–to apply for a green card without having to leave the US. The Department of Homeland Security paroles people into the US for humanitarian reasons or for significant public interest in cases where they would otherwise not qualify to enter with a visa. PIP, on the other hand, is the term used by DHS when granting parole to people who are already physically present in the US after an entry without inspection.
Who qualifies for PIP?
The undocumented spouses, parents, and children [who are single and under 21 years of age] of those who:
a). Are serving as active duty members of the US Armed Forces;
b). Are current members of the Selected Reserve or the Ready Reserve; and
c). Previously served in the US Armed Forces or Selected Reserve or the Ready Reserve.
NOTE: The undocumented alien must have entered illegally during his/her most recent entry into the US, and must have undocumented immigration status when he/she applies for PIP.
What are the benefits of PIP?
a). The spouses, children, and parents of US citizens – immediate relatives – can apply for adjustment of status [for a green card without having to leave the US] after they are granted PIP. Other immigrants in similar situations whose family members are not US military members are not allowed to adjust status, but must leave the US for “consular processing” in order to complete their application for a green card—at which point they might face a three- or ten-year bar upon return, as a penalty for their past unlawful presence. This very trap has kept many non-citizen family members of US military service people from applying for a green card in the past.. (The “provisional waiver” can help with this, but not everyone qualifies for it.). The applicant must be “admissible” to adjust his status. There are many reasons why a person might be inadmissible and prevented from getting a green card. PIP removes the ground of inadmissibility that is based on unlawful presence, and that is the only one that it removes; and
b). If the military member is only an LPR (a green card holder), the spouse, parent, or child would still benefit from PIP because they would be eligible for employment authorization [a work permit].