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Coming Soon: Parole For Certain Family Members of Filipino World War II Veterans

On October 2, 2015, the United States Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") announced that it is currently creating a new parole program that will help certain family members of Filipino and Filipino-American World War II veterans who are now United States citizens or lawful permanent residents. This program will allow eligible family members to request parole to come to the United States temporarily and provide support and care to our Filipino World War II veterans.

Please note that this program has not been implemented yet. Please do not pay anyone who is offering to help you apply for this new program because it is a scam.

DHS has provided few details about the program, but we expect to learn more in the months to come. If you believe this new program may help you or your family member, keep an eye out for more updates. For now, you should read the information below to get an idea of what this new program means.

Background

In November 2014, President Obama and Secretary Johnson announced that the White House would be recommending many executive actions on immigration. This new program is one such recommendation, which can be found in the July 2015 White House report, Modernizing and Streamlining Our Legal Immigration System for the 21st century.

According to this report, many Filipino and Filipino-American World War II veterans who have filed visa petitions for family members have to wait many years before they can reunite with their families. This is because of the statutory visa caps that limit how many people can immigrate to the United States every year. The White House estimates that there are around 6,000 Filipino and Filipino-American World War II veterans living today. This new program is intended to allow certain family members come to the United States temporarily to help these brave Filipino veterans who risked their lives for our country.

What Is Parole And How Does It Benefit Someone?

Parole usually allows an individual to come to the United States for a temporary period of time based on urgent humanitarian reasons or a significant public benefit. However, it is extremely difficult to get this kind of parole because the standards are very high. We expect that this new program will be much more generous and grant parole to those who meet basic eligibility requirements, as described below.

Once the parole expires, the individual is required to leave the United States unless DHS permits a renewal. We do not yet know if DHS will allow renewals under this new program.

Parole does not provide an independent avenue for permanent residency or citizenship in the United States. Someone with parole usually qualifies for a work permit. It is possible that DHS will allow family members in this new program to work lawfully while they are here.

There may be other benefits to parole, but it depends on the case. It is necessary to consult with an experienced immigration attorney about how parole can benefit someone in an immigration case. There are many laws involved and each case will be different depending on the facts. Not everyone will be eligible for the same benefits, and parole is never guaranteed.

Which Family Members Are Eligible For Parole Under This New Program?

DHS has not announced who exactly will be eligible. We only know that "certain" family members of Filipino World War II veterans will be able to apply and that these veterans must be United States citizens or lawful permanent residents.

Based on the July 2015 White House report, DHS might define "certain" family members as those who are beneficiaries of family visa petitions. This may include immediate relatives: spouses, parents, and unmarried children under 21 of adult United States citizens. This may also include other relatives who would be stuck waiting years to immigrate because of statutory visa caps: siblings and adult children of adult United States citizens; as well as spouses, unmarried children under 21, and unmarried adult children of lawful permanent residents.

Can I Get Parole Under This New Program If I Am Already In The United States?

For now, DHS has only specified that this new program is to help family members "come" to the United States. This suggests that only family members living abroad will be eligible, but we do not know this for sure yet.

However, you may be eligible for parole under a different program called parole in place (PIP). PIP is designed to benefit undocumented immediate relatives of current or former members of the United States Armed Forces or Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve. These immediate relatives include spouses, parents, and unmarried children under 21. Those with PIP are typically eligible to adjust their status even though they came to the United States unlawfully. If you think you may be eligible, you should contact Bean + Lloyd LLP or any experienced immigration attorney for a consultation.

Where Can I Get More Information About This New Program?

For now, you can sign up for updates directly from the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services by clicking here. You can also keep reading our blog because we will be posting updates when we have more news about the program. As we stated above, this program has not been implemented yet. Please do not pay anyone who is offering to help you apply for this new program because it is a scam.

When this new program becomes official, Bean + Lloyd LLP will be offering consultations and assistance to those seeking to help family members apply. However, you should wait to schedule a consultation with us or any another experienced immigration attorney until DHS actually creates the program.

Written by Sara Silvia Taylor. Ms. Taylor is an associate attorney at Bean + Lloyd LLP, an immigration law office in Oakland, California emphasizing family-based immigration, citizenship, removal defense, and deferred action. 

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