New Parole in Place program announced for spouses of U.S. citizens

by | Jun 18, 2024 | Blog, Immigration, USCIS |

Note- USCIS is not yet accepting new parole in place applications and has not announced all of the details of the new system.  This article will be updated as we receive new information and is current as of June 18, 2024.

On June 17, 2024 the Biden Administration and DHS announced it will launch a “parole in place” program granting some spouses of United States citizens employment authorization and eligibility to apply for residency without departing the country.  This program could help hundreds of thousands of people, but it will be important to track how the program develops and be prepared to act quickly.

What are the requirements of the new parole in place program?

The full program requirements have not yet been announced but, so far, we know it will be open to foreign nationals who:

  1. As of June 17, 2024, were married to United States citizens;
  2. As of June 17, 2024 had been physically present in the U.S. for at least ten years;
  3. Do not already have a valid admission or parole;
  4. Are not subject to criminal bars, which DHS will likely identify later;
  5. Do not present a danger to the community, though it is unclear if there will be specific security-related bars;
  6. Merit the favorable exercise of discretion and;
  7. Are otherwise eligible for adjustment of status. It is unclear if DHS will approve applicants who may be eligible to apply for adjustment of status with a waiver of inadmissibility.

Applicants will be able to include their children if there is a valid stepchild relationship under immigration law by June 17, 2024 with the United States citizen spouse.

What is parole in place and what are the benefits of the new program?

The White House has said that non-citizens who receive parole in place will receive work authorization and protection from deportation for three years.  Perhaps more importantly, they should be able to file for lawful permanent residence without departing the United States, a process called “adjustment of status”.

Non-citizens who are not eligible for adjustment of status may sometimes still be able to apply for residency but must depart United States and go to an interview at a consulate in their home country.  If they depart for their interview, however, non-citizens will often trigger bars to eligibility.  They often can apply for waivers of these bars before leaving for their interview, but this can add years to the process, not to mention the expense, inconvenience and sometimes danger of travel to the consulate.

Generally, to apply for adjustment of status applicants must have a lawful admission or parole into the United States.  Like “admission”, “parole” is a formal authorization to come into the United States. With “parole in place”, non-citizens paroled into the United States, but do not need to actually depart the country to receive such benefits.  Therefore, they have parole which allows them to apply for adjustment of status, but without triggering any bars to residency created by a departure from the United States.

When can non-citizens apply for “parole in place”?

We do not know an exact date yet, but the government has estimated that it will be in late summer.

Are there any steps to get ready to file?

Even though non-citizens cannot apply for parole in place now, we recommend they get prepared to file promptly after USCIS starts accepting applications.  Therefore, people interested in parole in place should start gathering their documents including:

  1. Proof of marriage to a United States citizen, including termination of any prior marriages;
  2. Proof of presence in the United States the last ten years;
  3. Any criminal documents, including dismissal orders;
  4. Birth certificates for any minor children.

Are there any threats to the parole in place program?

Yes.  First, it is very unlikely that Donald Trump would continue this program if he is elected President.  Therefore, people interested in this program should file as soon as they are able to give them the best chance of approval before January, 2025.

It is also possible that opponents of this program will sue to stop it, as happened to DACA.  There is no way to know if such suits would be successful, but they make filing soon even more important.

The threats to the program also mean that while it has the potential to help hundreds of thousands of people, no one should rely on an application for parole in place being granted until they have an official approval.

Also, these applications of course require foreign nationals without status to identify themselves and provide information such as their address.  If Trump becomes President, that may present a risk which may be worthwhile, but should be discussed with an immigration attorney prior to filing.


Bean, Lloyd, Mukherji, & Taylor is an Oakland-based immigration law firm focusing on family-based immigration, naturalization, the immigration consequences of criminal convictions, U visas, and related services.