On June 18, 2024, President Joe Biden announced a new action that will allow families with some non-U.S. citizens to stay together while they seek legal residency. It is a process designed to promote the unity and stability of families in the United States. Through this program, certain eligible individuals may apply for “parole in place” from the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) and avoid being forced to leave the country and facing a several-year-long bar. While this plan can be greatly beneficial for many families across the country it is important to understand the legal process and requirements. For more information contact an experienced 3-10 year bar New York City immigration attorney.

What Does it Change?

Currently, the process for a spouse of a U.S. citizen to obtain legal residence in the country is difficult and time-consuming. The spouses of United States citizens are already eligible to apply for permanent residency but there are several obstacles that they have to overcome before they can obtain status.

When an immigrant who came into the United States without inspection wishes to apply for permanent residency through their spouse they must leave and go to a consulate abroad to obtain a new visa and apply. This can pose serious issues for some.

U.S. law states that anyone who was unlawfully present in the country for more than one year will be barred from reentering for 10 years. Because of this law, spouses who leave the country to obtain permanent residency may face challenges obtaining a visa as they may not be legally allowed to return yet. Biden’s new plan aims to rectify the issues that this law causes.

What is “Parole in Place” and How Does it Work?

Parole in place allows eligible applicants to apply for a green card without being forced to leave the United States. This program recognizes the importance of keeping families together, so it allows individuals to be granted humanitarian parole. This essentially gives them the same status as someone who was inspected and paroled before entering the country. Those who are eligible for permanent residency through their spouse can apply without leaving the country and potentially triggering a bar.

Who is Eligible for Parole in Place?

Only certain individuals will be eligible to apply for parole in place. Consider the following requirements outlined in the Biden administration’s announcement from June 18, 2024.

Eligible applicants:

  • Have continuously resided in the United States since June 17, 2014;
  • Were physically present in the United States on June 17, 2024;
  • Have been legally married to a U.S. citizen as of June 17, 2024;
  • Entered the United States without admission or parole and do not currently hold any lawful immigrant or
  • nonimmigrant status;
  • Have not been convicted of any disqualifying criminal offense;
  • Do not pose a threat to national security or public safety; and
  • Merit a favorable exercise of discretion

Speak to a knowledgeable immigration lawyer to discuss whether or not you are an eligible applicant and to obtain legal counsel during the application process.