Immigration issues cause stress for U.S. military personnel whose family members are not citizens of the country, adding hardship on top of the things they endure while in service. Military parole in place provides a reprieve for those family members, usually the service member’s spouse or children, to allow them to live and work in the United States lawfully.
Our law firm’s founding attorney Alfredo Lozano is a veteran and an immigration lawyer who has assisted many service members with navigating the laws surrounding immigration so that their families can stay together. This article provides his answers to the most frequent questions about military parole in place.
What Is Military Parole In Place?
Military parole in place (MIL PIP) allows family members of active or veteran members of the Armed Forces who entered the country unlawfully to apply for a Green Card. Usually, unlawful foreign nationals must return to their home country to adjust their status through consular processing. They will also be unable to return to the U.S. for three to 10 years as a penalty.
With MIL PIP, the service member’s family can adjust their immigration status, obtain a Green Card quickly, and avoid returning to their home country.
Who Is Eligible For Military Parole In Place?
MIL PIP eligibility only applies to certain family members of current or former U.S. military personnel. You may be eligible for MIL PIP if you are the spouse, widow(er), parent, or child of:
- A current service member of the United States Armed Forces
- A member of the Selected Reserve or Ready Reserve
- A former service member of the U.S. Armed Forces, Selected Reserve, or Ready Reserve
Approval for MIL PIP is not a guarantee. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approve military parole in place cases on a discretionary basis.
What Documents Will I Need To Submit For MIL PIP?
To apply for MIL PIP, you will have to provide the USCIS office with documents, including:
- Proof of relationship with the military service member, such as a marriage or birth certificate
- Copies of the active or former service member’s military identification or other proof of service in the U.S. Armed Forces, Selected Reserve, or Ready Reserve
- Two copies of the applicant’s photo (passport-style)
- Evidence of discretionary factors that could help your case
- Form I-131 (Application for Travel Document)
The USCIS will run a background check on the applicant. Any past criminal convictions will make them ineligible.
What Is Form I-131?
Form I-131 is the Application for Travel Document that individuals must submit when applying for MIL PIP in the U.S., obtaining a re-entry permit, or entering as a refugee. Upon approval, you will be able to legally live and work in the U.S. while applying for an immigration status adjustment.
There are five pages of the form, including the following sections:
- Information about the applicant
- Type of application (must write “military parole in place”)
- Information for processing
- Travel information
- Section for re-entry permit only
An experienced immigration lawyer can assist you with Form I-131 to avoid confusion when filling out the application.
How Long Does It Take To Get Approved?
Records of past USCIS processing times for Form I-131 are available on their website. As of 2022, the median processing time is about five months.
Can I Obtain Parole In Place If I Entered The U.S. Lawfully?
No. If you entered the country on a lawful Visa that is now expired, you are not eligible for military parole in place. Typically, these individuals can apply for a change in status when they have overstayed their Visas. They also may be eligible for deferred action.
How Does MIL PIP Help Me?
Obtaining MIL PIP protects you or your family members from removal proceedings when you enter the U.S. unlawfully. You will be exempt from deportation for one year when you receive approval. During this time, you are legally capable of staying in the U.S. and applying for employment.
Additionally, you will avoid the penalty against illegal foreign nationals that bars them from re-entering the U.S. for three to 10 years. Rather than splitting up the family for an indefinite amount of time, MIL PIP allows you to safely live in the country while applying for an adjustment of status.
How Do I Find An Immigration Lawyer Near Me?
If you’ve searched for “immigration lawyer near me,” in and around San Antonio, Texas, The Lozano Law Firm can assist you with your needs. Our leading immigration attorney, Alfredo Lozano, helps current and former Armed Forces service members who have family members that need an adjustment of status to continue living and working in the U.S. lawfully.
If you need a lawyer to represent you in immigration court or for immigration issues like military parole in place, call The Lozano Law Firm at (210) 899-2290 or fill out our online form to schedule your first consultation.
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