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Have you ever wondered what a parole is in migratory terms? And advance parole? In this article we will look at the complete process in 2023 to get it. We will also give answer to many FAQ surrounding the topic. 

In addition to the extensive information in the article, Lluis Law immigration lawyers can help. We have over 40 years of experience helping immigrants.

What is a parole in immigration law?

In immigration terms, parole is a temporary residence permit in the USA. granted for reasons of significant public benefit or humanitarian.

  • This permit allows a person who would otherwise be ineligible or inadmissible to enter the United States to travel and remain in the U.S.A. temporarily.
  • INA allows the National Secretary to make use of this permit for any foreigner who must be admitted to the U.S. for humanitarian reasons or for significant public benefit. 
  • The person obtaining this temporary residence permit is not someone formally admitted to the U.S. in the eyes of immigration law.
  • Parole is not intended to be used alone to avoid visa processing, inadmissibility waivers, or customary processes. Nor is it intended to replace established paths for the processing of refugees.

How long does the parole last?

Normally the temporary residence permit is granted for a period not exceeding one year.

USCIS will specify the period necessary for it to fulfill the purpose of the permit as outlined in Part 3 of Form I-131.

The parole can end in two moments. The completion will depend on the event, between the following two, which occurs first.

  • Date on which the term of the permit ends.
  • Beneficiary leaves the U.S.

Can I work with the temporary stay permit?

If you comply with the provisions and do not violate the parole conditions, USCIS, in its discretion, may grant you a temporary work permit. To do this, you must request it using Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

Who can request the parole?

The temporary residence permit can be requested by anyone for himself or on behalf of another person. To do this, you will use Form I-131.

This petitioner may be an individual or entity and does not have to be a U.S. resident or related to the beneficiary. You will file the petition on I-131 on behalf of a person who is outside the U.S. or for yourself.

Do you need a sponsor to get the parole?

Yes, USCIS requires that you provide evidence of a sponsor that provides financial support while you are in the U.S.

This is an important factor that USCIS considers when granting the temporary stay permit. Failure to provide it greatly increases your chances of being rejected for parole.

Sponsor requirements

  • The sponsor may or may not be the same entity or person as the petitioner.
  • You must submit a Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, for each petition for parole. With this, you must demonstrate that you have the financial resources to support the beneficiary of the parole while the beneficiary remains in the United States. 

There is no requirement related to the sponsor’s immigration status. However, if the sponsor is a legal permanent resident or a citizen, it will be easier to demonstrate financial capacity. It is a relevant factor that will greatly help the beneficiary to obtain the parole.

Therefore, it is highly recommended that the petitioner along with the parole request include evidence of the sponsor’s permanent residence or citizenship. Among others, it may include the following evidence:

  • Permanent resident card.
  • Naturalization certificate.
  • Sponsor’s passport.
  • Birth certificate.

Note: Form I-134 details the type of evidence required to demonstrate sufficient financial resources and income. These may include:

  • Last tax return.
  • Sponsor’s employer letter.
  • Pay stubs.

Multiple sponsors

The petitioner must take into account the Poverty Guidelines of the Department of Health and Human Services, to cover the income and livelihood requirements.

If a sponsor is not enough, more than one can be identified. It will be done using Form I-134 along with the documents required for each sponsor.

An organization as a sponsor

Both non-profit organizations and medical institutions can sometimes act as sponsors of the parole. 

In the event that the organization’s employee is unable to complete Form I-134, a letter of commitment of financial sponsorship from the organization will be included. This will be presented together with the request for a temporary residence permit (parole). 

Self sponsor

The beneficiary can prove to be financially self-sufficient. It will do so by filing Form I-134 and supporting financial documentation.

Eligibility for parole

who is eligible for the advance parole

USCIS reviews each case individually, specifically looking at the evidence presented by the petitioner. To authorize this permission you must conclude the following:

  • There are urgent humanitarian or significant public benefit reasons for the beneficiary to be in the U.S.
  • The beneficiary deserves to obtain an exercise of discretion in his favor.

Urgent humanitarian causes

Although this term is not regulated and there is no statutory definition, USCIS considers the circumstances in their entirety. For this, it considers the following factors, among others:

  • Whether or not the exposed circumstances are pressing;
  • The effect of such circumstances on the well-being of the person;
  • The level of suffering that could be caused by not being authorized for parole (temporary residence permit).

To demonstrate urgency please review the USCIS guide with the most common types of petitions. Among these, you can request critical medical treatment or visit a terminal relative.

Causes of significant public benefit

This includes but is not limited to reasons of national security and public order or reasons of national or foreign policy. There is no definition of the term and USCIS will examine all of the circumstances.

Although there is obviously a beneficiary who receives the parole, these are cases in which the main benefit is in favour of the general interest.

Both causes

There are cases in which it can be requested for both reasons. An example would be a person who needs experimental medical treatment that involves a future benefit for many other people in the United States.

How does USCIS determine who gets the parole?

You should be clear that USCIS exercises its discretion on a case-by-case basis. In other words, they evaluate positive factors against negative ones, from criminal records to humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.

These are some of the factors that USCIS considers to grant the temporary stay permit:

  • That the purpose of the parole can be achieved within a specific period of time.
  • Evidence of any national security issue.
  • Evidence of previous fraudulent practices.
  • Evidence of criminal history or previous violations of immigration law.
  • Beneficiary’s intention to leave the U.S. when your permit expires or if you have the resources to obtain legal immigration status during the parole or in another period when the permit is reissued.
  • Consideration of whether the beneficiary’s presence may benefit a lawful permanent resident, U.S. citizen, or a community in the U.S.
  • Sufficient solvency and financial assistance while in the U.S.
  • Evidence of good moral character.
  • Consider whether, in addition to parole, there is another way for the beneficiary to travel and remain in the U.S. for the stated purpose. For example, the ability or inability to obtain a visa.

Note: USCIS does not consider a single factor but the sum of all circumstances. _They can also revoke the permit at any time if they consider that the parole is no longer justified or the beneficiary failed to comply with the terms and conditions.

The parole process

parole process

You already know what a parole is and now we will show you the process in summarized steps to obtain the temporary stay permit:

1. Submit the parole request

The petitioner submits the following documentation to the USCIS Dallas Mailbox:

The postal collection mailbox sends the parole request to the USCIS Division of International Operations (USCIS-IO) in Washington, DC.

Note: We detail this point of the process at the end of the 7 steps.

2. USCIS evaluates the petition to determine urgency (triage)

Initially, the case is reviewed by USCIS to determine if there is an urgency, regardless of whether the applicant has expressed such urgency. They will also check if they have jurisdiction over it.

This usually occurs 2 weeks after submitting the parole request and 2 days after USCIS-IO receives the request.

3. A USCIS official evaluates the request

This process includes: 

  • Review the application along with supporting documents;
  • Perform security checks and investigations;
  • Issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny if necessary;
  • Document the reasons for the decision;
  • Prepare notification of the decision. 

4. A supervisor reviews the decision

Before final decisions are made, a supervisor reviews all parole requests.

 5. USCIS notifies the decision

Approved application: If USCIS approves the application, it will mail an approval letter to the beneficiary, petitioner, and any authorized representative. It will also notify the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy to the beneficiary.

The letter includes the steps to follow to obtain the temporary residence permit.

Denied application: In this case, USCIS also mails the denial letter to the beneficiary, petitioner, and any authorized representative.

6. Issuance of parole and travel documents for approved cases.

In the notification of approval the beneficiary will be informed of the following:

  • You must complete Form DS-160.
  • Make an appointment with the consular section of the State Department. This is done to verify your identity and the collection of biometric data for additional security checks.

All beneficiaries aged 14 or over must provide their biometric data. If everything is correct, the U.S. consulate will issue a document called Boarding Foil. This document allows the beneficiary to travel to the U.S.A. within 30 days after being issued.

Note: This Boarding Foil does not guarantee parole but it does allow access to final step 7.

7. CBP authorizes the temporary residence permit to the U.S. (parole)

  • A CBP officer will be in charge of inspecting the beneficiary at a port of entry. 
  • If the officer authorizes the parole, they will issue the beneficiary a Form I-94, Entry / Exit Record detailing the duration of the parole.
  • The temporary stay permit period begins from the moment CBP authorizes parole at the port of entry.

How to request parole (temporary residence permit)

  • Fill out Form I-131 and include the filing fee or Form I-192 (Fee Waiver) for each beneficiary.
  • Complete a Form I-134 for each beneficiary. This will demonstrate the financial sponsorship that beneficiaries in the U.S. will receive.
    • In the event of more than one sponsor, each sponsor must submit a Form I-134.
  • You must include detailed information and supporting documentation on the reasons for requesting parole for the beneficiary. In the following section “submitting evidence”, we detail this point.
  • If you are represented by an attorney or other authorized representative, you must file the completed Form G-28 for USCIS to contact them.

Submitting evidence

Through the application and supporting evidence, the petitioner must demonstrate that the beneficiary qualifies for parole and requires favorable discretion.

It is important that the petitioner provides all the required documentation to avoid delays. Likewise, a USCIS official can issue an RFE to obtain additional information.

In addition to I-131, I-134 and fee payments or exemption from them, you must submit the following information:

  • Detailed explanation about:
    • Reasons for requesting the parole.
    • Amount of parole time that each beneficiary needs.
    • Reasons why the beneficiary cannot obtain a visa from the State Department. This point should include:
      • Time and place where the beneficiary tried to obtain the visa, if applicable;
      • If the visa was denied include a copy of the denial letter and;
      • If applicable, a detailed explanation of why the beneficiary cannot obtain a required waiver of inadmissibility and a copy of any denial letters received.
  • Copies of any immigrant applications previously filed (Forms I-140, I-130, I-360 and so on) or, if available, nonimmigrant visa petitions filed by or for the beneficiary.
  • Copies of documentation that evidences your request. Including a legible and clear copy of a government-issued ID indicating the beneficiary’s citizenship.
    • In case of providing a birth certificate be sure to send a copy of both sides of the certificate.
  • If applicable, copies of a U.S. passport, birth certificate, permanent resident card, and other evidence of the immigration status or valid US citizenship of the sponsor and the petitioner.

Note: The USCIS guide linked above too has additional information on other types of evidence for more specific cases. 

Where to send the parole request?

USCIS Dallas Lockbox
For U.S. Postal Service (USPS) Deliveries:
P.O. Box 660865
Dallas, TX. 75266

For Express Mail and courier deliveries:
Attn: HP
2501 S. State Hwy 121, Business
Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067

In the forms addresses section you have different addresses where to send many of the mentioned forms.

Parole request for children

To request the temporary residence permit for minors under 18 years old, USCIS may require the following types of evidence:

Circumstance:Evidence that may be required:
The beneficiary as a minor will travel with one of the parents and the other parent will stay outside the USA. Written authorization by the parent who will not travel where he authorizes the minor to travel. This includes:

– The permission of the non-traveling parent for the minor to accompany the traveling parent.
– Duration of the authorized trip and
– Evidence that demonstrates sole legal custody by the parent who is traveling with the minor.
Neither parent travels.Written authorization by both parents for the minor to leave the country with an authorized guardian. This includes:

– The duration of the travel and
– Proof of legal guardianship issued by a government authority.
Without the consent of one or both parents.– Reasons in writing by the beneficiary or petitioner explaining the efforts made to locate the father or
– The reasons surrounding their unavailability and
– Evidence of legal guardianship of the person accompanying the minor on travel or who will receive it on arrival USA

How long does the parole process take?

USCIS always tries to complete the process within 3 months. This however is highly variable depending on the complexity of the case and the initial supporting documentation.

On the Request Processing Times page you can check the current processing times.

The important thing is to present all the initial supporting documentation and respond to requests about it to avoid delays.

Our attorneys can help you know what parole is and throughout this process to avoid delays. 

Expedited processing

To request expedited processing you must:

  • Follow the criteria set forth in the instructions for Form I-131.
  • Write the word “EXPEDITE” in black ink in the upper right corner of the application.
  • Provide an E-mail, telephone number and fax number for the petitioner or representative with any expedited request.
  • Include a detailed explanation of the reason for requesting expedited processing along with evidence documentation.
    • Normally requesting expedited processing is due to a matter of urgency so the applicant must demonstrate it. Examples of this would be life-threatening situations or any other situation of extreme urgency.

What to do if my temporary stay permit is denied?

You cannot appeal a denial of parole as it does not confer any substantive rights or immigration status. 

In this case, you can file a new Form I-131 package with the fee or fee waiver request. 

Note: There is no limit on the number of I-131 forms that a person can file.

Travel for parolees (Those who get parole)

The parole document issued to a person outside the U.S. it is valid for a single parole request at the input port. If the petitioner leaves the U.S. the permission is canceled. 

If you want to travel abroad and return you need an advance entry permit before traveling, known as advanced parole.

Alternatively you can request a new parole from abroad or a valid visa to return.

Request a re-parole

In some cases, a beneficiary may remain in the U.S. beyond the authorized parole period. In these cases, you can reapply for the temporary residence permit from the USA. The petitioner will do it as follows:

  • Filing a new Form I-131;
  • Checking box 1.eo or 1.f in part 2 of the form and;
  • Writing “re-parole” at the top of the application.  

You must also include the required fees or the request for fee exemption along with evidence and materials that support the new parole request. This includes the explanation of the need for an additional parole period.

You must submit the request at least 90 days before the expiration of the parole. This allows sufficient processing time and avoids accumulating illegal time.

Parole for Cubans

The Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program (CFRP) was created in 2007 and allows U.S. citizens to and holders of a Green Card, request parole or permission to bring their Cuban relatives.

parole for cubans

What is the Cuban Family Law (CP3)

Within the Cuban Parole Program, it is contemplated that Cuban citizens over 21 years of age, holders of a visa or who have been issued a parole (CP1), can request a family immigration parole. This program benefits certain family members. 

On the other hand, the Special Program for Cuban Emigration, known as “el bombo”, is currently suspended.

Parole for Cuban doctors in 2023

The program (Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program, CMPP), was repealed by the United States on January 12, 2017. However, applications made prior to that date continued to be processed and adjudicated by USCIS. Also in cases where a primary CMPP applicant, prior to that date, applied for the US entry permit for their spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21, traveling with him / her.

Likewise, Cuban medical professionals who were accepted by the CMPP Program, before or after January 12, 2017, could file petitions for family members to join them before August 24, 2017.

Initially, the program was created to help Cuban doctors and their families, who were sent by the Cuban government to work in other countries. The application for a permit to enter the U.S. was presented at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

Several U.S. senators have asked the federal government to reinstate the program again. The sending of Cuban doctors and paramedics to work for the Cuban socialist government in other countries has been severely questioned. Some Latin American governments and organizations have classified the Cuban program as a form of neo-slavery.

What is an advance parole?

Advance parole is an advance entry permit. This document allows certain foreigners to re-enter the U.S. after traveling abroad without an immigrant or non-immigrant visa.

It also allows foreigners who have applied for adjustment of status or some other benefit to retain the application while being outside of the country.

The importance of an advance parole permit before traveling

Foreigners must have an advance parole permit before leaving the United States. As a general rule, if you have not obtained this permit before traveling, you will not be able to re-enter on your return. Unless you have a valid visa.

The government may consider that the alien abandoned their pending application for immigration benefits. When this occurs, the person would have to start the immigration process again. To do this, you must use the consular process in your own country.

Who may need advance parole?

This permit can be applied for by foreigners in the U.S.A. who want to travel abroad but are in the following situations:

  • They have been admitted as refugees or have been granted asylum.
  • They have a pending application for asylum in the United States.
  • They have a pending adjustment of status application.
  • They have received benefits under the family unit program.
  • They obtained TPS temporary protection status.
  • They received a humanitarian parole or a T / U visa.

You can find out more about T visa requirements and discover what is a U visa on our website.

Who is not eligible for advance parole?

Some foreigners residing in the United States are not eligible to obtain this travel permit. This includes:

  • Foreigners without valid immigration status.
  • Foreigners with exchange visas, subject to the requirement of foreign residence.
  • Beneficiaries of a private bill.
  • Holders of a valid re-entry permit unless it is returned to USCIS or proven to have been lost.
  • Foreigners in deportation process, even if they are within the categories of TPS, Visa T or Visa U, asylum and others, with the exception of DACA beneficiaries.
immigration lawyers specializing in deportation

For this last point you can review our section dedicated to “Immigration lawyers specialized in deportations“.

Advance parole benefits

There are 2 main benefits:

  1. It allows the foreigner to return to the U.S. after leaving the country without the need to obtain a visa.
  2. Allows to maintain the pending adjustment of status application with USCIS.

Before applying for advance entry permission, it is advisable to speak to an experienced immigration attorney who guides you on your eligibility.  

Our attorneys have been successful helping immigrants for more than 40 years in all areas of immigration. 

Frequently asked questions about advance parole

Below we answer some of the frequently asked questions on the topic, including the definition of some terms in English.

What is an I-512 advance parole?

It is the document issued by USCIS when you approve the travel permit. It can have two forms:

  1. The document itself known as I-512 or;
  2. The work permit card that the immigrant receives and also serves as an advance parole. In fact the document includes the phrase: “serves as I-512 advance parole”.

Who can travel abroad and return without prior advance parole?

Exceptions for traveling outside the U.S. and return without the need to present the travel document, are for people who have the following types of visa:

  • H-1 temporary workers , H-4 spouse, or the children of an H-1.
  • K-3 spouse or the child (K-4) of a US citizen.
  • L-1 visa workers who are transferred to US offices by the company, their spouse (L-2), or the L-1 worker’s child.
  • Spouse (V-1) or children (V-2 / V-3) of a legal permanent resident.

Upon returning to the U.S. holders of these visas must present their respective non-immigrant visas and have no limitations to remain admissible in the country.

While these people have an application for adjustment pending, they will not be considered to have abandoned it. Even in cases where they did not request the advanced parole document before leaving the United States.

We advise you to speak to our attorneys and possess evidence of the application for the adjustment of status application. In this case, Form I-797, which certifies receipt of the application, is useful.

Check our section for the types of American visas that interests you. There you will find a complete guide with the main visas.

If I am or was illegally in the U.S., can I get the advance parole?

Yes you can. The problem is that a foreigner who leaves the United States after being illegal in the country could be prohibited from re-entering. This includes the cases in which the foreigner obtained the advance parole immigration document.

  • By accumulating more than 180 days of illegal presence, but less than one year, the law establishes a three-year restriction to re-enter the United States. 
  • If the illegal presence extends for more than a year, the prohibition of re-entry to the country can be more than 10 years.

Before leaving the United States, foreigners with a history of illegal presence should consult an experienced attorney. The lawyer will be able to guide you about your situation to avoid making mistakes.

If I am outside the United States can I also get the advance parole?

In general, foreigners who are already outside the U.S. cannot obtain the advance parole. However, for urgent humanitarian reasons or due to a significant public benefit, a foreigner may obtain it.

Those applying for advance parole cannot use it to avoid delays or circumvent normal visa issuance procedures. 

To process the advance parole, a foreigner outside the United States must submit their biometric information if they are between 14 and 79 years old. You must do it where USCIS or the State Department tells you to.

Does the advance parole guarantee that I can reenter the US?

Definitely not. Even when the foreigner obtains the immigration parole, he is still subject to being inspected by the Customs and Border Protection Service (CBP). This can occur at any U.S. port of entry, in order to determine your eligibility in the country.

Foreigners deemed inadmissible could be denied entry into the country. Also open an expedited removal process or be subject to removal proceedings in an immigration court.

How long does the advance parole take to process?

Obtaining the advance parole document can take about 90 days. However, such permit could be expedited if you meet the requirements of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):

  • An emergency.
  • Serious financial loss for the company / person.
  • Humanitarian reasons.
  • When you are a non-profit organization and travel abroad for cultural or social activities of interest to the United States.
  • At the express request of the Department of Defense or any other agency for a matter of national interest.
  • By mistake of USCIS.

In this case, processing of the expedited request may take about 30 days. However, when it is an emergency request and depending on the case, the document could be issued the same day at the USCIS office.

How long can I stay outside of the United States?

The validity of the advance parole migratory travel permit document to stay outside the country, which is granted to foreigners, is generally 1 year, counted from the date issued.

This does not mean that the Department of Homeland Security cannot, at any time, revoke or rescind the advance Parole document. Regardless of whether the beneficiary is inside or outside the United States.

What does “serves as I-512 advance parole” mean?

The phrase refers to Form I-512, which is the proper permission that the U.S. government grants to the immigrant.

What is an advance parole document?

It is the travel document (I-512 Advance parole) that authorizes the foreigner to re-enter the United States.

Now you know what an immigration parole is. We understand that it is a complex issue and questions may strike you. For more information about the advance parole or any case related to immigration matters, call us. 

Lluis Law immigration attorneys are at your disposal.