Humanitarian Parole

Congress granted discretion to the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) to parole a foreign national into the U.S. pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5)(A). DHS grants parole on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or a significant public benefit. As parole is not a substitute for a visa, a foreign national should consider parole as a last option. If eligible, foreign nationals should apply for a nonimmigrant visa, a family-based immigrant visa, or an employment-based immigrant visa rather than pursue parole. If DHS approves a parole application, DHS will place conditions upon the parole.

Humanitarian Parole for Noncitizens Outside America

DHS grants humanitarian parole under very extraordinary circumstances. DHS issues humanitarian parole when a foreign national would not qualify for a visa, any immigration status, or an inadmissibility waiver. A serious situation must occur for DHS to grant humanitarian parole.

Either the foreign national or a person in America may request parole by filing the I-131 Form with evidence. If DHS grants parole, the foreign national can apply for a boarding foil at a U.S. consulate. The consulate’s staff will place a boarding foil in the passport. If the foreign national does not possess a passport, the consular staff can place the boarding foil in a DS-232 Form. The boarding foil will allow the transportation company to board the foreign national for transit. At the immigration checkpoint, a Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) officer will examine the passport and boarding foil. The CBP officer will decide to parole the noncitizen into the U.S. or deny parole. If granted parole at the border, a noncitizen should obtain the I-94 Form from CBP’s website. The I-94 Form will provide information about the parole validity period. After DHS paroles a noncitizen into the U.S., the foreign national may renew parole while in America.