Understanding Humanitarian Parole

Posted by Matthew Green | Feb 12, 2014 | 0 Comments

Humanitarian Parole is administered by the Humanitarian Affairs Branch Office of International Operations. Humanitarian Parole is governed by various sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the Homeland Security Act of 2002, and Title 8, Code of Federal Regulations.

Generally, Humanitarian Parole is a discretionary form of authority that allows for the temporary entry of individuals into the U.S. for compelling humanitarian reasons or for a significant public benefit. It is not considered an admission into the U.S., nor does it convey any benefits to the recipient.

This type of parole should only be used in extraordinary measures. In no way may Humanitarian Parole be used as a means of circumventing the normal visa issuing procedures, bypass delays in visa issuance, or allow one to immigrate to the U.S. However, it may be possible for certain parolees to adjust to a permanent status.

The most common types of parole requests submitted include medical issues, family reunification, civil and criminal court proceedings, and other emergency requests. Anyone is permitted to make an application on behalf of someone else who is outside of the U.S. who has an urgent need to enter the country. Also, individuals may self-petition for this type of parole if they are outside of the U.S.

Humanitarian Affairs Branch employees will generally take certain factors into consideration when determining which applications will receive immediate processing. These factors include:

  • Life threatening medical emergencies;
  • Family reunification;
  • Children under 16 years of age; and
  • Physically and/or mentally challenged individuals.

Only certain agencies have jurisdiction to determine parole. USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services), ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), and CBP (Customs and Border Protection) are permitted to exercise concurrent parole authority.

Each focuses on a different aspect of parole. For example, USCIS authorizes parole for aliens outside the U.S. for a variety of reasons, including humanitarian. Next, ICE authorizes parole for aliens outside of the U.S. for reasons including law enforcement and intelligence purposes. ICE can also release detained aliens from custody. Lastly, CBP can authorize parole for those at the U.S. ports of entry.

When applying for Humanitarian Parole, expect to produce the following:

  • Form I-131, Application for Travel Document;
  • Form I-134, Affidavit of Support;
  • A non-refundable $305 fee;
  • A detailed statement of facts supporting the parole request;
  • Birth, marriage, or death certificates;
  • Official identification for the beneficiary;
  • Proof of immigration status for the petitioner;
  • Divorce decrees;
  • Guardianship/Adoption decrees; and
  • Any other required information.

The petitioner will be notified if the parole request is approved or denied. If approved, the Humanitarian Affairs Branch will then request issuance of appropriate travel documentation from either the USCIS Overseas Officer or the proper U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

There is no specific re-parole provision associated with Humanitarian Parole. Generally, a request for re-parole will require the alien to file a complete parole application package.

As an immigration attorney, I understand the details and nuances of immigration laws and how they may relate to you and your particular situation. If you are dealing with criminal or immigration matters, contact my office today and we can schedule a consultation.

About the Author

Matthew Green

Managing Partner. Green | Evans-Schroeder (formerly Law Offices of Matthew H. Green) focuses on the aggressive defense of immigrants. A native of Arizona, Mr. Green understands the difficulties that immigrants and families of immigrants face when a loved one is charged with a crime. He knows how frightening it can be for some...


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