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Understanding President Biden's Parole in Place for Spouses of US Citizens

Updated: Jun 18

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today significant steps aimed at promoting family unity within the immigration process, aligning with the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to keeping families together. This executive action will benefit some spouses of U.S. citizens seeking lawful permanent residence. Here is some information to help you understand who could benefit and what happens next.

Current Challenges

Under current U.S. immigration law, many undocumented people married to U.S. citizens must leave the United States as part of their permanent residence process, resulting in extended separations from their families and uncertainty about their future.

New Process: Parole in Place

To address these challenges, DHS will establish a new case-by-case process for certain undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens who have lived in the United States for 10 years or more. This process, known as Parole in Place, allows eligible people to apply for lawful permanent residence without leaving the United States. This initiative could benefit approximately 500,000 spouses and 50,000 children who have strong ties in their communities.

If approved for Parole in Place, the applicant will receive a work permit card and can then apply for permanent residency in the United States without having to leave the United States.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for Parole in Place, applicants must meet several criteria:

  • Entered the United States without documentation.

  • Have been continuously present in the U.S. for at least 10 years as of June 17, 2024.

  • Have a legally valid marriage to a U.S. citizen as of June 17, 2024.

  • Have no disqualifying criminal history and do not pose a threat to national security or public safety.

  • Other requirements may be added later

a group of four people walking on a dirt path with grass and bushes on the side of the path

Additional Details and Warning

Children and stepchildren of eligible spouses may also benefit from this process. It's important to note that USCIS has not yet begun accepting applications. Any filings before the official application period opens later this summer will be rejected. Be cautious of fraudulent schemes from unauthorized individuals offering assistance with the process.

Is this Executive Action Definitely Going to Happen?

Unfortunately, it's not certain. The DHS's executive action could face legal challenges from individuals or states that believe it's unlawful. It's important to understand that this action is not a law; if President Biden is not reelected in November, the next President could potentially reverse it.

Therefore, we recommend that everyone with a pending case continue to pursue their case while we monitor developments with Parole in Place. If you don't have a pending case, we advise consulting an immigration attorney to explore your options under the current laws.

What Happens Next?

USCIS needs to create an application, confirm the requirements, provide instructions about what proof to include, and give more details about the process. There is still a lot we don't know at this time. More information is expected at the end of summer 2024. Remember that you cannot submit an application for this process at this time.

What Can You Do Now?

  • Gather necessary documents to prove your eligibility.

  • Seek guidance from a reputable immigration lawyer who can provide accurate information and assistance.

  • Avoid submitting applications or paying for legal services related to this process until USCIS officially begins accepting applications.

  • Stay tuned for more detailed information on eligibility requirements and the application process as updates become available. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

If you have questions about the Executive Action and want to find out your options, don't hesitate to reach out to us. With almost 17 years of experience since 2007, we have helped countless clients successfully complete their immigration journeys. Contact us today to ensure your case is prepared with the utmost care and expertise. We are here to help you every step of the way.

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This is for general information purposes only. For advice about your specific situation, contact an experienced immigration attorney.

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