Get Started

Contact Us For A Consultation

Have a question? We're here to help. Send us a message and we'll be in touch.

Humanitarian parole is not exactly a hot button topic of discussion amongst immigration practitioners. What is it about? This form of relief permits an inadmissible individual to visit the United States due to humanitarian reasons and/or for substantial public benefit.

While anyone can file for humanitarian parole, a foreign national must have exhausted all other visa avenues to be eligible for parole unless there is a dire emergency or it is impractical. Typically, humanitarian parole may be granted when:

  1. A child under 16 needs to be reunified with relatives;
  2. There is an urgent need for medical care that the foreign national cannot secure in the home country;
  3. A foreign national has to attend a civil or criminal proceeding;
  4. A foreign national needs to visit a dying family member; and,
  5. There is a dire emergency.

Also, the beneficiary of the petition must be residing outside the United States. The parole is granted for the duration of the emergency and is temporary in nature. A foreign national may adjust status to a permanent resident (e.g., parolee secures asylum, parolee is a beneficiary of a relative petition) while in the United States. It is important to note that the parole does not mean an admission to the United States and does not grant any benefits. If the maximum parole period of 1 year expires without a re-parole, the foreign national has to leave the United States.

Who has jurisdiction?

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (hereafter ICE), United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (hereafter USCIS) and Customs and Border Protection (hereafter CBP) all have concurrent authority to parole individuals. ICE can authorize parole of foreign nationals outside the United States for law enforcement matters. USCIS (HAB) can parole a foreign national outside the United States for humanitarian and other purposes. CBP can grant parole at United States ports of entry.

What factors are considered when parole is granted?

Some key factors considered during the adjudication of the application are identified below.

In family reunification cases, the following are considered:

  • Have all immigration visa avenues been exhausted? Parole is not granted if an applicant is attempting to by-pass the routine visa process;
  • Proof of bona fide relationship between the relative (within the United States) and the applicant;

In medical cases, the following are considered:

  • The severity of the medical condition;
  • The lack of availability of such medical treatment in the applicants home country;
  • A medical determination for the need of immediate medical treatment;
  • Sufficient documentation to support the medical claim; and
  • The ability to pay for the medical procedure (via insurance or otherwise) and the ability to have a paid ticket to return from the United States.

In emergency cases , the following are considered:

  • Sufficient medical documentation to support the claim that a relative is on their death bed;
  • Proof of bona fide relationship; and
  • Proof that there is no other relative in the United States can assist with estate matters.

Also, the parole is not likely to be granted if it is obvious that the parolee has intentions of staying longer than the allowed parole. Hence, when deciding whether humanitarian parole is a form of relief that could be utilized, it is vital to examine whether there is an emergency and in a majority of cases whether all other visa options have been exhausted.

What application and documentation should be provided? What is the process of filing for humanitarian parole?

To start the process, Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, a non-refundable $305 (there is no fee waiver), and a comprehensive statement of facts should accompany the application package. In addition, the identification of applicant (i.e. passport) and immigration status of the petitioner based in the United States should also be given. Any documents that support the various criteria (birth/marriage/death certificates) for the type of parole requested should be part of the submission.

Form I-134 (Affidavit of Support) also needs to be provided along with income tax returns for the prior two years, current employment information, insurance coverage (applicable to medical cases), immigration status of sponsor if not the same as petitioner. A parolee may ask for a re-parole 90 days prior to its expiration. To re-parole a new application (along with the fees and Affidavit of Support) would need to be filed along with a copy of the I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) issued at parole time. If parole is not granted, then there is no appeal relief. However, a new application which demonstrates substantial change in circumstances may be filed.


According to the USCIS, twenty-five percent of twelve hundred or so applications are granted annually and they are not liberally granted. However, this should not be a dissuasive factor. As in every area of the law, the envelope is yet to be pushed here. The question is whether practitioners are aware of this relief and are examining applicability to their cases? When doing consults (intakes), do practitioners check to see if this form of relief is applicable? Is this form of relief on their intake checklist? Awareness about this form of relief is key. As practitioners are informed and more viable applications are filed, it could prompt an evolution of case law in this area.

Copyright © 2015, American Immigration Lawyers Association. Reprinted, with permission, from AILA’s New Member Division Newsletter (April 2015).


Recent Articles

US immigration application and consular visa interview

My Immigrant Visa Case Is Stuck in Administrative Processing? What Should I Do?

Sep 22, 2023
The process of acquiring an immigrant visa can be complex and intimidating, especially when encountering the term “administrative processing.” Many applicants find themselves stuck at this stage, wondering what it means and how to proceed. This article will provide an insightful understanding of administrative processing, how long it typically takes, why an immigrant visa might […]
Read More
application to register permanent residence or adjust status form and green card

I Want to Apply for Adjustment of Status (Green Card). Do I Need a Lawyer?

Sep 15, 2023
Embarking on the journey through the labyrinth of immigration law can be daunting, especially if you’re not intimately familiar with the system. The processes are replete with intricacies, the jargon used is often perplexing, and the consequences of even a minor error can be dramatic. As you prepare to apply for an adjustment of status, […]
Read More
K-1 VISA united states of america white gold ring with diamond

I Want to Apply for a K-1 Visa: Do I Need a Lawyer?

Sep 08, 2023
Deciding to marry a non-U.S. citizen is a major milestone. With it comes the bureaucratic labyrinth that is the U.S. immigration process. At the heart of this journey is the K-1 Visa, often referred to as the fiancé visa. The process may appear straightforward, but it can be surprisingly complex, leading many to question: “Do […]
Read More
US citizenship and immigration services on flag of united states of america

I Received an N-14. Should I Hire a Lawyer?

Sep 01, 2023
The path to U.S. citizenship is a journey through an intricate maze of laws, processes, and paperwork. Each step taken is a pivotal decision, leading you either closer to your dream or into a complex web of legal hurdles. The receipt of an N-14 Form marks one such decisive intersection in this journey. This document, […]
Read More
letter or document with unexpected news from african boss

I Received a NOID. Should I Hire a Lawyer to Respond?

Aug 25, 2023
You’ve gone through the rigorous and meticulous process of filing an immigration application, only to receive a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). A wave of uncertainty and confusion washes over you. You are left wondering, “What is a NOID?” and “Should I hire an immigration lawyer […]
Read More

I Received an RFE. Should I Hire a Lawyer to Respond?

Aug 11, 2023
Receiving a Request for Evidence (RFE) from USCIS can be a nerve-wracking experience. An RFE, also known as a request for evidence, is a notification from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) indicating the need for additional evidence to process an immigration application. If you’re wondering whether you need the services of an immigration […]
Read More
Show More
CALL US 630-392-8101