Immigration Options for Non-Citizen Family Members of U.S. Military Members

Immigration Options for Non-Citizen Family Members of U.S. Military Members

  1. Parole in Place

Parole in Place is a form of parole granted to certain family members of the U.S. military. Parole is important because to apply for adjustment of status, one must have been ‘admitted or paroled’ into the country. Parole in Place (PIP) gives individuals who would otherwise be ineligible for adjustment of status a means to adjust their status. PIP may be granted for ‘urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit,’ if the following conditions are met:

  • You are the spouse, widow, parent, son, or daughter of an active duty member of the U.S. armed forces;
  • You are the spouse, widow, parent, son, or daughter of a veteran (living or deceased) who was not dishonorably discharged;
  • You entered the U.S. unlawfully (people who came to the U.S. with a visa are not eligible for PIP).

PIP stops the accrual of unlawful presence but does not ‘cure’ previously incurred periods of unlawful presence.

If you are granted PIP, you are eligible to apply for a work permit, and also to apply for benefits that require a lawful entry, including adjustment of status, if you have a qualifying relative. PIP is granted for one year at a time and is renewable.

  1. Deferred Action for Family Members of Military Personnel

Deferred Action is a form of prosecutorial discretion, can help protect you from deportation, and is available for certain relatives of military members. Deferred Action is available to those described above (for PIP), but also to enlistees in the Department of Defense’ Delayed Entry Program, including the MAVNI program, along with their spouses, parents, sons, and daughters.

Under approved Deferred Action, an individual is eligible to apply for work authorization. Deferred Action may be granted for up to two years and is renewable.

Deferred Action is not a lawful admission or parole for purposes of adjustment of status.

  1. Naturalization:

According to INA §319(e), a lawful permanent resident spouse who is living abroad with a member of the armed forces, pursuant to the member’s official orders, may treat their time abroad as if they were resident and physically present in the United States. Additionally, they may go through the entire naturalization process while abroad (i.e., they do not have to return to the U.S. for an interview or oath ceremony).

  1. Options for Family Members of Deceased Military Personnel

If your U.S. citizen spouse, child, or parent died while serving honorably during a period of active duty, you might be eligible to become a lawful permanent resident or to naturalize under a special set of rules. Read more about naturalization benefits and lawful permanent residency options for family members of deceased U.S. citizen servicemembers here.

If you are a non-citizen who is or has been in the military, or if you are the family member of an individual in the military, please contact an immigration attorney who is trustworthy and knowledgeable! Our attorneys at Landerholm Immigration, APC, have extensive experience in cases involving immigration benefits for members of the military and their family members. Please call us at 510-574-7377 to see how we can help!

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