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Breaking Down the New Parole Program for Spouses of U.S. Citizens: What You Need to Know

husband and wife holding hands

What is the New Parole Program?

The Biden Administration has introduced a parole program designed to benefit spouses of U.S. citizens who meet certain criteria. It's important to note that this is not a law passed by Congress but an administrative action that can be challenged in court. If successfully implemented, this program allows eligible individuals to be "paroled in place," meaning they can remain in the U.S. while applying for adjustment of status.

Eligibility Criteria for the Parole Program

To qualify for this parole program, applicants must meet the following requirements as of June 17, 2024:

1. Married to a U.S. Citizen: You must be legally married to a U.S. citizen by this date. Relationships that are not legally recognized as marriages do not qualify.

2. Physical Presence: You must have ten years of continuous physical presence in the U.S. from June 17, 2014, to June 17, 2024. This means you must provide evidence such as tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, or credit card statements to prove your residency during this period.

3. No Lawful Entry: If you were not lawfully inspected, admitted, or paroled into the U.S., you are eligible for this program. Those who were lawfully admitted or paroled do not need this program as they are already eligible to adjust status.

4. No Threat to Security: You must not pose a threat to the security or public safety of the U.S. This includes having no disqualifying criminal history, though the exact definitions are yet to be provided.

5. Merit a Favorable Exercise of Discretion: Parole is a discretionary benefit, and you must demonstrate that you deserve a favorable exercise of this discretion.

Who Does This Program Help?

This program is expected to assist approximately 500,000 spouses of U.S. citizens who meet the eligibility criteria. Additionally, it benefits their unmarried, under-21 children, including stepchildren, provided the marriage creating the stepparent-stepchild relationship occurred before the child turned 18. An estimated 50,000 children might be eligible under this program.

Process and Timeline

Currently, there is no application process in place. The government has indicated that detailed regulations will be released by the end of the summer, outlining the application process, required forms, and filing fees. Until then, it is not possible to submit applications for this parole program.

Potential Challenges and Considerations

This program could face significant challenges, including:

1. Legal Challenges: Members of certain political parties may challenge this program in court, which could result in delays or denial.

2. Election Impact: The upcoming November election could impact the program's future. A change in administration might result in the program being revoked.

What Should You Do Now?

While we await further details, there are steps you can take to prepare:

1. Gather Documentation: Start collecting evidence of your ten-year physical presence in the U.S. This includes documents like tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, and credit card statements.

2. Consult with a Lawyer: If you think you might be eligible, consult with your attorney to review your situation and plan your strategy. Our firm is here to help you navigate this process.

3. Request FOIA: Consider requesting and reviewing your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) records to ensure you have a clear understanding of your immigration history and eligibility.

FAQs

What if I have another case pending?

- If you have another immigration case pending, you should discuss with your lawyer whether to switch strategies once the regulations are out.

What if I'm in Immigration Court?

- Being in Immigration Court can complicate your case. It’s crucial to consult with your attorney to explore your options.

What if I’m already in a marriage-based process?

- If you're already in a marriage-based process, you might still consider this new parole program. Discuss with your lawyer to decide the best course of action.

What if I’m not eligible?

- If you don’t qualify for this program, there are other options available, such as U visas, asylum, family-based options, and waiver cases. It's important to consult with a lawyer to explore all your options.

Conclusion

This new parole program offers a promising opportunity for many spouses of U.S. citizens to adjust their status without leaving the country. However, it is essential to stay informed and prepared for any challenges that may arise. We are here to support you through this process and ensure you have the information and guidance needed to make the best decisions for your situation.

Thank you for trusting our firm with your immigration needs. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available. Stay tuned and stay informed.

For any queries, please reach out to us. We're here to help you navigate these changes and work towards a favorable outcome for your immigration status.

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