Good News for U.S. Military spouses! A new Federal Regulation, called Parole in Place (“PIP”), now allows undocumented spouses to adjust status to a U.S. Legal Permanent Resident without leaving the United States. Previously, if a foreign national entered the U.S. without inspection (“EWI”), they were automatically barred from any U.S. Immigration benefit for up to 10 years.
The new PIP law is not to be confused with the I-601A waiver (also a new law) which allows non-military undocumented spouses to have their 10 year bar waived BEFORE they leave the United States. However, the I-1601A waiver still requires that spouses which entered the U.S. EWI to still depart the U.S. and process their Permanent Visa outside of the United States through a U.S. Consulate abroad. In contrast, military spouses which are EWI may remain in the U.S. unequivocally. PIP allows U.S. Military spouses to remain in the U.S. while the PIP Waiver and the adjustment of status to a U.S. Permanent Resident is processed with the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”).
It is critical to hire an AILA Immigration Lawyer for a couple reasons. First, the benefit of PIP is discretionary. The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) does not have to approve the PIP application; the agency can deny the application based on discretion. Therefore, an Immigration attorney preparing the application will give the best chance of success to hopefully avoid a denial.
Secondly, PIP only waives the 3/10 year bar to those who entered the country EWI. It does NOT waive anything else. So, for instance if there is any criminal issues, use of a false name or other inadmissibility bars, the application could be denied and cause uninvited problems with DHS. It is essential for an immigration lawyer to conduct a detailed consultation BEFORE proceeding to file a PIP application on a military spouse’s behalf.
MEMBERS OF THE AMERICAN IMMIGRATION LAWYERS ASSOCIATION (AILA)
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