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New Parole-in-Place Program for Spouses of U.S. Citizens


On June 18, President Biden announced a new parole-in-place program aimed at helping certain spouses of U.S. citizens obtain legal status and work permits without risking family separation.


Key Points of the Announcement:

• The program will allow eligible individuals to apply for parole-in-place from the Department of Homeland Security.

• It's estimated to benefit up to 550,000 people.

• Applications are expected to open later in summer 2024.


How This Policy Affects Mixed-Status Families:

• It provides a safer path to permanent residency for spouses who entered the U.S. without inspection.

• It eliminates the need for eligible individuals to leave the country and risk triggering reentry bars.

• The program also extends to some stepchildren of U.S. citizens, potentially benefiting an additional 50,000 people.


Benefits of the New Policy:

• Allows eligible individuals to apply for work permits.

• Provides a path to lawful permanent resident status without family separation.

• Offers peace of mind and permanent solutions for mixed-status families.


Eligibility Requirements:

Applicants must:

• Have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 17, 2014.

• Be physically present in the U.S. on June 17, 2024.

• Be legally married to a U.S. citizen as of June 17, 2024.

• Have entered the U.S. without admission or parole and lack current lawful status.

• Have no disqualifying criminal convictions.

• Not pose a threat to national security or public safety.

• Merit a favorable exercise of discretion.


Impact on Immigration Law and Practice:

• Solves a major obstacle in current immigration law for mixed-status families.

• Even if the program is reversed in the future, those granted parole will still have an easier path to permanent residency.

• Reduces the risk and bureaucratic hurdles for eligible individuals seeking to adjust their status.


Conclusion:

This new program represents a significant change in immigration policy, offering a more accessible and less risky path to legal status for many spouses of U.S. citizens who have been living in the country without formal immigration status.

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