USCIS seeks public comments parole changes

USCIS seeks public comments parole changes

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is asking the public to comment on changes to the immigration travel document Form I-131 relating to certain parole programs, including Filipino World War II veterans. 

Parole is a process that allows foreign nationals to temporarily enter or remain in the United States, including those who are otherwise inadmissible. The programs to be terminated are the Haitian Family Reunification Parole program and the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole program.

On Thursday, the agency announced a Federal Register notice requesting public comments on revisions to Form I-131, Application for Travel Document to remove sections relating to the Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) and the Filipino World War II Veterans (FWVP) Parole programs. The notice will formally publish on Monday, Dec. 28, and USCIS will accept public comments for 60 days.

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These changes will terminate the HFRP and FWVP programs when those form instruction changes are finalized, according to a news release.

Thursday’s announcement follows the announcement in August of the intent to terminate two categorical parole programs, consistent with the president’s Executive Order 13767. The order calls for the agency to better ensure parole is used only on a case-by-case basis, consistent with Section 212(d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and without using pre-set criteria.

“Parole is to be used on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. With the termination of these categorical programs, any new applicants will be considered for parole consistent with the criteria that apply to any other alien seeking parole,” said USCIS Deputy Director for Policy Joseph Edlow. “USCIS is committed to exercising this limited authority in a manner that preserves the integrity of our immigration system.”

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Categorical parole refers to programs designed to consider parole for entire groups of aliens based on pre-set criteria. Under both categorical parole programs, aliens with approved family-based immigrant petitions have been authorized to enter the United States and are eligible to apply for employment authorization while waiting for their Green Card to become available.

USCIS will process all pending cases under these programs to completion, according to the press release. This includes all new applications that are postmarked on or before the effective date of the new form instructions.

USCIS will publish the effective date of this change as soon as timelines are finalized and could be as early as February 2021. Current parolees will maintain their current period of parole until it expires, unless it is otherwise terminated. USCIS will issue individual case notices to affected parolees to provide information about the termination of the programs and remind parolees to provide their updated mailing address, as required. 

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Certain HFRP or FWVP parolees who are in the United States may be eligible to adjust their status to become lawful permanent residents. Those who have not adjusted status may request re-parole by filing Form I-131 and Form I-134. Re-parole allows a parolee to remain in the United States for an additional period of authorized parole. USCIS will consider requests for re-parole on a case-by-case basis under the HFRP and FWVP program terms.

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