Legal Status for Military Family Members (PIP)

What Is Parole in Place?

Parole in place (PIP) is a program that allows noncitizen family members of United States service members to remain in the country, despite unlawful entry and stay. The program is meant to give members of the U.S. military peace of mind and enhance military readiness.

Nevertheless, PIP is only available for immediate family members of U.S. citizens who serve in the military, and only people who already qualify for a green card can remain in the United States. PIP gives people a temporary right to remain in the country while they apply for lawful permanent residence or a green card. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grants PIP in 1-year increments and considers requests on a case-by-case basis.

Keep in mind that PIP is designed for “urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.”

Who Can Apply for PIP?

If you are an immediate family member of a citizen who is serving in the U.S. military, you can apply for PIP. Immediate family members include:

  • The spouse (husband or wife) of a U.S. service member
  • The unmarried children of U.S. service members (as long as they are under 21)
  • Parent(s) of U.S. service members

Your relationship with your spouse, parent, or child means you are eligible for a green card immediately, but you will still need legal status while you go through the application process. PIP grants this status and makes it easier for you to apply for a green card.

Why Parole in Place?

To parole in place, you must be “admissible” to the United States. Although your relationship to a U.S. service member makes you admissible, it does not excuse illegal entry into the United States. Still, you can apply for PIP whether you entered the country legally or not. You can be granted PIP at the time of your entry to the United States or get retroactive PIP after entering the country illegally.

When you have PIP, the U.S. government sees you as someone who entered the U.S. legally, which means you can apply for a green card.

With PIP, you will not have to leave the country to work toward legal status, thus “parole in place.” Without PIP, you could be punished for unlawful entry or removed from the country – and applying for legal status could be much more difficult.

Will I Be Granted PIP?

If you are eligible for PIP approval, you may be granted PIP, but USCIS handles requests on a discretionary basis, and immigration authorities only grant PIP to people who “deserve” their help. Additionally, you will not be granted PIP if you have a criminal conviction or other “serious adverse factors” on your record.

Because PIP has an impact on your eligibility for deportation, you should consult an immigration attorney before applying for military PIP.

Remember, receiving PIP is the first step of a longer process. Even if USCIS grants you PIP, you will still need to apply for adjustment of status or get a family-based green card.

As such, you will need an immigration team that can help you through the entire process. Fortunately, you’re already on the Maghzi Law Firm LLC website, which means you’re already in touch with a driven, resourceful, relatable, and experienced legal team.

Click here to learn more about our firm, or simply call us at (843) 800-2750 or contact us online to learn more about what our immigration lawyer can do for you.

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