USCIS Ending Two Categorical Parole Programs

(WASHINGTON) — In keeping with the agency’s August 2019 announcement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today 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 Dec. 28, and USCIS will accept public comments for 60 days. These changes will terminate the HFRP and FWVP programs when those form instruction changes are finalized.

USCIS is terminating these two categorical parole programs to be consistent with Executive Order (E.O.) 13767, Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements and to better ensure that parole is used only on a case-by-case basis, consistent with section 212(d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), and without using pre-set criteria.

Parole is a mechanism that allows aliens to temporarily enter or remain in the United States, including those who are otherwise inadmissible. 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.

“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.”

USCIS will process all pending cases under these programs to completion, and 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. 

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. Additional information on applying for parole and re-parole is available on the HFRP and FWVP pages.

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