Jamaica Magazine

Humanitarian Parole and Public Interest Parolees Entry into the United States

Many do not know that within the US Immigration system exists certain discretionary grants of entry to the United States. The Humanitarian Parole is one such form of entry and the Public Interest Parole is another. Both are available pursuant to section 212(d)(3) or 212(d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Both require that certain conditions be met and that the need for immediate entry be thoroughly explained and documented.

Sometimes an individual may be considered a public interest parole pursuant to section 212(d)(5) if entering the United States without a visa at a port of entry. This individual is usually evaluated to determine whether s/he has a credible fear of returning to their country of origin. This type of entry may result in the issuance of an I-94 arrival card that is stamped “parolee” pursuant to section 212(d)(5) and it may also state “pending removal” or “pending asylum proceedings”. If the latter is stamped on the card, then the individual will be noticed for a hearing before an immigration judge and should seek the advice and representation of a competent Immigration Attorney.

Both section 212(d)(3) or section 212(d)(5) entries are available if no other means of entry exists and all other application processes have been exhausted, or if the entrant would otherwise be prohibited from entry because of previous violation or complication in a past visa process. The section 212(d)(3) entry is issued by a consular officer at a visa post or US Embassy abroad. The section 212(d)(5) entry can be issued by an Immigration Inspections Officer at a US port of entry, or must be issued by the Attorney General of the United States through the Department of Homeland Security Humanitarian and Parole Assistance Branch.

Individuals who are denied visitor’s visa but who have an extremely urgent or life threatening medical issue may be considered for a humanitarian parole. The application process does take time, however; and is not suited for a “true” emergency (i.e. next day travel) unless requesting a parole pursuant to section 212(d)(3) at the consular post. An applicant must submit a formal application for the humanitarian parole and it should be noted that a favorable response is not guaranteed. The applicant must demonstrate the need for entry to the US, explain what other means or methods of entry they have tried unsuccessfully to obtain, provide copies of any previously filed immigration petitions, and provide a sponsor in the United States who is willing to provide financially for the individual in the event s/he is unable to provide for himself.

If the reason for travel is a medical emergency where the applicant needs the treatment or is coming to assist a relative with treatment, then a thorough and careful letter of explanation about the illness or treatment must be provided by a competent physician. In some instances, an applicant outside the US may be required to consult a Department of Homeland Security approved physician in the foreign country. Lists of physicians are available at the US Embassy or consular post abroad. Also, the applicant must provide documentation of financial support, both from a US sponsor and him or herself. Thus, bank statements and income tax returns may be requested and should be submitted with all other documentation to show that the intending parolee will not become a public charge or tempted to work in the United States. If for example, an individual is coming to seek medical services or treatment at local US hospitals, clinics or research facilities, s/he must provide documentation as to how payment for those services will be satisfied.

If the individual who is applying for a parole has previous immigration violations, then a waiver application may be requested with filing fee. A waiver is a request to excuse a visa violation and may require the applicant to produce information about immediate US citizen or permanent resident relatives who would experience extreme hardship if s/he were not permitted to enter the United States.

Attorney Nadine A. Brown practices Immigration Law in the Greater Orlando, Florida area. She has practiced Immigration Law for approximately 8 years, 3 of which was as the supervising attorney for the Catholic Charities Immigration & Refugee Services and the last 4 in private practice. Her firm was established in 2002 and her cases involve issues relating to asylum, citizenship, consular affairs, deportation, residency petitions, student and business visas, and visa extensions or changes of
status. She handles all cases personally. Questions can be sent to [email protected]

Please visit her website at: www.nadinebrownpa.com

About the author

Nadine A.Brown