Immigrant spouses of military service men and women sometimes face big obstacles if they have entered the U.S. without a visa and have not been inspected by a border or customs official. This is commonly referred to as “entry without inspection” (EWI). Most immigrant spouses of soldiers who have been petitioned for, but who have entered EWI, are usually required to return to their home country to attend a visa interview at a U.S. consulate abroad. Most spouses in this circumstance have also, coincidentally, remained in the U.S. for more than a year after having entered EWI. These combined circumstances typically trigger the most common inadmissibility, which is the accrual unlawful presence. Without a waiver, spouses with unlawful presence of over one year are usually considered inadmissible for up to ten (10) years once they have stepped foot outside the U.S. to attend the consular interview.
For this reason, many families are understandably unwilling to start an immigration process due to the risks that are involved with leaving the U.S. and facing inadmissibility and the possibility of denied waivers. Fortunately, for the immigrant spouses of U.S. soldiers, there may be hope thanks to the prospect of being granted “Parole in Place”.
Parole in Place is a relatively unknown discretionary measure that can be granted by any District Director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). If granted, the U.S. soldier is usually able to petition for his or her spouse from within the U.S. for lawful permanent residence without anyone having to leave the country, and thus potentially bypassing the most common inadmissibility issue.
Parole in Place requests are considered by the District Director on a case by case basis. One must utilize great care in seeking it and should not attempt to obtain it without the assistance of a competent immigration attorney.
Richard Bracken is a veteran who has served in the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate General (JAG) for the U.S. Army. Throughout the years he has helped innumerable soldiers and veterans, and can advise you on obtaining Parole in Place from within the U.S. For a free consultation about obtaining Parole in Place, please contact us today.