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Article: Humanitarian Parole in the Era of COVID-19 By Joseph Barnett and Avi Friedman

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  • Article: Humanitarian Parole in the Era of COVID-19 By Joseph Barnett and Avi Friedman

    Humanitarian Parole in the Era of COVID-19

    by


    With U.S. consular  posts suspending routine visa services and the Northern and Southern borders closed to nonessential traffic due to the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which causes the disease COVID-1, foreign nationals may take a closer look at the option of requesting parole for short-term, humanitarian reasons.  Here are three things to know about this option:

     

    1. What is Parole? Parole allows an otherwise inadmissible alien to enter the United States for a temporary period pursuant to INA 212(d)(5)(A).  A foreign national can request parole for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit through submission of a Form I-131 to USCIS or to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) at a port of entry.   Parole does not, by itself, confer any immigration benefit, but a “parolee” may apply for employment authorization after arriving in the United States.  At the end of a parole authorization period, a parolee must depart the United States, adjust to immigrant status, or request to be re-paroled.

     

    1. What Parole Isn’t. Parole does not allow an alien to circumvent normal visa issuing procedures, including noncurrent priority dates for immigrant visa preference categories, and is not considered an “admission” to the United States, which has legal consequences.  Parole is a discretionary authority of the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, which has been delegated to USCIS, CBP, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), and is not intended as a substitute for inadmissibility waiver processing.

     

    1. Supporting Evidence. The U.S. government requires a parolee to have sufficient funds in place to adequately support himself or herself in the United States.  This can be accomplished through self-sponsorship, a third-party financial sponsorship, or sponsorship by an organization.  Evidence of the urgent medical and familial need, as well as personal reference letters showing past compliance with U.S. law is particularly advisable to include.

     

    Parole remains an important tool to unite families and protect foreign nationals during humanitarian crises.  If you believe you may be eligible for humanitarian parole, please contact an experienced immigration attorney at Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP.

    This post originally appeared on Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP. Reprinted with permission.


    About The Author

    Joseph Barnett is a partner at Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP and specializes in employment and business immigration cases, including immigrant petitions and non-immigrant visa applications for foreign entrepreneurs and investors, management personnel of international companies, individuals with EB-1 extraordinary ability, EB-2 national interest waiver, and alien workers. She also handles complex immigration cases such as protecting age-out derivative children under CSPA, mandamus litigation, consular inadmissibility, as well as preparing responses to Requests for Evidence, Notices of Intent to Deny, and Notices of Intent to Revoke.

    Avi Friedman, a partner in the Los Angeles office, was named both the 2014 and 2016 Los Angeles Immigration Law “Lawyer of the Year” by U.S. News-Best Lawyers®. He was also listed in the 2015 Who’s Who Legal rankings for his excellent in-person attorney/client representation at U.S. consular posts in Canada and Mexico. Mr. Friedman is serving his fifth term on the AILA Department of State Liaison Committee (2014-2016 and 2007-2010) and is also the current AILA Canada Chapter Liaison to the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada. He served eleven terms as the Consular Affairs Liaison for the Southern California Chapter of AILA. He has authored numerous articles for AILA including: several chapters for the “Visa Processing Guide”; Third-Country National (TCN) and Consular Processing of Non-immigrant Visa Applications in Mexico and Canada: Practice Advisory; Nonimmigrant Waivers of Inadmissibility under INA 212(d)(3); “DOs” and “DON’Ts” for Attorneys Representing Visa Applicants (and for Consular Officers, too!); Nonimmigrant Visa Processing In Canada or Mexico Remains The Best Option for Third Country Nationals; and NIV Consular Processing – Truth and Consequences. He is also a frequent speaker on consular/visa issues and waivers at AILA and NAFSA conferences. Mr. Friedman continues to assist applicants with non-immigrant visa applications at U.S. consular posts worldwide. He focuses on in-person attorney/client representation at U.S. consular posts in Canada and Mexico. He also handles family-based immigrant petitions, naturalization applications, investor visa applications, and J-1 Waivers and immigrant and non-immigrant petitions for international medical graduate physicians. Mr. Friedman is listed in Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers as an “outstanding” lawyer, an “expert on consular issues” and a “highly rated inclusion” to the Wolfsdorf firm. In the 2010 California Edition of the Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers, Mr. Friedman was described as “an active speaker within AILA and has cultivated ‘a superb reputation‘ among peers and clients.” Mr. Friedman was also listed in The Southern California Super Lawyers from 2010-2014.


    The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

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