Last Wish: Humanitarian Parole

Written by Carmen Cornejo

A tumor on Maria Sanchez’s spine was invading her body, choking the life out of her. She was a 26-year-old undocumented mother of a 5-year-old child, married to a green card holder, dealing with the multiple griefs of her illness plus the indignities of being denied hospital service due to her status.

Then came the final blow. Three times, United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) denied her parents a humanitarian visa to visit her.

Maria died four days after the last effort for a humanitarian visa was rejected by the U.S. Her impoverished parents were left waiting for permission to enter the U.S. legally to hug their daughter for the last time. They were also left with the expenses of their failed efforts. Maria’s father’s previous deportation may have been the factor that threw away the opportunity to attain this form of relief.

The process of bringing someone who is otherwise inadmissible into the U.S. due to an emergency is called Humanitarian Parole. Unfortunately, it is seldom granted.

Anyone can fill out an application to request Humanitarian Parole, but you need to have an urgent and compelling reason. The decision to grant this relief is done on a case-by-case basis. This process cannot be used to avoid other normal visa issuing procedures or to bypass immigration processes.

Humanitarian Parole does not grant immigration status, and permission to stay in the U.S. is limited to the duration of the emergency. However, grantees can re-apply for an extension.

Applicants for this process should submit form I-130, Application for a Travel Document and include the filing fee for each parole applicant. Additionally, the applicant(s) must file Form I-134, Affidavit of Support for each applicant, to demonstrate they will have economic support during their presence in the U.S. The forms submitted must include a detailed explanation and evidence of the reasons for requesting the Parole.

If an attorney is filing the above-mentioned forms, he or she must file Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative.

Read more about this process here.

As always, consult an immigration attorney for more information. Here are 10 questions you must ask before hiring an immigration lawyer.