Happy Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a holiday in the U.S. dedicated to remember those who died while serving in our country’s armed forces. It is a solemn day, but also a day to celebrate all those who have fought for our freedoms. It is also a time to remember and give thanks to the family members of military, who have also suffered and grieved from the loss of a loved one.

In recognition of the these military member’s sacrifices made for our country, and for current members of the armed forces, veterans, enlistees, and their families, USCIS has implemented a number of different discretionary options in the immigration context.  One of those discretionary options is called “Parole in Place” (“PIP”), which is granted on a case-by-case basis, but can lead to a family member adjusting their status in the U.S.  Another option implemented, is “Deferred Action,” which is also granted on a case-by-case basis.  These options can be utilized by attorneys to help family members of the U.S. armed forces remain in the U.S., and sometimes with lawful status, or permanent residence.

Further, starting June 8, 2016, USCIS implemented a new parole program for Filipino World War II Veterans.  The parole program will allow family members of certain Filipino WWII veterans, who have approved family-based visa petitions, to receive parole to come to the U.S. while they wait for their visa to become available.  As you may know, a visa can sometimes take more than 20 years to become available for Filipino family members, so this is great news for those family members and their spouse and children.

The parole program was implemented as part of the government’s goal toward streamlining the immigration process, and to recognize the contributions of Filipino soldiers during WWII.  More than 260,000 Filipinos fought for the U.S. during WWII and about 26,000 of these soldiers became U.S. citizens.  Most of these Filipinos have petitioned for their family members in the Philippines, but due to the long wait for a visa, the families have been separated for years.  With this parole program, family members may join their aging, veteran family member in the U.S.

If you have a family member in the U.S. Armed Forces, or a veteran of it, then one of these options may apply to you. Contact a knowledgeable attorney to discuss your case.