Many people from war torn countries come to the U.S. to seek refuge from their native countries that cannot protect them. Sometimes, natural disasters or other circumstances force people out of their home countries. In any case, although the U.S. does not grant asylum to each person that escapes from their own countries for one reason or another, the U.S. provides other types of relief to allow them to reside in the U.S., and usually with a work permit. Some of those programs include Temporary Protected Status. Currently, Afghanis and Ukrainians have recently been given the opportunity to apply for such status. Another program is the parole program. “Parolee” status also allows applicants to enter the U.S. and reside with a work authorization. Although these programs do not grant lawful status per se, they are still in the U.S. lawfully and are not subject to the threat of deportation.
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.
Other than being able to obtain a work authorization as a parolee, one of the major advantages of being paroled into the U.S. is that it is considered a lawful entry. If someone ends up finding a petitioner, they may be able to adjust their status in the U.S. and obtain their green card sooner than anticipated. Speak to a knowledgeable attorney if you believe you qualify to be paroled into the U.S., or are in the U.S. and are eligible to adjust your status.