top of page
  • Writer's pictureReza Yassi

Applying for Humanitarian or Significant Public Benefit Parole Requests

Updated: Jun 15, 2021


In General

Parole allows an individual, who may be inadmissible or otherwise ineligible for admission into the United States, to be paroled (brought) into the United States for a temporary period. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) allows the secretary of Homeland Security to use their discretion to parole any alien applying for admission into the United States temporarily for (1) urgent humanitarian reasons or (2) significant public benefit.


Eligibility for Parole

The USCIS officer considers each request and the evidence provided on a case-by-case basis, taking into account all of the circumstances. The burden of proof is on the petitioner to establish that parole should be authorized. Parole will be authorized only USCIS conclude, based on all the evidence the petitioner submits and any other relevant evidence available, that:

(1)There are urgent humanitarian or significant public benefit reasons for the beneficiary to be in the United States; and;

(2)The beneficiary merits a favorable exercise of discretion.


(1) Urgent Humanitarian Reasons

There is no statutory or regulatory definition of "urgent humanitarian reasons." USCIS officers look at all of the circumstances, taking into account factors such as (but not limited to):

  • Whether or not the circumstances are pressing;

  • The effect of the circumstances on the individual’s welfare and wellbeing; and

  • The degree of suffering that may result if parole is not authorized.

An applicant may demonstrate urgency by establishing a reason to be in the United States that calls for immediate or other time-sensitive action, including (but not limited to) critical medical treatment, or the need to visit, assist or support a family member who is at an end of life stage of an illness or disease.

The factors considered in determining urgent humanitarian reasons are dependent on the type of parole request.

(2) Significant Public Benefit

There is no statutory or regulatory definition of “significant public benefit.” Parole based on significant public benefit includes, but is not limited to, law enforcement and national security reasons or foreign or domestic policy considerations. USCIS officers look at all of the circumstances presented in the case.

While the beneficiary may personally benefit from the authorization of parole, the statutory standard focuses on the public benefit in extending parole. For example, a beneficiary’s participation in legal proceedings may constitute a significant public benefit, because the opportunity for all relevant parties to participate in legal proceedings may be required for justice to be served.

(3) When Both Apply

There may be circumstances where a request is based on both urgent humanitarian reasons and significant public benefit reasons. For example, a person may be paroled if they have a request for medical care that involves experimental treatment or medical trials from which a larger community in the United States may benefit.


The Parol Process

Step 1- Filing

The petitioner must file the following forms & supporting documents with the USCIS:

  • Form I-131, Application for Travel Document

  • Form I-134, Affidavit of Support

  • Supporting documentation

  • The filing fee

Step 2 - Review for Urgency

USCIS-IO reviews each request to confirm jurisdiction and determine whether it warrants expedited processing because of an urgent or time-sensitive reason. All requests are reviewed initially to determine urgency, regardless of whether the petitioner specifically requests expedited consideration.

Step 3 - Review for Decision

A USCIS officer considers the request. This includes:

  • Reviewing the request and all supporting documents;

  • Conducting all mandatory security checks and vetting;

  • Issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny, if necessary;

  • Documenting the basis for the decision; and

  • Preparing the decision notice(s).

Step 4 - Supervisory Review

A supervisor reviews all parole decisions before any decision is finalized.

Step 5 - Notification of Decision

  • If authorized: USCIS will mail an approval letter to the petitioner, the beneficiary, and any representative of record. The letter provides notice of the decision and the next steps for obtaining travel documents. The USCIS will also notify the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate closest to the beneficiary’s residence.

  • If denied: The USCIS will mail a denial letter to the petitioner, beneficiary, and any representative of record.

Step 6 - Issuance of travel docs (approval only)

If a request is authorized, the approval notice will inform the beneficiary that he or she must complete a Form DS-160, Application for a Nonimmigrant Visa, and appear for an appointment with the Department of State consular section to verify their identity and collect biometrics for additional security vetting. All beneficiaries 14 years and older must provide biometrics. If no derogatory information or new identity information is identified during vetting, the U. S. Consulate issues a document referred to as a boarding foil that allows the beneficiary to travel to the United States within 30 days of it being issued. Issuance of a boarding foil does not guarantee parole but allows the beneficiary to proceed to Step 7 below.

Step 7 - Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Paroles into the United States (Approvals Only)

A CBP officer inspects the beneficiary at the port of entry. If CBP paroles the beneficiary, CBP will issue the parolee an I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, documenting the length of their parole period. The parole period begins when CBP paroles the beneficiary at the port of entry. After arriving in the United States, the parolee may request employment Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.


As you can see, this is a complicated process. One wrong move may delay or eliminate you or your loved one's parol chances. If you would like to talk to a licensed attorney about you or your loved one's case, give us a call at 646-992-2138.


Disclaimer: Although I am a lawyer by profession, I am not YOUR lawyer. This article is for informational and educational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not establish any kind of attorney-client relationship with me. I am not liable or responsible for any damages resulting from or related to your use of this information.


Commenting has been turned off.
slider 4.jpg
bottom of page