The Biden Administration’s expansion of the “parole in place” program provides a simple mechanism for certain immigrants who crossed the border and entered the U.S. without inspection, to adjust their status and become lawful permanent residents. It will grant “parole in place” to the undocumented spouses and minor children, of U.S. citizens, living in the U.S. for a continuous period of at least 10 years prior to the announcement of the new program. Parole in place is similar to being lawfully admitted, and once granted, enables U.S citizens to apply for their undocumented spouses, and minor children, to adjust their status and become lawful permanent residents of the U.S..

Prior to this program, immigrants who unlawfully entered the United States were required to first apply for, and be granted, a waiver or provisional waiver of inadmissibility before being granted lawful permanent resident status. This process also required them to leave the United States and apply for admission at a U.S. Consulate or embassy in their home country. Applying for these waivers is a complicated and expensive process, and there is currently a nearly four (4) year delay by USCIS in reviewing and granting applications for provisional waivers.

The Biden Administration’s new parole in place program recognizes the critical importance of maintaining family unity. It provides a more streamlined, and a faster path, for those spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens to become lawful permanent residents. It will also allow them to receive work authorizations while their application to become a legal resident is pending. Most importantly, they will no longer be required to endure the hardship, expense, family separation, and extreme delay currently associated with applying for a provisional waiver of inadmissibility.

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