Recently, the USCIS announced that the agency will implement a new immigration policy for certain undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens.

The spouse of a U.S. citizen that is in the United States on any status is allowed to seek permanent residency (a “Green Card”) through adjustment of status even with an expired Visa.

Besides being convicted of certain criminal offenses, the other ground of ineligibility for adjustment of status is having entered the United States “without inspection”, crossing the border illegally.

Without proof of a lawful admission, the only avenue for spouses of U.S. citizens is the provisional waiver of unlawful presence, which requires to leave the United States and apply for an immigrant Visa at a U.S. consulate abroad.

Now, the new Parole in Place policy allows certain individuals that had entered the United States without inspection to obtain a posthumous record of entry and Form I-94, which allows them to apply for adjustment of status without any other waiver application or travel outside the United States.

While the final details have not yet been released, it appears that the requirements for this new Parole in Place program are going to be:

  • Residing in the United States for at least 10 years;
  • Be married to a U.S. citizen;
  • Deserve a favorable exercise of discretion.

On this last requirement, it is important to note that USCIS stated that “noncitizens who pose a threat to national security or public safety will not be eligible for this process” and that “if a noncitizen poses a threat to national security or public safety, DHS will detain, remove, or refer them to other federal agencies for further investigation or prosecution as appropriate”.

It is still unclear if an individual with a non-violent or not drug-related criminal record will be able to apply for Parole in Place.

Contact an immigration lawyer today to learn more about the new Parole in Place program.