If you are not eligible to get a visitor visa to enter the U.S., you may be able to come to the U.S. via humanitarian parole. This is a type of discretionary relief that may be available for urgent humanitarian reasons or when admitting a foreign national would result in a significant public benefit. You must have a compelling reason to get humanitarian parole. Humanitarian parole lasts only for the period of the emergency or humanitarian need that forms the basis of the application. You can potentially receive a temporary work authorization during this period, but humanitarian parole offers no permanent benefits and no path to citizenship.
Humanitarian parole is usually the last resort for a foreign national who is applying for it, since it is among the most challenging ways to get temporary legal status in the U.S. Foreign nationals who may qualify include people with seriously ill family members in the U.S., or people who are seriously ill and cannot get appropriate medical treatment in their country. Also, you may be able to get humanitarian parole to attend the funeral of a family member in the U.S. or to testify in a trial if your testimony is essential. In some cases, a foreign national can get parole if they are an entrepreneur who will be using American investments to found and build a start-up business.
Applying for Humanitarian Parole
The two forms that you will need to submit are an Application for Travel Document (Form I-131) and an Affidavit of Support (Form I-134). You will not need to complete every section of Form I-131, since it applies to many different situations. You will need to check the box for “advance parole” on the form, which contains no specific category for humanitarian parole. (If you are applying for humanitarian parole for someone else, you will need to check a different box.)
An applicant will need to state the expected length of their stay in the U.S. This can last no more than one year. Also, they will need to provide evidence supporting their need for humanitarian parole. An applicant should discuss the reasons why they are not eligible for a visa and provide the time and place of any previous applications for a visa. In addition to a cover letter that describes the basis for your application, you should provide a copy of any visa refusal document and documents showing that you will be able to pay for your trip and its related costs.
You can request expedited processing of your application for humanitarian parole if you need USCIS to review it within a certain time. (Most applications are not reviewed for weeks or even months after they are submitted.) A request for expedited processing should be accompanied by evidence demonstrating why this is necessary in your case.
Requirements for Humanitarian Parole Based on Medical Treatment
As mentioned above, many requests for humanitarian parole are based on a foreign national’s urgent need for medical treatment to deal with a serious illness. Someone who is applying for humanitarian parole on this basis must provide documentation to support their diagnosis and explain why they cannot get the necessary treatment in their country or region. They also will need to outline the cost and duration of the treatment. The applicant should explain how they plan to pay for it as well.