If you have a compelling need to come to the U.S., and you are not able to obtain a standard type of visa, humanitarian parole may be your last resort. Foreign nationals most often seek this type of temporary immigration status when they need to get medical treatment in the U.S., visit a seriously ill family member in the U.S., or attend the funeral of a family member who lived in the U.S. However, there are other potential grounds for seeking humanitarian parole. You can read more here about the basics of this status and examples of situations in which it may be appropriate.
It is important to be aware that humanitarian parole is not simply a workaround for people who are not eligible to get a visa. USCIS tends to review these applications very strictly, and you probably cannot get this status unless you have a serious emergency or medical condition, or unless the public interest demands your temporary presence in the U.S. Before applying for humanitarian parole, you should make sure that you are not eligible for any other status in the U.S. If you can get a visitor visa, for example, you probably will not be granted humanitarian parole unless you can prove to USCIS that you urgently need to come to the U.S., and you have no purpose for your visit other than addressing the emergency. Humanitarian parole can be approved more efficiently than a visitor visa, especially if the process is expedited.
Applying in the U.S. as an Undocumented Foreign National
Humanitarian parole is usually not a good option for undocumented foreign nationals who are currently living in the U.S. (In other words, they never had legal immigration status, or their legal status expired.) You would not be eligible for humanitarian parole because you are not outside the U.S. and do not need to enter the country. In fact, applying for humanitarian parole could put an undocumented foreign national at risk of deportation because it would alert USCIS to their unauthorized presence in the U.S. Or USCIS might simply discard the application because they would view it as a tactic to work around the rules of the immigration system.
However, if you are an undocumented foreign national in removal proceedings, you may be able to apply for humanitarian parole. This would require completing the standard forms and explaining your grounds for seeking this status. You would need to mail your application to an ICE address rather than the usual address. If you are being held at an immigration detention facility, you can send your application to the local field office director for ICE. You will receive special consideration for humanitarian parole as a foreign national held in immigration detention if you can show that you have a serious medical condition, are pregnant, are under 18, or have a public interest basis for being released. For example, you might need to serve as a witness in court or an administrative proceeding.
Options After a Denial
You cannot appeal a denial of an application for humanitarian parole. You might be able to apply again, though, if you can show a change in circumstances or if you can provide more evidence of the emergency than what you provided in the initial application. Sometimes a foreign national will apply again if their need for treatment or their family member’s medical condition suddenly changes. You will need to go through a waiting period for the second application that is similar to the waiting period for the first application.