Does coming to the U.S. illegally automatically mean that an immigrant cannot remain in the country? Not always. Parole in place permits a foreign national who came to the U.S. illegally to remain in the country for a certain time period. Those who qualify for parole in place can seek a Green Card or work permit and will not accrue unlawful presence for the timeframe specified. However, parole on its own will not automatically guarantee any specific immigration status or benefits.

A person may qualify for parole in place for a one-year increment if the following elements are met. These include being married to, a widow(er) of, a parent of or a child of an active-duty member of the U.S. armed forces, a person in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve or a military veteran who saw active duty.

Several steps must be taken to request parole in place. First, an applicant must submit a Form I-131 to their local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office. An applicant must also submit copies of documents that show their family relationship and prove that their relative is or was an active-duty member of the U.S. armed forces or the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve.

Ultimately, parole in place offers members of the military and their loved ones to seek legal immigration status, even if they came to the country illegally. Becoming a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. is a dream for many immigrants in the Phoenix area, and parole in place may be an option worth considering by some.