Filipina women in a parade
Filipina women in a parade

Effective June 8, 2016, the USCIS is accepting requests for “parole,” a form of special entry to the US, on behalf of the relatives of certain Filipino World War II Veterans.  When granted parole, eligible family members will be permitted to reunite with their family members in the US; years before they would otherwise be eligible to obtain immigrant visas based on current waiting periods for visa availability under the Philippines quota. Congress has moved very slowly throughout post-World War II history to acknowledge the invaluable service Filipino’s provided in the war effort, taking up until the mid-1990s to resolve the rules pertaining to US Citizenship that had been promised these veterans half a century earlier.  The USCIS new initiative will provide further redress to the War Veterans’ families in allowing them to reunite with loved ones and live and work in America.

The Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program (FWVP) will allow for thousands of waiting to immigrants to come to the US and obtain work authorization while waiting for their overdue visas to become available.

“Parole” is a form of entry status to the US that does not fit neatly within the many “classes of admission” the Department of Homeland Security uses to categorize and identify immigrants and visitors to the US. Parole can be used to allow for people to come to the US for humanitarian purposes and can be used to allow certain applicants for and recipients of immigration benefits already in the US to travel temporarily outside the US for exigent circumstances without losing their status upon return.

Under the FWVP, individuals meeting the following requirements may request parole for qualifying relatives:

  1. You are either a U.S. citizen or LPR living in the United States;
  2. You have established that you are either a Filipino WWII veteran as described in INA §405, or are the surviving spouse of such individual;
  3. You, the Filipino WWII veteran or surviving spouse, filed a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for a family member and it was approved on or before the date you filed the request for parole; and
  4. An immigrant visa is not yet available for your relative.

In cases where both the War Veteran and the spouse are deceased, the surviving beneficiaries who meet the following requirements (“Self-Petitioners”) may seek parole on their own behalves:

  1. USCIS approved the Form I-130 petition filed directly on their behalf while the Petitioner was still living; and the beneficiary was residing in the US at the time of the Petitioner’s death OR USCIS has agreed to reinstate the petition after the death for humanitarian reasons; or
  2. The Petitioner died before the USCIS approved the I-130, but at least one beneficiary was residing in the US at the time of the petitioner’s death and continues to reside in the US, and USCIS approved the reinstatement under Section 204(l).

USCIS may grant parole to a qualified Petitioner or self-petitioner who is:

  • The beneficiary on a Form I-130 filed by the WWII veteran or the veteran’s surviving spouse, if the I-130 was approved on or before the date the petitioner requested parole; and
  • The beneficiary has a qualifying, legal relationship with the WWII veteran that existed on or before May 9, 2016.

Parole may also be granted to the principal beneficiary’s spouse and unmarried children under age 21 (known as “derivative beneficiaries”). Derivative beneficiaries will only be considered for parole if the principal beneficiary is approved for parole.

The FWVP Program is brand new, but qualified individuals may seek benefits immediately.  The FWVP may also benefit qualified individuals who are already in the US; however, these individuals will be required to obtain conditional approval of their parole, travel outside the US and obtain the final parole approval at the US Embassy in the Philippines to return to the US. Any person who believes that he may benefit from the FWVP Program should consult with only a qualified and experienced immigration attorney.

Contact a Los Angeles Immigration Lawyer at the Hanlon Law Group, P.C.

If you need experienced help resolving any immigration issue, contact a Los Angeles immigration lawyer at the Hanlon Law Group, P.C. by calling (866) 227-5527 or by emailing us using the form at the upper right-hand side of the screen. From our office in Pasadena, we serve clients throughout the Los Angeles area, across the state of California and from around the world.