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Gateway to a Brighter Future

New Program to Help Spouses of U.S. Citizens Stay Together

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On June 18, President Joe Biden announced a groundbreaking initiative to help certain spouses of U.S. citizens. This new program, set to be administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), will allow certain spouses to apply for “parole-in-place.” Though applications are not yet open, the program plans to offer temporary legal status and work permits to up to 550,000 people, potentially leading to lawful permanent resident (LPR) status—also known as a green card—without risking long-term separation from their US citizen families.
Clearing a path to permanent residence
Current U.S. immigration laws allow U.S. citizens to apply for permanent residency for their non-citizen spouses. However, those who entered the country without prior approval (inspection) face major challenges, because they are required to leave the U.S. and apply for an immigrant visa abroad, a process full of risks and delays, including a potential ten-year ban from returning due to unlawful presence (reentry bar).
The new parole program aims to address these hurdles. By granting humanitarian parole, which includes parole-in-place for those already in the U.S., eligible spouses can apply for adjustment of status to permanent residence without leaving the country, thus avoiding the reentry bar and keeping families together.
The Mechanics of Parole-in-Place
Humanitarian parole allows individuals to remain in the U.S. temporarily for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. For those already in the U.S., parole-in-place enables them to be considered as “inspected and paroled,” thus qualifying for status adjustment to permanent residency.
Even if the parole status is later revoked or the program ends, those who have been granted parole-in-place will retain the benefits, ensuring they can apply for green cards without the risk of family separation.
Eligibility and Application
The program will likely require a new application form, yet to be published, with applications expected to open later this summer. Key eligibility criteria include:
● Continuous residence in the U.S. since June 17, 2014.
● Physical presence in the U.S. on June 17, 2024.
● Legal marriage to a U.S. citizen as of June 17, 2024.

● Entry into the U.S. without admission or parole and no current lawful status.
● No disqualifying criminal offenses.
● No threat to national security or public safety.
● Favorable exercise of discretion.
Applicants must provide documentation to prove eligibility and pay a fee, though specifics are yet to be detailed.
Impact on Families
This program is expected to benefit around 500,000 spouses of U.S. citizens and their stepchildren, providing a pathway to legal status and work authorization. For many, it represents a long-awaited opportunity to secure the permanent residency they have been eligible for but unable to attain.
Take action now
If you think you might qualify or know someone who does, don’t wait! Fill out our online contact form to get more information and see how we can help you navigate this new opportunity.
This article is provided as an educational service and is not legal advice. Consult with an attorney for your specific circumstances. For a comprehensive evaluation of your immigration situation and options, you are invited to call us at 214-494-8033, text us using our chat box, or complete our contact form.

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