USCIS Fact Sheet: Humanitarian Parole

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides a number of humanitarian programs and types of protection for individuals in need of shelter and/or aid from disasters, oppression, emergency medical issues and other urgent conditions. Humanitarian parole is one such program.

Humanitarian parole enables an otherwise inadmissible individual to enter the U.S. temporarily due to a compelling emergency. USCIS may grant humanitarian parole based on urgent, compelling reasons, or to promote a significant public benefit. This parole does not confer any permanent immigration status, but does enable a recipient to apply for and receive employment authorization.

Humanitarian parole is typically granted for the duration of the emergency or compelling situation at issue. Anyone granted humanitarian parole must depart the U.S. prior to its expiration date or risk negative immigration consequences. It is possible, however, to request while in the U.S., a re-parole of a previously accorded humanitarian parole period.

Anyone can file an application for humanitarian parole, including the prospective parolee, a sponsoring relative, an attorney, or any other interested individual or organization. Requests for humanitarian parole may only be accepted for individuals who are outside the U.S.; unless such request pertains to a re-parole of a prior humanitarian parole granted at USCIS headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Questions & Answers

Q. Where can I find the law about humanitarian parole?
A. The legal foundation for humanitarian parole comes from the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Section 212(d)(5)(A) of the INA states USCIS has discretion to parole an individual into the U.S. temporarily under certain conditions for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit on a case-by-case basis.

Q. Where do I file a request for humanitarian parole?
A. You file a request for humanitarian parole using Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, with the Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, to:

Department of Homeland Security, USCIS
Attn: Chief, Humanitarian Affairs Branch
20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Suite 3300
Washington, DC 20529-2100

For complete instructions on how to apply, see the Humanitarian section at http://www.uscis.gov.

Q. How long does it take to adjudicate an application?
A. Humanitarian parole applications are generally adjudicated within 90-120 business days from the time USCIS receives the application.

Q. How can I find out the status of my application?
A. To check the status of your application, contact the Chief of the Humanitarian Affairs Branch at the above address. Please provide specific information about your application, such as the case number of the humanitarian parole application, the name, and date of birth of the petitioner, the date of application, and a brief explanation of the reasons for seeking parole.

Q. Can USCIS adjudicate humanitarian parole applications for individuals currently in the United States?
A. Requests for humanitarian parole can only be accepted for individuals who are currently outside the U.S. However, where USCIS Headquarters has already granted parole for humanitarian reasons, an individual in the U.S. may file a request to for re-parole.

Q. How will I be notified if my request is approved?
A. If you are the applicant, you will receive a written notice when your application has been adjudicated.

Q. For what period of time will I be granted humanitarian parole?
A. Humanitarian parole is typically granted for the duration of the emergency or compelling situation at issue. It is seldom granted for longer than one year.

Q. Who can file an application for humanitarian parole?
A. Anyone can file an application for humanitarian parole, including the prospective parolee, a sponsoring relative, an attorney, or any other interested individual or organization.

Q. What can I do if my case is not approved?
A. The denial of a request for humanitarian parole is a discretionary determination based upon a complete review of all of the circumstances described in the documents submitted in each case. The law does not provide for appeal of a denial. However, if there are significant new facts that are relevant to your application for humanitarian parole, you may submit a new Form I-131 to the address above with a new fee and supporting documentation.

Q. Where can I receive forms to request humanitarian parole?
A. The Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, and Form I-134, Affidavit of Support and instructions are available to download from http://www.uscis.gov/forms. You may make a request online to have the forms mailed to you, or call USCIS’ Forms Request line, 1- 800-870-3676.

Guidelines

A Humanitarian Parole application package should contain ALL of the following:

  • Original Form I-131, Application for Travel Document
  • Original Form I-134, Affidavit of Support
  • Filing fee
  • Detailed explanation of the reasons why you are applying for Humanitarian Parole and the length of time for which you need Humanitarian Parole (the maximum time is usually limited to one year)
  • Detailed explanation of why you cannot obtain a U.S. nonimmigrant visa from the Department of State including:
    • when and where you attempted to obtain visas,
    • if you were denied, send a copy of the denial letter given to you
  • Detailed explanation of the reasons why you cannot obtain any required waiver of inadmissibility (if applicable) and a copy of the denial letter if you received one
  • Copies of any previously approved immigrant petitions (Forms I-130, I-140, I-360)
  • Copies of supporting documents (tax returns, doctor’s letters, etc) can also be referred to as evidence.

Important Notes:

  • If you need humanitarian parole for medical reasons, you must submit an explanation from a medical doctor stating the diagnosis, prognosis, the reasons why you cannot obtain treatment in your home country or in a neighboring country, how long the treatment is expected to last, how the treatment will be paid for, and the overall, estimated cost of the treatment.
  • Applications are not processed until all documents are received.
  • All supporting documents must be included with the application when it is submitted to USCIS. All requests for parole must be submitted to:

Department of Homeland Security, USCIS
Attn: Chief, Humanitarian Affairs Branch
20 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Suite 3300
Washington, DC 20529-2100

6 thoughts on “USCIS Fact Sheet: Humanitarian Parole

  1. A family in Iran, friends of a friend of mine, want to return to the U.S. They came as refugees in the fall of 2007, stayed almost one year, and they returned to Iran due to the illness of a family member there. They remained in Iran during the illness (and eventual death) for just over two years, letting their status as refugees expire. They have been told by the U.S. embassy in Syria that the only possible way they can return is by an appeal through the “humanitarian parole” process. They have asked me to help in applying. In reviewing the forms and information online, I don’t understand how this applies to their situation since they are not wanting to return for medical reasons. They left here for medical reasons. And they don’t want to return temporarily, but permanently. Can anyone help me know if an application is fruitless? And if so, do you know any other way they can return? Thank you.

  2. Dear Susan Lozinyak,

    Thank you for your inquiry regarding the applicability of humanitarian parole or alternative legal way for the family to return to the United States permanently.

    We will need more details regarding the family trip and their status while they were here in the United States. With the information we have at hand, we may not be able to give you a definite answer. Please call us at 847 995 1515 Ext. 222 for consultation. Thank you.

  3. I am confused as to where to send the I-131 form for Humanitarian Parole for a little girl from Myanmar to come to USA for surgery. One paper says to send to Dallas, TX and this post says to send to Washington, DC. Please advise.
    Emily

  4. Emily,

    I believe that USCIS has updated its filing address since this post was written. Applications for Humanitarian Parole are now filed with the USCIS Dallas Lockbox.

    USCIS
    P.O. Box 660865
    Dallas, TX 75266

    Please see uscis.gov for more information on procedures for Humanitarian Parole and updated filing locations for the I-131.

  5. Hello!

    My husband won green card and we are lawful residents of US now. We could not bring our little baby because we had hard time finding jobs and so his DV visa expired. Now I need to file humanitarian parole because I have filed petition for family member and it will take 2 years before visa number will be available and there is no way they will let him here with tourist visa. So can you please tell me should it be me and my husband who files Affidavit of Support for Humanitarian parole or can it be my husband’s mom’s cousin who is US citizen and who was our sponsor for Diversity Visa.

    Thank You!