New “parole-in-place” Initiative to Help Undocumented Spouses of U.S citizens

Posted on Jun 20, 2024 by Chris Prescott

On June 17, the Biden administration unveiled a new initiative allowing certain spouses of U.S. citizens to apply for “parole-in-place” through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 

Although marriage to a US Citizen allows a foreign national to obtain a green card, those without a legal entry are forced to leave the U.S. and return to their home country to obtain an immigrant visa.  This departure can result in a bar from re-entering the U.S. for up to ten years and requires a waiver to overcome it.  Because of the uncertainty involved in this process and the potential to be separated from their family, many foreign nationals do not pursue this.  Consequently, many individuals married to USC’s remain undocumented.  

While details of the new program have not yet been publicized, this new proposal aims to provide temporary protections and work permits to up to an estimated 550,000 individuals. As well as providing protection individuals may also be allowed to obtain work authorization.  In addition, these foreign nationals will have the option to apply for a green card without having to leave the U.S. provided they meet certain criteria.  Children of requestors will also benefit from the parole “parole-in-place” if they meet certain criteria and can demonstrate a qualifying stepchild relationship with a U.S. Citizen.


DHS will create a new procedure to review applications on a case-by-case basis from certain noncitizen spouses of U.S. citizens.

To qualify for individual consideration under this process, an individual must:

– Be in the United States without admission or parole.

– Have continuously resided in the United States for at least 10 years as of June 17, 2024.

– Be legally married to a U.S. citizen as of June 17, 2024.

Additionally, individuals must have no criminal history that disqualifies them and must not pose a threat to national security or public safety. They should also demonstrate that they merit a favorable exercise of discretion.



The “parole-in-place” is a welcome change although critics highlight concerns that the “parole-in-place” primarily benefits those who entered illegally, contrasting it with individuals in legal status facing extended waits for green cards due to visa backlogs.

Please note that details of the program have not yet been released, and it is expected to take at least 60 days before DHS puts procedures in place allowing individuals to apply for these new benefits.

A notice in the Federal Register will detail the specific procedures for consideration under this program. To apply, individuals must submit a form to USCIS along with supporting documents demonstrating they meet the criteria and pay the required fee.  Once details have been released PLG Attorneys will provide an update.

If you have questions regarding the above, please contact PLG Partner, Chris Prescott at