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Discover the latest on the Parole in Place (PIP) program. Explore how this initiative offers legal benefits to undocumented immigrants married to U.S. citizens, allowing them to adjust status, obtain work permits, and apply for permanent residency.

Author: Massiel Silva Tadeo, Founder, Tadeo & Silva

Attorney Massiel Silva Tadeo is a partner and owner at The Tadeo & Silva Law Firm. She specializes in removal (deportation) defense, family immigration, and hardship waivers. Updated on: June 14, 2019.

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In June 2024, the Biden administration announced the implementation of the “Parole in Place” (PIP) program, providing significant relief for undocumented immigrants married to U.S. citizens. This program aims to regularize the status of approximately 500,000 spouses and 50,000 children who entered the country without inspection or parole, allowing them to obtain temporary legal status, work permits, and eventually apply for permanent residency within the U.S without the need to return to their country for a consular interview. Here’s a detailed look at the PIP program and its implications.

Overview of Parole in Place (PIP)

PIP allows undocumented immigrants married to U.S. citizens to gain a lawful permanent residence without having to leave the United States. This initiative is part of the administration’s broader immigration policy aimed at family unification and providing legal pathways for those who have established lives and families in the U.S.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for PIP, applicants must meet several criteria:

  • They must have been continuously present in the United States for at least 10 years as of June 17, 2024.
  • They must be lawfully married to a U.S. citizen as of that same date.
  • The children of eligible spouses, provided they were under 21 and unmarried on the specified date, can also apply for PIP.

Adjustment of Status

One of the key benefits of PIP is the ability to adjust status under section 245 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This adjustment allows eligible individuals to transition from their current status to that of lawful permanent residents (LPR), eventually placing them on a path to U.S. citizenship.

For adjustment under section 245, several conditions must be met:

  • The applicant must have been lawfully admitted or paroled into the country. Parole in Place (PIP) will allow people who entered without admission or parole to obtain the parole the need to adjust.
  • They must be eligible to receive an immigrant visa, which should be immediately available at the time of application.
  • They must be admissible to the United States for permanent residence, meaning they should not be inadmissible under any grounds set forth in section 212 of the INA.

Challenges and Waivers

One significant challenge for many undocumented immigrants is the unlawful presence bars set forth in section 212(a)(9)(B) of the INA. These bars can prevent individuals who have been unlawfully present in the U.S. for more than 180 days from reentering the country for several years. However, if the Applicant is able to Adjust Status within the United States, he or she will not trigger the Unlawful Presence bar. Because PIP allows for individuals to adjust, they will not need the waiver (I-601A) for the Unlawful Presence bar that applicants need when they have to consular process abroad. Furthermore 

As of the end of FY 2023, there were over 133,000 pending I-601A applications for provisional unlawful presence waivers, highlighting the backlog and the need for efficient processing to facilitate legal pathways for these families.

Fraud Concerns That Will Affect Immigrants

The introduction of PIP raises significant concerns about potential fraud from “notarios” para “paralegals,” individuals who are not authorized to practice law. It is extremely important that immigrants seek the advise of expert immigration attorneys in order to avoid falling prey to notarios. Immigrants may be placed in removal proceedings if they apply for a benefit they do not qualify for.   

Contact Tadeo & Silva Law for Immigration Support

The PIP program represents a significant shift in U.S. immigration policy, aimed at providing relief and stability for mixed-status families. We applaud the administration’s efforts to ease family separation and the extremely long periods certain applicants have had to wait for any form of relief, even when they are the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. 

For those benefited by the new policy, it is crucial to stay informed and seek legal advice to navigate the complexities of the application process. Tadeo & Silva Law is committed to helping clients understand their rights and options under the PIP program, ensuring they receive the support and guidance needed to achieve their immigration goals.

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