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Humanitarian Parole Fact Sheet


Humanitarian parole enables an otherwise inadmissible individual to enter the United States temporarily due to urgent humanitarian reasons. Parole is not intended to be used to avoid regular visa-issuing procedures or to bypass immigration procedures. 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 United States prior to its expiration date or risk being placed in removal proceedings. An individual paroled into the United States, however, may request that a period of humanitarian parole be extended.

Anyone may file an application for humanitarian parole, including the prospective parolee, a sponsoring relative, an attorney, or any other interested individual or organization.

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. If I have a pending or approved relative petition, but I need to get my family member to the United States more quickly than waiting for the normal immigration and visa processing, should I apply for humanitarian parole?
A. Humanitarian parole normally cannot be used to avoid normal visa-issuing procedures or to bypass immigration procedures. The course of action in such situations is usually to request expedited processing of your relative petition and/or visa.

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 You may make a request online to have the forms mailed to you, or call USCIS’ Forms Request line, 1- 800-870-3676.

Q. How long does will it take to get an answer on my application?
A. USCIS generally will make a decision on a request for humanitarian parole within 90-120 business days from the time USCIS receives the application. Urgent cases may be processed within days when necessary.

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 following address.

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

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. 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 a set period of time that corresponds with the duration of the urgent situation at issue. It is seldom granted for longer than one year.

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.
  • All supporting documents should be included with the application when it is submitted to USCIS or the application may be rejected. Applications will not be processed until all documents are received.
  • Medical Parole: If you need humanitarian parole for medical reasons, you must submit the following, with documentation to support any assertions, where available:
    • An explanation from a medical doctor stating the diagnosis and prognosis, and how long the treatment is expected to last;
    • Information on the reasons why you cannot obtain treatment in your home country or in a neighboring country;
    • The estimated cost of the treatment and an explanation on how the treatment will be paid for;
    • How you will pay to return to your country.
  • Parole for children with medical needs: Parole of children, including for medical needs, requires the consent of a parent or legal guardian. Parole of orphans from Haiti, including for medical reasons, may require approval from the government of Haiti. For information on a special parole program for certain orphans in Haiti, please see Questions & Answers: Information for U.S. Citizens in the process of adopting a child from Haiti on the USCIS website
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