Military Immigration

Are you in the military or are a veteran and have immigration questions? In addition to the immigration options available to everyone else, you may have additional immigration options that will help you on your path to citizenship or that could help you assist your family members get green cards. Some of these options are described below.

Parole in Place for Military Families

Parole in place or PIP is a process that may allow some family members of military personnel (active duty, Reserves, veterans or members of the National Guard) to be able to remain in the United States even if they did not lawfully enter the United States. If parole in place is granted, the family member may then be eligible to file for adjustment of status in order to become a permanent resident and to get a green card.

Who can parole in place help?

Parole in place is one of the few options that may allow some people who entered the United States illegally to get a green card while in the United States. In most cases, a person who did not enter the United States lawfully cannot apply for a green card while in the United States. This is often the situation for someone who entered without inspection (EWI) such as by being smuggled into the United States. Instead, in order for a person who did not lawfully enter the United States to get a green card they must normally apply for an immigrant visa in their home country. This process can lead to lengthy family separations, which can be very stressful to military families.

PIP can assist some military immediate family members by providing a path to get a green card without having to leave the United States and endure a family separation. You can view PIP as basically fixing the immigration issue related to not having lawfully entered the United States. You can learn more about parole in place here.

Expedited Naturalization

If you currently are serving in the military, you may be eligible for expedited citizenship. In some cases, your family members may also be able to benefit from expedited citizenship. Veterans and members of the military who do not qualify for expedited citizenship may still be able to benefit from other military naturalization options.

Other Military Immigration Options

As a general rule, you need to be a permanent resident or United States citizen in order to join the military. One of the exceptions to this general rule is the MAVNI program. This program is a military program, not an immigration program, so you’ll need to check with your local military recruiter if you are interested in learning more about MAVNI. Although MAVNI is not an immigration program, it does help many immigrants become United States citizens more quickly than most other immigration options. You can learn more about MANVI here.