What is parole in place for military spouses?

What is parole in place for military spouses?


Parole in place or PIP is a process that may allow some family members of active duty military personnel 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. This type of family separation can be very stressful to military families and can interfere with the ability of the person serving on active duty to focus on his or her military duties.

PIP can assist some immediate family members of people on active duty by providing a path to get a green card without having to leave the United States and endure a family separation.

What are the risks?

By filing a parole in place application, you will be bringing the family member’s unlawful status to the attention of USCIS. If the PIP application is not granted, there would be a risk that the family member could be placed in deportation proceedings. With this in mind, it is very important that you discuss your case with an immigration lawyer who is familiar with parole in place before you submit your application. In particular, you should talk to your immigration lawyer about your complete immigration history (including all attempts to cross the border or other immigration violations) and whether you have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime. With this information, your immigration lawyer will be able to help you evaluate whether you are a good candidate for PIP.

How do I learn more about parole in place?

If you are interested in learning more about parole in place, you should discuss your situation with either an immigration lawyer who is familiar with parole in place applications or with your legal assistance office. Because of the possible risks involved with submitting a PIP application, it is very important that you fully understand the process and confirm that you qualify before your submit your application.

About Kimberley Schaefer

Kimberley Schaefer is an immigration lawyer with offices in Boise, ID and Rexburg, Idaho. She helps future Americans become citizens by assisting them with immigrant visas, fiance visas, adjustment of status and green card applications, applying for immigration waivers, fighting deportation and applying for asylum. To contact her, you can call (208) 918-0852 or send Kimberley an email now.


  1. This was an interesting article I had never heard of anything like this before but it would make since. The only unfortunate thing is if they end up getting deported. I am under the firm belief that anything we can do for our military we should try to do. Just like the mortgage companies that are helping them now, that is awesome. Thank you for the post.

  2. Thank you for making this post, I am glad that people are finally trying to help the military. I am glad that you explained it the way you did. If I had seen this somewhere else I would not have known what it was I’m sure. The way you explained it helped a lot I appreciate it. How often does the deportation happen anyway?

    • Kimberley Schaefer says

      Unfortunately, I don’t have any statistics that would show how many parole in place (PIP) applications are approved and how many are denied. I believe that the key thing is to make sure that you are a good candidate before you submit your application. An immigration lawyer who is familiar with PIP should be able to let you know if you are a good candidate for this program. The clients I have assisted with PIP were approved, but we made sure that they had strong cases before we submitted the applications. One client was even in removal/deportation proceedings and when he was granted PIP, and the immigration court case was dismissed.

  3. I didn’t know that military people could marry unlawful immigrants. They are serving the US and they marry an immigrant with out a green card? I thought if they married a US citizen it didn’t matter anymore. I guess this just goes to show you how little the average person knows about this kind of thing, thank you for posting this to help us understand.

    • Kimberley Schaefer says

      Although marrying a citizen can provide the opportunity to apply for permanent resident status and a green card, it is not a guarantee. Many people simply have no path to a green card even though they are married to a citizen. Others may face a lengthy separation of 3 or 10 years in order to get a green card. Parole in place is an option that can help many military families who have no other options under current immigration law.

  4. What are the odds that this is going to fail and the family member is going to get deported? Does this happen a lot? I want to investigate this a little more because I have a friend that is in this situation and I would like to be able to help them if I can. This was very informative thank you for the information.

    • Kimberley Schaefer says

      The best thing for your friend to do is to speak with an immigration lawyer in his/her area about parole in place to see if they are a good candidate for this program. It has already allowed many military families to stay together and to get lawful status, so your friend should focus on determining whether he/she meets the requirements and to learn more about how their local USCIS office is handling these applications.

  5. I was under the impression that if you were an unlawful immigrant and you married a US citizen military or not then your status didn’t matter anymore you were a citizen through your spouse. Is that not the case? So what is the benefit of the PIP if your chances of deportation are that high? I will have to look at this a little more and do some more research before I decide.

    • Kimberley Schaefer says

      Unfortunately, marrying a citizen does not mean that you will automatically get citizenship. You have to first apply for permanent resident status to get a green card, and many people have trouble meeting the requirements to get a green card while they are in the United States.

      If you are a good candidate for PIP, I would say that the chances are good that your PIP application will be successful. The key is to make sure that you meet the qualifications and are a good candidate before you apply. An immigration lawyer who is familiar with how your local USCIS office handles PIP applications should be able to help you evaluate whether you are a good candidate for PIP.

  6. At various times in the past, I have found myself taking part in several conversations about citizenship through marriage. I have heard from different people that after you apply for citizenship, you are subject to in home, personal interviews and regular visitations from the immigration rep assigned to your case. So that you have to apply and also live with your spouse, which you should be doing, right? And it is consistent with what this article says.

  7. This also explains in detailed the PIP process. I currently know someone who filed a couple of months ago. Good luck to everyone 😉

  8. I am considering Parole in place but i don’t exactly know if i can marry her since she does not have any form of ID.

    • Kimberley Schaefer says

      The id requirements for marriage will depend on where you plan to marry. Marriage requirements are controlled by state law, not immigration law.

      Your fiance also may want to check with her consulate or embassy to see if they can assist her with getting a passport or other government identification. She may also want to see if a friend or relative in her home country could help her with getting a copy of her birth certificate, which can be very helpful as she moves forward in the immigration process.

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