Adjustment of Status for relatives of military personnel

By Atty. Crispin Caday Lozano

Immediate relatives of military personnel are given special benefits in adjustment of status.  This applies to those aliens who are immediate relative of U.S. citizen who entered without inspection or entered illegally.  Normally they cannot adjust status in the U.S. and need to travel to their home country to apply for green card.  With this new process they can now request for Parole in Place (PIP) in order to adjust status in the U.S.  On November 15, 2013, the USCIS issued a memo in implementing Parole in Place.

Q. What is the Statutory Authority for Parole?

A. INA § 212(d) (5) (A) permits DHS, in its discretion, to grant temporary entry to noncitizens “on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.” The statute specifically states that parole “shall not be regarded as an admission.”  The authority to parole includes not only the authority to permit noncitizens to enter the United States from a border station, airport or outside the country’s borders but also includes the power to grant parole status to noncitizens already present in the United States.  The grant of parole to those physically present in the United States is called parole in place.

Q. What is the effect of Parole on Inadmissibility and Eligibility for Adjustment?

A. An individual who is present in the U.S. without inspection, admission, or parole is inadmissible under INA § 212(a) (6) (A) (i). If a noncitizen is paroled, he or she is no longer present without admission or parole, and therefore is not inadmissible.  The memo explains that a grant of parole will also eliminate the second clause in INA § 212(a)(6)(A)(i) that bars a person who arrives in the United States at any time or place other than a designated one.  Although parole in place eliminates inadmissibility under INA § 212(a) (6) (A) (i), it is important to remember that it does not cure other grounds of inadmissibility

Q.What are the benefits of Parole in Place?

A. Parole in place allows the parolee to adjust status under INA § 245(a), if otherwise eligible, as a person who has been inspected, admitted or paroled. Eligibility for adjustment of status through parole in place eliminates the need to leave the country and thus the triggering of this ground of inadmissibility.

Q. What is the procedure for Applying for Parole in Place?

A. An application for parole in place is filed with the director of the USCIS field office having jurisdiction over the applicant’s residence. The following documents must be filed:

1) Completed Form I-131.  No filing fee is required.

2) Evidence of the family relationship (spouse, parent or child of the veteran or active military service member).  The definition of child under INA § 101(b) (1) includes a stepchild, adopted, or illegitimate child.  These documents may include:

  • Birth certificate of applicant
  • Birth certificate of military service member or U.S. passport if applicable
  • Marriage certificate
  • Birth certificates of children
  • Adoption decree


3) Evidence that the applicant’s family member is an active duty service member, a reservist, National Guard member, or veteran.  These documents may include:

  • Copy of front and back of the service member’s military ID (DD Form 1173)
  • Copy of military deployment orders
  • Defense Eligibility Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS) enrollment documents


4) Two passport style color photos of applicant

5) Evidence of any positive discretionary factors including:

  • Letter from the military service member explaining hardship he or she would experience if applicant were not permitted to remain in the United States (recommended, but not required.) The stress and anxiety the military service member would experience if the applicant lost access to military benefits, housing, health care, etc. The letter should include identifying information about the service member – name, date of birth, place of birth, rank in military, branch of service, unit of assignment, and upcoming military deployment.
  • Bona fide marriage
  • Applicant’s participation in the community, church, children’s school.


Q. How is Parole in Place adjudicated?

A. The November 15th memo states that the fact that the parole applicant is a spouse; child or parent of a veteran or active military member “ordinarily weighs heavily in favor of parole in place.” Unless there are serious adverse factors such as a criminal conviction, parole in place is “generally the appropriate exercise of discretion for such an individual.”  This means that USCIS adjudicators should in most cases grant parole in place in the absence of serious negative factors.

Generally, if an application for parole is granted, the applicant will receive a Form I-94 stamped “Paroled.”

Note:   This is not a legal advice.  You should seek the advice of an experienced immigration lawyer about your specific circumstances.



  1. On July 18, 2017, we received an approval of green card at the U.S. Embassy Manila for the family of a client who was granted a waiver of misrepresentation. His wife and children were approved after the court granted the waiver.
  2. On July 7, 2017, we received an approval for Naturalization of an old woman who has difficulty in reading and writing English.
  3. On June 28, 2017, we received a withdrawal of inadmissibility and removability charges from the Customs and Border Enforcement for a client who was charged with drug case while he was entering San Francisco Airport from the Philippines. The case was withdrawn after we have expunged the drug case in Criminal Court.
  4. In June 2017, we received three approvals of naturalization applications.
  5. In June 2017, we received two approvals of adjustment of status based on marriage
  6. On May 25, 2017, we received an approval of Form I-140 for a caregiver from the Philippines.
  7. On April 28, 2017, we received an approval of N-400 for a client who was under Removal Proceedings before.
  8. On April 21, 2017, we received an approval of I-601A Provisional Waiver for a client who was denied I-601A before from a previous lawyer.
  9. On March 22, 2017, we received an Immigrant Visa approval for a child of Permanent Resident who is already 25 years of age but classified as minor under CSPA.
  10. On March 8, 2017, we received an approval of Provisional Waiver from USCIS for a seaman client.


If you have immigration problems the Law Offices of Crispin C. Lozano can help you find a solution before your problem gets worse which could lead to deportation and family separation. 

Crispin Caday Lozano, Esq. is an active member of the State Bar of California, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association.  He specializes in immigration law and personal injury.  For free consultation email or call ( 1-877-456-9266)


Toll Free 1-877-4LOZANO for free consultation or Schedule an Appointment