Guidance on Evidence for Certain Types of Humanitarian or Significant Public Benefit Parole Requests

All humanitarian or significant public benefit parole requests must include important identity and other documents for the petitioner, the beneficiary and sponsor, as noted in Documents to Submit in Support of All Parole Requests

The below information identifies common types of parole requests as well as the evidence that may be relevant to support such requests. We provide this non-exhaustive information to help individuals understand some general factors we consider in determining whether to authorize parole for common types of requests, to assist individuals to prepare more complete packages, and to avoid requests for evidence which can cause delays. In some cases, more than one reason for parole may apply. In such cases, the petitioner should provide evidence for each of the reasons.

For focused, specific information about relevant evidence that may be submitted in support of some of the most common types of parole requests we receive, please see the information below. Click on the tabs to expand each section and see more detailed information for the noted type of parole request.

For more detailed information on eligibility for humanitarian or significant public benefit parole and on the process of applying for parole, please see Humanitarian or Significant Public Benefit Parole for Individuals Outside the United States.

Documents to Submit in Support of All Parole Requests

All parole requests should include relevant documentation supporting the request.  The chart below outlines the types of documents you can submit with your parole request.

All Parole Requests

Required Documentation: Type of Documents to Submit
Beneficiary
  • A clear and legible copy of a government-issued identification document that shows the beneficiary’s citizenship
Petitioner and Sponsor
  • A clear and legible copy of a government-issued photo identification document that shows name and date of birth. For example:
    • A current employment authorization document, if available;
    • A valid government-issued driver’s license;
    • Passport identity page;
    • Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, or
    • Any other official identity document.
  • Evidence of valid U.S. immigration status or U.S. citizenship (such as a copy of a U.S. passport, lawful permanent resident card, or U.S. birth certificate), if any, if applicable. See Form I-131 instructions (PDF, 267 KB).
Sponsor
  • Evidence of how the sponsor will financially support the beneficiary in the United States, including any evidence of employment, tax records, bank statements or other evidence. See Form I-131 instructions (PDF, 267 KB).

 

Most Common Types of of Parole Requests and Relevant Supporting Evidence

We encourage each petitioner to submit the types of evidence outlined below to support their reason for requesting parole. The list of evidence below is not exhaustive, though it is generally the type of evidence that should be provided to support these types of parole requests. However, submission of the evidence described below does not guarantee parole, and failure to submit this evidence does not mean that the request will be denied. In addition to including the relevant evidence below, each petitioner should carefully consider the specific reasons they are requesting parole and submit any other evidence they believe would support their case. Parole is discretionary and we take all of the circumstances of each case and supporting evidence into account. Note: Although a statement from the petitioner’s representative or attorney explaining a basis for parole may be helpful in providing an overview of a petitioner’s request, it is not considered evidence.

Requests Based on Medical Reasons

The evidence submitted should be official, where applicable. Documents should be on the official letterhead of a hospital or doctor’s office, be current and dated, and display the doctor’s actual signature and not a stamp or signature made on the doctor’s behalf.

To Receive Medical Treatment in the United States

General Information for This Type of Parole Request

Often a beneficiary seeking medical treatment in the United States is able to obtain a nonimmigrant visa from the Department of State. In urgent cases, the Department of State may agree to expedite the request. However, in some circumstances, a beneficiary is not able to obtain the visa and may seek parole.

In such cases, it is important for the petitioner to submit any available evidence of attempts to obtain a visa and an explanation as to why a visa cannot be timely obtained.

Examples of Relevant Evidence
  • Evidence supporting the nature and severity of the medical condition, including how the medical condition affects the patient’s life and the consequences to the patient if the medical treatment is not received.
  • Current, official dated and signed documentation from a physician in the country where the beneficiary resides who has examined the beneficiary. The documentation should provide:
    • A diagnosis and prognosis of the beneficiary’s medical condition;
    • The treatment needed to address the condition; and
    • The reason the beneficiary requires treatment in the United States, including whether the needed treatment is available and accessible in the country where the beneficiary resides or another country outside the United States.
  • Current, official, dated and signed documentation from a physician or medical facility in the United States that shows:
    • Agreement to provide specific treatment for the identified medical condition of the beneficiary;
    • The length of time the beneficiary will need to be in the United States to receive treatment as well as any necessary follow-up treatment, including if the beneficiary will require assistance post-treatment by a caregiver; and
    • The cost of treatment (including doctors’ fees, hospitalization fees, and all medical-related expenses).
  • Documentation establishing how the cost of the medical treatment (both in the hospital and as an out-patient) and any other associated costs such as medical prescriptions, therapies, equipment and transportation will be covered, whether by insurance, personal funds or other means.
  • If the individual seeking treatment in the United States is an unaccompanied minor: Evidence of legal guardianship arrangements in the United States, parental or guardian authorization for the child to travel unaccompanied to the United States, and consent for the child to obtain required medical treatment should be provided.

To Be an Organ Donor to an Individual in the United States

General Information for This Type of Parole Request

In some cases, the petitioner may request parole for a beneficiary to serve as an organ donor for an individual in the United States.

Each organ recipient must be pre-screened and evaluated to determine if he or she is a candidate for an organ transplant. Once a recipient is approved as a candidate for transplant, then he or she will be placed on the Organ Transplant Waiting List. Placement on the Organ Transplant Waiting List is required for all recipients even if the interested donor is a relative.

Note: The buying and selling of organs is prohibited and a donor may not receive money, gifts, or other compensation in exchange for an organ. However, the costs related to the transplant may be covered. Individuals must agree to serve as donors voluntarily, with full knowledge and disclosure of the process.

Examples of Relevant Evidence
  • A current, official, signed letter from the transplant center stating that the individual in the United States has been placed on the organ transplant waiting list.
  • Medical records for the beneficiary as well as a current, official, signed letter from the transplant center indicating that the beneficiary is a potential match.
  • Detailed explanation with any supporting evidence of how the cost of the transplant surgery and any post-surgery follow-up and complications will be covered.
  • A current, official, signed letter from the doctor or medical facility explaining the length of time the beneficiary would need to be in the United States for donor testing, transplant procedure and recovery.

Requests Based on Family Reasons

Generally, parole is not granted solely to reunite family members. While separation from family members often times causes hardship, we may grant parole only if the evidence establishes that there are urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit reasons for the beneficiary to come to the United States.

Note: Due to the discretionary nature of parole, USCIS officers have discretion when determining who is a family member when exercising parole authority. For example, while family members are usually related by marriage, birth, or adoption under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the officer may consider for parole a same-sex partner or children of a same-sex partner as a family member, particularly if the parolee is from a country where same-sex marriage is not legal.

To Reunite With Family in the United States for Urgent Humanitarian Reasons

General Information for This Type of Parole Request

In some cases, urgent humanitarian reasons may be based on the fact that a family member outside the United States is particularly vulnerable because of:

  • Age;
  • Disability; or
  • Living circumstances.
Providing Evidence

In such cases, the petitioner will need to provide evidence that demonstrates the:

  • Particular vulnerability of the family member; and
  • Reasons the vulnerability cannot be addressed in the country where the family member resides.
Examples of Relevant Evidence
  • Evidence identifying and supporting the urgent humanitarian reasons for the request aside from the desire for family reunification.
  • If parole is based on the asserted vulnerability of the family member living abroad, the petitioner must submit:
    • Evidence supporting the existence of the vulnerability;
    • Statements or other documentation explaining the living conditions or circumstances of the family member; and
    • Information on other family members living in the same country or near the family member abroad.
  • Civil documents establishing relationships between the beneficiary and family members in the United States. (In the case of same-sex partners in countries that do not recognize such relationships, other evidence demonstrating the nature of the relationship, such as affidavits, copies of photographs, records of household members, etc.)
  • Any evidence regarding the beneficiary’s ability to adjust status once in the United States or any plans of the beneficiary to depart the United States.
    • Where applicable, Form I-797 receipt notice or approval notice evidencing the filing of Forms I-130, I-129F, I-601, I-212 or other immigration benefit request.
  • Evidence of the immigration status of family members residing in the United States.

To Care For or Otherwise Provide Support to a Seriously or Terminally Ill Relative in the United States

General Information for This Type of Parole Request

In some cases, urgent humanitarian reasons may be based on the need for the beneficiary to provide physical or emotional support to a relative in the United States. Some examples include when parole is sought for a beneficiary to come to the United States to help a relative who:

  • Has a serious medical condition; or
  • Is at an end of life stage (such as an individual in advanced stages of a medical condition who is receiving hospice care).
Providing Evidence

The petitioner should provide evidence of the nature of the need and why there are no other appropriate and available ways to address the needs of the family. Evidence may include the need for not only physical but also emotional support.

Examples of Relevant Evidence
  • Documentation from a physician or medical facility in the United States that provides a medical diagnosis and prognosis for the individual in the United States needing care, as well as detailed information regarding the type of care required, including the nature and frequency of care and whether a caregiver is required before medical treatment can proceed.
  • A listing of all family members in the United States and why they are not able to provide care to the individual receiving medical treatment.
  • If applicable, a detailed statement explaining why other alternatives, such as hiring a caregiver, are not reasonable alternatives.
  • Civil documents establishing the relationship between the seriously or terminally ill family member and the beneficiary.
  • If applicable, documentation of the dying family member’s condition, such as a letter from a physician or hospice provider with a medical diagnosis and prognosis

To Attend a Funeral or Settle the Affairs of a Deceased Relative in the United States

General Information for This Type of Parole Request

The petitioner may request parole for a family member residing abroad so they may come to the United States to address issues related to the death of a family member such as:

  • Attending the funeral;
  • Settling financial and legal affairs of the deceased family member; and
  • Handling any other estate matters.
Providing Evidence

In such cases, the petitioner should provide evidence establishing:

  • The death;
  • Any funeral arrangements;
  • The relationship between the family members, including degree of previous contact; and
  • Any other evidence establishing the beneficiary’s need to be in the United States.
Examples of Relevant Evidence
  • Civil documents establishing the familial relationship with the deceased;
  • Death certificate of the deceased;
  • Letter from the funeral home listing the deceased’s name and the date of the funeral service;
  • Wills or other legal documents establishing any need to handle the deceased’s affairs in the United States; and
  • Statement from beneficiary attesting to the need to be in the United States.

Other Common Types of Parole Requests

To Come to the United States for Protection from Targeted or Individualized Harm

General Information for This Type of Parole Request

Parole is generally not intended to be used to avoid normal refugee processing or to provide protection to individuals at generalized risk of harm around the world.

Providing Evidence

For parole requests based on protection of harm, the petitioner should describe the reasons in detail and provide corroborating evidence. Relevant factors may include:

  • Particular vulnerabilities of the beneficiary as well as significant family or other ties to the United States; and
  • Whether the beneficiary has family members or same-sex partners who have been granted asylum or refugee status in the United States, but he or she cannot petition for the family member to join them.

This may include situations where the parolee is from a country where same-sex marriage is not legal and, therefore, the parole beneficiary could not be the beneficiary of a Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition.

None of those factors alone are determining factors, but they are relevant to our consideration of all of the circumstances when exercising discretion

Examples of Relevant Evidence
  • Documentation corroborating the claimed, specific risk of harm facing the individual. For example:
    • Reports or other documentation from a credible third party source specifically naming the beneficiary and outlining the serious harm he or she faces and the imminence of this harm. Credible third-party sources may include:
      • A U.S. government agency;
      • A reputable human rights organization; or
      • A media source.
    • Evidence of a USCIS grant of a protection-based immigration benefit such as asylum, refugee or special immigrant status to an immediate family member or same-sex partner of the beneficiary, and the family member or partner:
      • Is ineligible for derivative status; or
      • The risk of serious harm is so imminent that he or she cannot wait for the processing of his or her derivative application.
  • Evidence of the severity and imminence of the harm the beneficiary fears.
  • Evidence of a beneficiary’s particular vulnerabilities.
  • Evidence of the beneficiary’s living conditions to ensure they avoid harm.
  • Evidence of the lack of accessibility to relief mechanisms or protection measures other than parole.
  • Evidence that relocation to another part of the beneficiary’s home country or a neighboring country is not possible or would not prevent the harm the beneficiary fears.
  • Evidence that the need for parole would be temporary in nature, such as an ability to regularize immigration status.

To Participate in Civil Legal Proceedings in the United States

General Information for This Type of Parole Request

We have jurisdiction for parole requests to participate in civil proceedings in which all parties are privately participating in the lawsuit.  

ICE has jurisdiction (PDF) over parole requests from individuals involved in legal proceedings where at least one party is a government entity.

Providing Evidence

If the petitioner is seeking parole for the beneficiary so that they can participate in a hearing, trial or other legal proceeding, the petitioner should provide evidence regarding the proceeding and explain why the beneficiary’s presence is necessary to help resolve outstanding legal issues. Generally, such requests are based more on significant public benefit reasons related to the efficient functioning of the U.S. judicial system.

Examples of Relevant Evidence
  • Information identifying the parties involved in the legal proceedings and their role.
  • Documentation of the nature of the legal proceedings (such as the type of hearing and the role of the beneficiary in the proceeding).
  • Court documents stating the date and time of the legal proceedings.

To Return to the United States After: Failing to get a travel document before departure from the United States; OR Failing to return to the United States before a travel document expired 

General Information for This Type of Parole Request

Parole may be appropriate in some situations where an individual needs to return to the United States but:

  • Does not have a valid travel document that would allow them to do so; or
  • Has failed to return to the United States before the expiration of a travel document.

Such travel documents may include:

  • Refugee travel documents;
  • Reentry permits; or
  • Advance parole documents.

Additional information is available on our Travel Documents webpage.

Providing Evidence

Note: The petitioner will need to present evidence demonstrating any urgent humanitarian or significant public benefit reasons to return to the United States, which may include evidence of the effect on the beneficiary and/or family members or business interests in the United States.

The petitioner should provide evidence explaining why a travel document was not obtained before leaving the United States. This is one factor USCIS will consider when determining whether to exercise our discretion to grant parole.

Examples of Relevant Evidence
  • A copy of the beneficiary’s expired travel document such as an expired refugee travel document or advance parole document, if any.
  • Documentation of the beneficiary’s departure from the United States.
  • Correspondence or other evidence of any previous, unsuccessful attempts the beneficiary has made to get the applicable travel document.
  • Evidence of the compelling circumstances that required the beneficiary’s departure from the United States before obtaining the appropriate travel document, or kept the beneficiary from returning to the United States before their travel document expired.
  • Evidence of the beneficiary’s immigration status before departing the United States including the reason they initially came to the United States.
  • Explanation of why the individual would not be able to remain where they are outside of the United States.
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