Humanitarian or Significant Public Benefit Parole for Individuals Outside the United States
Individuals who are outside of the United States may be able to request parole into the United States based on urgent humanitarian or significant public benefit reasons.
For information on the types of documents and evidence you should submit in support of a request for parole, please see Guidance on Evidence for Certain Types of Humanitarian or Significant Public Benefit Parole Requests.
This webpage does not cover the following types of parole requests:
- Requests for individuals who are already inside the United States and who wish to depart temporarily, and seek “advance parole” or travel authorization to return. For information on how an individual already inside the United States may be considered for advance parole or travel authorization to return to the United States after departure, please see Form I-131 instructions (PDF, 318.04 KB).
- Requests by individuals who are inside the United States and seek parole in place. For general information, please contact the USCIS Contact Center or visit our military webpage.
- Requests for parole under the Immigrant Military Members and Veterans Initiative (IMMVI) for individuals living outside the United States. For more information, please visit our Military webpage and the ImmVETS Resource Center.
- Requests for parole that are under the jurisdiction of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE has primary jurisdiction over an individual seeking parole who is in removal proceedings in the United States or who has previously been removed or deported. Submit requests to ICE for parole via the USCIS address under Humanitarian parole applicants. USCIS will forward these requests to ICE. Please see the Memorandum of Agreement between USCIS, ICE, and CBP (PDF) for more information about each agency’s jurisdiction over parole requests.
- Requests for individuals who apply under special parole programs such as:
The following terms are used on this page:
- Petitioner: The person completing the Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, on behalf of an individual outside the United States who is seeking parole (or re-parole as explained below). The term “self-petitioner” refers to an individual who files Form I-131, Application for Travel Document for themselves.
- Beneficiary: A beneficiary is an individual residing outside the United States (or a person seeking re-parole as explained below) who receives parole.
- Financial Supporter: A financial supporter is an individual who agrees to provide financial support for the beneficiary of a parole application by filing Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support.
- Parolee: A parolee is an individual who is paroled into the United States. (A beneficiary of a parole application becomes a parolee when they are paroled into the United States at a port of entry).
What Is Parole?
USCIS uses its discretion to authorize parole. Parole allows an individual, who may be inadmissible or otherwise ineligible for admission into the United States, to be paroled into the United States for a temporary period. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) allows the secretary of homeland security to use their discretion to parole any noncitizen applying for admission into the United States temporarily for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. (See INA section 212(d)(5).)
An individual who is paroled into the United States has not been formally admitted into the United States for purposes of immigration law.
Parole is not intended to be used solely to avoid normal visa processing procedures and timelines, to bypass inadmissibility waiver processing, or to replace established refugee processing channels.
Length of Parole
If authorized, we will specify the duration of parole for a temporary period of time to accomplish the purpose of the parole. For example, if parole is requested to attend a civil court proceeding between private parties, we may authorize parole for the period of time necessary to attend the proceedings. We typically grant parole for no more than 1 year, although we may grant parole for a longer duration depending on the reason for the parole.
Parole ends on the date the parole period expires or when a parolee departs the United States or acquires an immigration status, whichever occurs first. In some cases, we may place conditions on parole, such as reporting requirements. We may revoke parole at any time and without notice if we determine that parole is no longer warranted or a parolee fails to comply with any conditions of parole.
We may, at our discretion, grant a parolee temporary employment authorization, if it is not inconsistent with the purpose and duration of their parole. You may request employment authorization after being paroled into the United States by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
Who Can Apply for Parole?
You may request parole for yourself or on behalf of another individual, by filing Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. A petitioner is an individual or entity who is filing Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, on behalf of an individual outside the United States. You may also self-petition for parole. A petitioner does not have to be a resident of the United States or related to the beneficiary.
The Need for a Financial Supporter
An important factor we consider in determining whether to authorize parole is whether the beneficiary will have a means of support while in the United States. We require evidence of an individual who agrees to financially support the beneficiary in the United States. Lack of evidence of financial support while in the United States is a strong negative factor that may lead us to deny parole. We will take into account the Health and Human Services Federal poverty guidelines, along with any special circumstances related to the beneficiary’s need for care, when we assess whether there are sufficient funds in place to adequately support the beneficiary when they are in the United States.
Requirements for Financial Supporters
The financial supporter is the individual who agrees to provide financial support to the beneficiary while they are in the United States for the duration of the parole authorization period. The financial supporter may or may not be the same person or entity as the petitioner. The financial supporter must submit a Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, for each parole request to establish whether they have enough financial resources to support the beneficiary during their stay in the United States, and if the funds are overseas, access to those funds for the beneficiary’s stay in the United States.
Though there is no requirement regarding the financial supporter’s immigration status in the United States, a financial supporter who has a more permanent status in the United States, such as a lawful permanent resident or a U.S. citizen, may more readily be able to establish their ability to support the beneficiary in the United States. Evidence of the financial supporter’s immigration status or citizenship in the United States may be relevant to their ability to support the beneficiary. A petitioner should generally include evidence of their financial supporter’s immigration status or citizenship in the United States, such as the financial supporter’s Permanent Resident Card (Green Card), naturalization certificate, birth certificate, or passport with the parole request.
It is important to read the Form I-134 instructions carefully for information about what kind of evidence is required to demonstrate sufficient income and financial resources. Some examples of evidence that is helpful in demonstrating financial resources include pay stubs, last filed tax return, or a letter from a financial supporter’s employer.
Multiple Financial Supporters
When a petitioner is seeking a financial supporter, they must take into account the Health and Human Services Federal poverty guidelines and any special needs of the beneficiary. If the petitioner is unable to find a financial supporter who alone has sufficient means to support the beneficiary in the United States, the petitioner may indicate more than 1 financial supporter, if they have the means and agree to support the beneficiary while paroled in the United States. In this situation, the petitioner must submit a Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, along with the proper supporting documentation, from each financial supporter.
A beneficiary may also demonstrate that they are financially self-sufficient by submitting a Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, with supporting financial documentation.
Organization as a Financial Supporter
Occasionally, a nonprofit organization or medical institution may serve as a financial supporter on a parole application. In those instances, if an employee of the organization cannot complete a Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, the petitioner should include with their parole application a letter from the organization committing to financially support the beneficiary.
Eligibility for Parole
A USCIS officer considers each request and the evidence provided on a case-by-case basis, taking into account all of the circumstances. (See Section 212(d)(5) of the INA.) The burden of proof is on the petitioner to establish that we should authorize parole. We will authorize parole only if we conclude, based on all the evidence the petitioner submits and any other relevant evidence available to us, that:
- There are urgent humanitarian or significant public benefit reasons for the beneficiary to be in the United States; and
- The beneficiary merits a favorable exercise of discretion.
Urgent Humanitarian Reasons
There is no statutory or regulatory definition of "urgent humanitarian reasons." USCIS officers look at all of the circumstances, taking into account factors such as (but not limited to):
- Whether or not the circumstances are pressing;
- The effect of the circumstances on the individual’s welfare and well-being; and
- The degree of suffering that may result if parole is not authorized.
An applicant may demonstrate urgency by establishing a reason to be in the United States that calls for immediate or other time-sensitive action, including (but not limited to) critical medical treatment, or the need to visit, assist or support a family member who is at an end-of-life stage of an illness or disease.
The factors considered in determining urgent humanitarian reasons depend on the type of parole request. See Guidance for Certain Types of Humanitarian or Significant Public Benefit Parole Requests for more information on factors often considered in some of the more common types of requests.
Significant Public Benefit
There is no statutory or regulatory definition of “significant public benefit.” Parole based on significant public benefit includes, but is not limited to, law enforcement and national security reasons or foreign or domestic policy considerations. USCIS officers look at all of the circumstances presented in the case.
While the beneficiary may personally benefit from the authorization of parole, the statutory standard focuses on the public benefit in extending parole. For example, a beneficiary’s participation in legal proceedings may be a significant public benefit, because the opportunity for all relevant parties to participate in legal proceedings may be required for justice to be served.
There may be circumstances where a request is based on both urgent humanitarian reasons and significant public benefit reasons. For example, we may authorize parole if a person requests it to obtain medical care that involves experimental treatment or medical trials from which a larger community in the United States may benefit.
Determining Who Is Authorized Parole
We exercise our discretion on a case-by-case basis, by evaluating positive factors in the record against any negative factors. Having an urgent humanitarian reason or a significant public benefit is a positive determining factor, and it is evaluated against any negative factors present in a case. We evaluate the complete record.
Some common discretionary factors that we evaluate include (but are not limited to):
- Whether the purpose of the parole request may be accomplished within a specific, temporary period of time;
- Whether the beneficiary intends to leave the United States when their parole expires or has means to obtain lawful immigration status during the parole authorization period or any re-parole period that is envisioned (where applicable);
- Whether there is evidence of any national security concerns;
- Whether there is evidence of any criminal history or previous immigration violations;
- Whether there is evidence of any previous participation in fraud;
- Whether the beneficiary’s presence would benefit a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident or community in the United States;
- Whether the beneficiary will have sufficient financial support while in the United States;
- Evidence of the beneficiary’s character;
- The effect of the beneficiary’s presence on a community in the United States; and
- Whether there are other means, other than parole, that are available to the beneficiary so they can travel to and remain in the United States for the stated parole purpose, such as the ability or inability to obtain a visa.
No single factor will determine the outcome of the case. Each decision is based on all of the circumstances present in a case.
We may revoke parole at any time if we determine that parole is no longer necessary or the parolee fails to comply with any conditions on the parole.
This is an overview of the parole process:
Step 1: Filing a Parole Request
The petitioner reads the instructions for Form I-131, Application for Travel Document and Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support Then, the petitioner files the following at the USCIS Lockbox in Dallas:
- Form I-131, Application for Travel Document (completed and signed);
- Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support (completed and signed);
- All required evidence and supporting documentation (see Guidance on Evidence for Certain Types of Humanitarian or Significant Public Benefit Parole Requests); and
- The filing fee (or Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or a written request for a fee waiver), unless you are not required to pay a filing fee. Find the fee information on the Form I-131 page, or use our Fee Calculator to help determine your fee.
To receive an email or text message when we accept your form, complete Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance, and clip it to the front of the application.
(See the Requesting Parole section below for more specific information.)
If your parole request is properly filed with the appropriate fee (or fee waiver), the Lockbox sends you a receipt notice confirming that USCIS has received your forms and transmits the parole request to the USCIS International and Refugee Affairs Division (USCIS-IRAD) in Washington, D.C., for adjudication.
After we receive your Form I-131 and Form I-134, you will receive a:
- Biometric services appointment notice, if applicable;
- Notice to appear for an interview, if required; and
- Notice of our decision.
Do you want to check for status updates, provide additional evidence, or see notices related to your case? Learn how to create a USCIS online account to stay informed.
Step 2: USCIS Reviews the Request for Jurisdiction and Urgency (Triage)
We initially review requests for parole to confirm jurisdiction and, if we have jurisdiction, to determine whether there is a particularly urgent or time-sensitive reason for expedited processing. If the request is not within our jurisdiction, we will transfer it to the office with jurisdiction over the request.
Step 3: USCIS Officer Makes a Decision
A USCIS officer considers the request. This includes:
- Reviewing the request and all supporting documents;
- Conducting all mandatory security checks and vetting;
- Issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny, if necessary;
- Documenting the basis for the decision; and
- Preparing the decision notice(s).
Step 4: Supervisor or Designated Officer Reviews the Decision
A supervisor or designated officer reviews all parole decisions before we finalize any decision.
Step 5: USCIS Provides Notification of the Decision
If the beneficiary initially appears eligible for parole: We will mail a conditional approval notice or a notice of continued parole processing to the petitioner and any representative of record. The conditional approval notice or notice of continued parole processing provides information regarding next steps for the parole request, such as scheduling an appointment with the U.S. embassy, biometrics collection, obtaining travel documents, and any conditions the beneficiary must comply with if paroled into the United States. If the beneficiary is in a country with a U.S. embassy or consulate, we will also notify the U.S. embassy or consulate closest to the beneficiary’s residence of our decision. If the beneficiary is not in a country with a U.S. embassy or consulate, the petitioner must notify us once the beneficiary travels to a location with a U.S. embassy or consulate before we can continue processing the parole request.
If denied: We will mail a denial letter to the petitioner and any representative of record.
Step 6: Issuance of Travel Documents (Conditional Approvals Only)
If USCIS conditionally approves a request, the conditional approval notice will inform the petitioner that the beneficiary must complete a Form DS-160, Application for a Nonimmigrant Visa, and appear for an appointment with the Department of State consular section at a U.S. embassy or consulate to verify their identity and collect biometrics for additional security vetting. All beneficiaries 14 years and older must provide biometrics. If no derogatory (negative) information or new identity information is found during vetting, the consular section issues a document referred to as a boarding foil that allows the beneficiary to travel to the United States within 30 days of it being issued. Issuance of a boarding foil does not guarantee parole, but it allows the beneficiary to proceed to Step 7 below.
Note: Those who receive a notice of continued parole processing because the beneficiary is in a location without a U.S. embassy or consulate must notify USCIS when the beneficiary is in a location with a U.S. embassy or consulate where they can complete the required steps above. At that time, USCIS will communicate with the petitioner about next steps in the process.
Step 7: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Paroles the Beneficiary into the United States (Conditional Approvals Only)
A CBP officer inspects the beneficiary at the port of entry. If CBP authorizes parole for the beneficiary, CBP will issue the parolee a Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, documenting the length of their parole period. The parole period begins when CBP paroles the beneficiary at the port of entry. After arriving in the United States, the parolee may request employment authorization by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
If a parolee fails to comply with any of the conditions of parole listed in the conditional approval notice or notice regarding conditions of parole, we may terminate their parole. See 8 USC 1182(d)(5)(A) and 8 CFR 212.5(c);(d).
To request parole you must:
- Complete a Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, and, for each parole beneficiary, include the filing fee or Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, or a written request for fee waiver.
- Complete a Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, for each beneficiary to show how each beneficiary will be financially supported in the United States.
- If there is more than 1 financial supporter, each financial supporter must submit a Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support.
- Include a detailed explanation, as well as supporting documentation, of the reasons parole is being requested for the beneficiary. (See the Submitting Evidence section below for more specific information, along with the Guidance Evidence for Certain Types of Humanitarian or Significant Public Benefit Parole Requests page.)
- If you are represented, you must include a completed Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative, for USCIS to communicate with your attorney or representative.
- To receive an email or text message when we accept your form, complete Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance, and clip it to the front of the application.
The petitioner must show, through the parole request and supporting evidence, that the beneficiary qualifies for parole and merits a favorable exercise of discretion. Submitting all relevant supporting evidence will avoid delays. A USCIS officer may issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) to seek additional information. In addition to the Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, and the filing fee or request for fee waiver, the petitioner should submit the following evidence to support their parole request:
- Detailed explanation of the reasons why the petitioner is requesting parole;
- Detailed explanation of the length of time for which the beneficiary needs parole;
- Detailed explanation of why the beneficiary cannot obtain a U.S. nonimmigrant or immigrant visa from the U.S. Department of State, including:
- When and where the beneficiary attempted to obtain visas, if applicable;
- If a visa application was denied, a copy of the denial letter; and
- If applicable, a detailed explanation of the reasons why the beneficiary cannot obtain any required waiver of inadmissibility and a copy of any denial letter received;
- Copies of any previously filed immigrant petitions (Form I-130, Form I-140, Form I-360, etc.) or nonimmigrant petitions filed by or for the beneficiary, if available;
- Copies of any documents that support the request, including a clear and legible copy of a government-issued identification that indicates the beneficiary’s citizenship.
- If a birth certificate is provided, please submit a copy of the front and back of the original birth certificate; and
- Copies of a U.S. passport, Permanent Resident Card (Green Card), birth certificate or other evidence of valid U.S. immigration status or citizenship for the petitioner and financial supporter, where applicable.
See Guidance for Certain Types of Humanitarian or Significant Public Benefit Parole Requests for information on what additional evidence may support specific types of parole requests.
Where to File
Please check the Humanitarian Parole Applicants section on our Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-131 page for information on where to mail your application. If you do not submit your application to the appropriate direct filing address, it may delay our processing.
Please see the Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, website for additional instructions on submitting requests.
Length of Parole Consideration Process
USCIS normally adjudicates most parole requests within 90 days of receipt. If we need to ask you for additional information, it will take us longer to process your request. To avoid processing delays, it is critical that you include all relevant supporting evidence when you apply and in response to a Request For Evidence (RFE), if you receive an RFE.
As mentioned above, we review all requests to determine urgency, even if you do not request expedited consideration. If we determine expedited processing is appropriate, we will prioritize adjudicating your request.
To facilitate our review, you may specifically request expedited processing by doing the following:
- Follow the Form I-131 instructions (PDF, 318.04 KB);
- Write the word EXPEDITE in black ink in the top right corner of the application;
- Provide your (or your representative’s) email address, phone number, and fax number with any expedite request; and
- Include a detailed explanation of the reason for the expedite request, along with any available supporting evidence.
Generally, all requests for parole are based on urgent needs. You must demonstrate significant reasons for expediting your request, such as a life-threatening or other extremely urgent situation.
If the beneficiary’s circumstances have changed since the parole request was initially filed and there is an urgent need for expedited processing, the petitioner or representative of record may submit an expedite request, along with any supporting evidence, via email to HumanitarianParole@uscis.dhs.gov. Please include “expedite request” and the receipt number in the subject of the email. You will receive an automated response to your email inquiry, and you should review this response carefully. USCIS reviews every expedite request, but we do not routinely inform petitioners of the decision to expedite.
If Parole Is Denied
If we deny your parole request, and you believe USCIS has incorrectly decided your case, you may file a motion requesting we reconsider the decision, reopen the proceeding, or both.
The requirements for motions are listed at 8 C.F.R. § 103.5. File a motion with Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion. You must file it within 33 days of the date on the denial notice and include the correct fee amount or a request for a fee waiver. This time period includes 3 days added for service by mail. The Form I-290B webpage has the latest information on fee, filing location, and other requirements. Include a copy of your denial notice if you file a Form I-290B.
Alternatively, if there are significant new facts that are relevant to the application for parole, you may file a new Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, packet with fee or request for fee waiver. There is no limit to the number of Forms I-131, Application for Travel Document, a person may file.
Travel for Parolees
Leaving the United States
A parole document provided to an individual outside the United States is valid to be presented only 1 time for parole at the port of entry. If the individual leaves the United States, their parole will end when they depart. If the parolee wishes to travel abroad and then return to the United States as a parolee, they may file a separate application on a new Form I-131 for advance parole before traveling abroad. For information on how to apply for advance parole while in the United States, please see Form I-131 instructions (PDF, 318.04 KB). The individual may also apply for a visa or again request parole from outside of the United States in order to return.
Parole ends on the date the parole period expires, is revoked, or when the parolee leaves the United States or obtains an immigration status, whichever happens first. Although parole is temporary in nature, in some instances, an individual may need to remain in the United States beyond the period of authorized parole. In such instances, an individual may request re-parole from within the United States.
The petitioner may request re-parole by:
- Filing a new Form I-131, Application for Travel Document;
- Checking box 1.e or 1.f in Part 2 of the form; and
- Writing “re-parole” across the top of the application.
- Filing a new Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support;
- Including required fees (or request for fee waiver); and
- Submitting materials and evidence to support re-parole, including an explanation and providing supporting documents on the need for an additional authorized parole period.
To receive an email or text message when we accept your form, complete Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance and clip it to the front of the application.
File the request at least 90 days before the authorized parole period expires to allow for sufficient processing time and to avoid the potential for accruing time in unlawful status.
Please check the Humanitarian Parole Applicants section on our Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-131 page for information on where to mail your application. If you do not submit your application to the appropriate direct filing address, it may take more time to process.
- Guidance on Evidence for Certain Types of Humanitarian or Significant Public Benefit Parole Requests
- Memorandum of Agreement between USCIS, ICE, and CBP regarding Parole Authority (PDF)
- Supplemental Parole Guidance for Certain Noncitizen Current and Former Service Members and Qualifying Family Members of Current and Former Service Members Seeking to Return to the United States (PDF, 995.14 KB)
- Information for Afghan Nationals on Requests to USCIS for Humanitarian Parole