The USCIS’s decision to the extension of the parole program’s eligibility to include immediate relatives of U.S. citizens has been described as an early Christmas present by several residents of CNMI. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) made this announcement on the 14th of December 2016. This extends the parole program (which is effective immediately) until December 2018.
Before the extension of the parole program, families covered by the parole program would have been separated since the parole was scheduled to become defunct on December 31. However, it is prudent to note that only people who have been previously granted humanitarian parole are eligible to renew their statuses.
Those who qualify are unmarried children under 21 years, legal spouses, and parents regardless of the age of the child. Also, the person has to be living in the CNMI (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) and have already been granted humanitarian parole.
Holders of the parole document can also apply for an employment authorization document, which allows them to legally work in the CNMI. In addition, holders of the parole document can also apply for permanent residence (green card).
However, this good news did not cover everyone. There are some who had to depart the CNMI because of the CNMI-Only Transition Worker Nonimmigrant Visa program numerical cap, also known as the CW1 numerical cap.
Following the news, CNMI Congressional Delegate, Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, issued a statement, where he stated the importance of family unity to the Pacific culture. “In our island culture, nothing is more important than family. That is why under commonwealth immigration law the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens were allowed to live here in the Northern Mariana Islands, as were certain stateless persons born here but not granted citizenship in the Covenant.
“Because allowing these families to stay together was the commonwealth immigration policy and because it is consistent with our cultural values, I have been an advocate for doing the same under federal law over the last eight years. The policy was put in place in 2011, has been renewed twice before, and this year I have been making the case with USCIS to extend it again.”
He went on to thank USCIS director Leon Rodriguez for extending the humanitarian parole program until 2018. “I want to thank USCIS Director Leon Rodriguez for his decision…to continue making parole available for another two years.”
Finally, Sablan encouraged all those benefiting from the parole program to work towards obtaining permanent residence. “As I said two years ago, when Director Rodriguez renewed this policy, I encourage all of our families who have some U.S. and some non-U.S. members to keep working toward obtaining U.S. permanent resident status.
“That advice is more important now than ever. Because, even though this humanitarian parole policy has been continually renewed by the Obama administration, there is no guarantee that parole will continue to be offered in the future.”
Details of the Extension Parole for Immediate Relatives of United States Citizens
Released on December 13, 2016.
CNMI (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) – To enable immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and certain “stateless” individuals maintain legal status in the CNMI, USCIS has extended the parole program for these relatives, effective immediately, until December 31, 2018.
To be eligible for the extension of the parole you must:
- Reside in the CNMI;
- Be an immediate relative, which for purposes of this parole program means you are the legal spouse, unmarried child under 21, or parent (regardless of the age of your child) of a U.S. citizen; and
- Have been previously granted parole.
Your request for extension of parole must include:
- A letter from you, the immediate relative (or from the U.S. citizen family member if the immediate relative is a child who is too young to complete the parole request package). The letter must:
- Ask for an extension of parole;
- Explain under what relationship you are requesting this parole (such as parent, spouse, child); and
- Note whether you have been arrested or convicted of any crime since your last request.
- Form G-325, Biographic Information, that you completed within the past 30 days
- A copy of your I-94;
- A copy of any Employment Authorization Document (EAD) that you received; and
- A copy of your passport (only if a new one was issued since you last applied for parole).
There is no fee for this extension request. We recommend that you keep a copy of all documents. Seal all the above items in one envelope and clearly write on the outside of the envelope:
- Your name;
- “PAROLE EXTENSION FOR IR of USC”; and
- The expiration date of your current parole.
You can make an appointment for your parole extension request at the USCIS office on Saipan, or you can mail your request to:
ATTN: PAROLE EXTENSION – CNMI
770 East Sunset Boulevard, Suite 185
Barrigada, Guam 96913
This parole extension will allow the immediate relative to lawfully remain with the U.S. citizen in the CNMI, but parole does not authorize employment. Immediate relatives must, as before, obtain an EAD by submitting Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, or obtain work authorization as a CW-1 CNMI-Only Transitional Worker or in another employment-based nonimmigrant status under federal immigration law.
This announcement does not extend to anyone other than the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and certain “stateless” individuals. USCIS may grant parole on a case-by-case basis based on the individual circumstances and has exercised parole authority on a case-by-case basis in the CNMI since 2009 for special situations.
USCIS is the agency within the Department of Homeland Security that is responsible for immigration benefits.
We at the Law Offices of Prashanthi Reddy, PLLC have filed several Immigrtaion file and are well versed in what kind of cases the USCIS approves. Because of our experience in this field we are able to anticipate problems and find solutions.