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Filipino WWII Veterans Parole Program to be Announced

USCIS is prepping the rollout of a program that will allow certain family members of Filipino World War II veterans to receive special “parole” permission to come to the U.S.

First announced as a part of President Obama’s November 2014 immigration executive actions, and later elaborated upon in a July 2015 White House report detailing improvements to the nation’s legal immigration system, the program will allow family members to come to the United States to care for aging Filipino veterans who are U.S. lawful residents or citizens. 

According to its October 2, 2015 press release, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) reminds its customers that exact criteria and an application process for the program have yet to be implemented, and that it will inform the public when the program is officially implemented. Individuals should not apply yet, and should steer clear of anyone claiming that applications can be submitted now. 

Parole granted by the Department of Homeland Security will only allow entry for a temporary duration based on an urgent humanitarian concern or to serve a significant health benefit. The Filipino WWII Veterans parole program will not, in and of itself, grant the family member any permanent status to remain in the U.S. or to apply for a “green card” or U.S. citizenship. However, it may allow the family members to remain in the U.S. while awaiting residency status–the final version of the program will no doubt, contain such details, when released. Like other types of parole, USCIS procedures will likely require the initial application be submitted to USCIS’ Humanitarian Affairs Branch (HAB) in Washington D.C., and if approved, the parole travel document will be granted to the parolee at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate overseas.

Like other immigration initiatives announced in the November 2014 executive actions, we applaud the administration’s efforts at immigration modernization and efficiency. The humanitarian purpose inherent in allowing elderly veterans the opportunity to be reunited with loved ones is a program that will hopefully benefit the estimated 26,500 Filipino veterans who are U.S. citizens, not unlike the much lauded current Parole-in-Place program benefitting family members of U.S. armed forces personnel. Final details of the Filipino Veterans program are expected to be released before the end of 2015.

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