Tips on how to apply for war veterans parole

By Reuben S. Seguritan

June 15, 2016

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has started accepting applications under the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program (FWVP).

To further guide applicants about the whole process, USCIS recently released additional information on eligibility and filing requirements.

Under the said program, one may be eligible to request parole if (1) he is a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident (LPR) living in the United States; (2) he has established that he is either a Filipino WWII veteran or the surviving spouse of such individual; (3) he, the war veteran, or his surviving spouse, has filed a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for a family member and it was approved on or before a visa parole was requested; and (4) an immigrant visa is not yet readily available.

The beneficiary on the I-130 petition filed by the war veteran or his surviving spouse must have a qualifying legal relationship with the war veteran on or before May 9, 2016. The spouse and children under 21 years old of the principal beneficiary may also be eligible for the benefit but only if the principal beneficiary is approved for parole.

In cases where the WWII veteran and his spouse are both deceased, principal beneficiaries may request parole on their own behalf provided that USCIS approved the petition while the petitioner was alive, and then reinstated the approval after death. In cases where the petitioner died before the USCIS approved the petition, the beneficiaries can still seek to avail of the visa parole as long as they can prove that at least one beneficiary of the I-130 petition was living in the US at the time of the petitioner’s death and continues to live here in the US.

The self-petitioner must prove that he/she is the son, daughter, brother or sister of the deceased veteran and the veteran was living in the US at the time of death and that the veteran’s spouse is also deceased.

Principal beneficiaries who are already here in the US may benefit from the program but they need to appear before a USCIS office or consulate abroad to fully process their visa parole application. If found eligible to travel, the said relatives will be given travel documents to allow them to return to any port of entry in the US. This may not be as easy for those whose departure from the US may trigger certain bars. It is important to consult an immigration lawyer before pursuing any further steps.

For beneficiaries to be considered for the FWVP, Form I-131, Application for Travel Document must be submitted for each qualifying family member. A copy of the Notice of Action approving the I-130 petition or any evidence that USCIS has approved the petition in behalf of the relatives must be included along with the applicable fees or a fee waiver request, if eligible, and Form I-134, Affidavit of Support for each family member. Also needed are supporting documents that the petitioner is either a Filipino World War II veteran whose military service has been recognized by the US Department of Defense or the surviving spouse of said veteran. A self-petitioner, in addition to the ones earlier mentioned, should establish their relationship with the veteran and that the veteran’s spouse is deceased.

The parole is temporary and is good for three years. Work authorization may be obtained upon submitting a Form I-765 application. The parole in and of itself does not lead to an immigration status. The parolee is expected to apply for green card once his visa number becomes available. He should not remain in the US past the period of his parole without applying for adjustment of status or a parole extension.