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Immigration Lawyers Laud Plan to Allow Spouses of US Citizens to Legalize Status

On June 18, 2024, the Biden administration announced an initiative that will permit the currently undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens to obtain a form of humanitarian parole while in the United States, thus paving the way for them to finalize their applications for permanent residence. The plan is expected to impact an estimated 550,000 thousand people nationwide, most of whom are already poised to obtain permanent resident status but-for needing to leave the United States to finalize the process, which can result in families being separated for years.

The specific implementing regulations of the new “parole-in-place” plan have yet to be published, but the initial initiative announcement includes the following eligibility criteria:

  • Continuously resided in the United States since June 17, 2014, and physically present in the United States on June 17, 2024
  • Legally married to a U.S. citizen as of June 17, 2024
  • Entered the United States without admission or parole and do not currently hold any lawful immigrant or nonimmigrant status
  • Have not been convicted of any disqualifying criminal offense
  • Do not pose a threat to national security or public safety
  • Merit a favorable exercise of discretion

“We’re pleased to see the President use his executive authority to allow hundreds of thousands of families to remain together,” said Attorney Ron Abramson, Chair of the Immigration Law Group at Shaheen & Gordon. “What is often lost in much of the heated public discussion about immigration policy is how an overburdened, outdated system creates needless pain and suffering for millions of American citizens. This plan will remove unnecessary obstacles for qualifying applicants to get their cases over the finish line,” Abramson added.

“This is a very good step forward for immigration policy because it helps deserving families stay together,” said Shaheen & Gordon Immigration Attorney Tayla George.

Implementing regulations should be published soon, with new forms likely to be required. The Department of Homeland Security [DHS] has indicated that the application window will open later in the summer of 2024.

Impacted individuals are encouraged to contact the immigration team at Shaheen & Gordon for the latest updates on this program. Call 603-792-8472 or contact us online.