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On June 18, 2024, the White House announced new measures to address our broken immigration system and help keep American families together. Under the new proposal, foreign national spouses of US Citizens may be able to apply for protected status and work authorization—and eventually, permanent residence—without having to leave the country and triggering the three- and ten-year unlawful presence bans. Under the new process, USCIS will consider “paroling” these individuals in, rather than having them leave the country. Although much more information has to be released, the government has set forth the following eligibility requirements for any spouse of a US Citizen wishing to be considered:

  • Be present in the US without admission or parole
  • Have been continuously present in the US for at least 10 years as of June 17, 2024; and
  • Have a legally valid marriage to a US Citizen as of June 17, 2024.

Additionally, applicants must 1) not have any disqualifying criminal history or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety and 2) demonstrate that a favorable exercise of discretion is warranted.

Noncitizen children may also potentially qualify for this same protection if they are physically present in the US without admission or parole and have a qualifying stepchild relationship to a US Citizen as of June 17, 2024.

As more information is released, we will publish more guidance. In the interim, to explore whether you potentially qualify for this benefit, please contact our office for more information.