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President Biden’s New Policy: Parole In Place (PIP) for Spouses of US Citizens

by | Jun 18, 2024 | Biden Policies, Family Immigration, New Immigration Laws |

On June 18, 2024, President Biden formally announced a new immigration initiative to promote family unity by providing relief to spouses of US Citizens.  The new policy actually utilizes a policy already in place called “parole in place” (for family members of US military) but significantly expands to include spouses and certain children of US Citizens.  This is one of the most ambitious and sweeping reforms put forth in years and may benefit more than 500,000 noncitizens.  In this blog, we’ll explore the key aspects of this policy, its implications, and what it means for affected families.

What is Parole in Place?

Parole in Place (PIP) is an immigration policy that grants temporary protected legal status to certain undocumented individuals who are already in the United States, most of whom are present without admission or parole. This status allows them to stay and work in the country without the fear of deportation while also potentially enabling them to pursue permanent residency, or the green card.  Traditionally, PIP has been available primarily to undocumented family members of U.S. military personnel. However, President Biden’s new policy now expands its scope to include spouses of U.S. citizens.

Key Features of the New Policy

Eligibility: The new PIP policy specifically provides protection to spouses of U.S. citizens who are currently residing in the United States without legal status. It provides them with a temporary legal status that protects them from deportation and provides for work authorization.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to qualify for parole in place, the spouse of the U.S. Citizen must:

  • 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.

Pathway to Permanent Residency

The ultimate goal of this policy is to create a smoother mechanism for undocumented spouses to obtain permanent residency.  With parole in place, many applicants may be able to apply for adjustment of status without having to apply for an I-601 or I-601A waiver and leave the country.  This is a very significant change given that waivers can take up to 44 months to process and applicants must still leave the United States and risk not being able to return in the event there are complications at the consulate.

Implications for Families

The introduction of PIP for spouses of U.S. citizens has several significant implications:

Family Unity: This policy truly helps to keep families together by eliminating the need for spouses to leave the country to adjust their immigration status. Spouses will be able to stay with their families while taking steps to fix their status.

Economic Stability: With the ability to work legally, undocumented spouses can contribute to their household income without fear of breaking the law.  These individuals will also be able to pay taxes with social security numbers, and save potentially thousands of dollars in legal and government filing fees by not having to file for an immigration waiver.

Emotional Relief: The fear of deportation and separation can cause traumatic emotional stress for families. PIP alleviates these concerns by allowing families to remain together.


While the forms and specific guidelines have yet to be released, President Biden’s new Parole in Place policy for spouses of U.S. citizens represents a very practical and promising approach to alleviate some of the hardship caused to US Citizens and their spouses by the current legal process.  Contrary to some rhetoric out there, this is not amnesty.  Applicants still have to demonstrate that they meet the required criteria and warrant a favorable exercise of discretion.