11 May 2016 Families of Filipino WWII Veterans may be allowed to come to the US asap, and wait for their petitions in the US!!!
Beginning on June 8, 2016, certain family members of Filipino World War II veterans may apply to come to the US (through “humanitarian parole”) and wait in the US until the priority date on their family based petition becomes current.
This program, announced on May 9, 2016, is called the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Policy (FWVP), and offers “certain beneficiaries of approved family – based immigrant visa petitions an opportunity to request a discretionary grant of parole on a case-by-case basis”.
USCIS announced this policy in recognition of the “extraordinary contributions and sacrifices of Filipino veterans who fought for the United States during World War II. The policy also enhances the ability of such elderly veterans and their spouses to obtain care and support from their family members abroad.” In other words, family members with pending petitions can come to the US years ahead of their priority date being current, to help care for their elderly parents.
The basic eligibility requirements are:
- The person seeking parole must be the beneficiary of an approved Form I – 130 relative petition, filed by the Veteran or his surviving spouse. Therefore, it could be a petition filed not only by the Veteran, but also by the Veteran’s spouse.
- The family members eligible for parole would include beneficiaries “under any family – sponsored preference category.” This would include married (F-3) or unmarried children (F-1), or even brothers or sisters (F-4) of Veterans. (Immediate relatives of Veterans (spouse, parent, child under 21) are NOT eligible, since their visa is immediately available.)
- Also eligible for parole would be accompanying or following to join spouses and children of the principal beneficiary. For example, if Tatay petitioned an adult, married son in 2004 (F-3), not only will the son be eligible to come to the US right away, but also the son’s spouse and minor children.
- The petitioner (the Veteran) is living in the US, or, if deceased, was living in the US at the time of his death. So, there may be issues if Tatay went back to the Philippines to retire, and died there.
- If the petitioner is the “surviving spouse” of the Veteran, the persons eligible for parole would include only the children of the surviving spouse who are also the children of the Filipino World War II Veteran. This could also include “stepchildren” of the Veteran.
- If the Filipino World War II Veteran has died, the family members must first seek “humanitarian revalidation” from USCIS, to have the petition “reinstated”. Although humanitarian revalidation (or reinstatement) can be difficult or uphill, I believe being eligible for FWVP would be an excellent ground for having the petition reinstated. After all, if this parole authority is being exercised in recognition of the extraordinary contributions and sacrifices of Filipino World War II Veterans, it would have no value if USCIS does not reinstate the petition.
- Finally, it must be established that the petitioner truly was a World War II veteran, based on records maintained by the US government.
There are many Filipino family members under petition by a parent who is a Veteran of World War II, but the priority date on their petition is still years away. This new program would allow these family members, and their spouse and minor children, to come to the US and be with their elderly parents and help care for them, while waiting for the priority date on their petition to become current. Then, once current, steps can be made for them to either adjust status in the US or consular process in Manila.
If you believe you or your family members could be eligible for this program, you should seek the advice of an immigration attorney, who can evaluate your situation, help package the parole request, assist in processing through the US Embassy, and otherwise ensure you are eligible and can document and meet the applicable requirements.
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