Kin of Pinoy WWII veterans may now come to US under parole program
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will allow certain Filipino World War II veteran family members with approved immigrant visa petitions to come to the US as they wait for their visas to become available.
Such policy of discretionary grant of parole limits long waiting periods before family members may join petitioning US citizens or permanent residents in the US and become permanent residents themselves. For some Filipino-American families, this wait can exceed 20 years.
It also enables families to come to the US so they could provide care and support for their aging veteran family members or their surviving spouses who are US citizens or lawful permanent residents.
Grant of parole will be on a case-to-case basis and interested eligible individuals may file their applications within a five-year period starting June 8, 2016.
“The Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program honors the thousands of Filipinos who bravely enlisted to fight for the United States during World War II,” USCIS Director León Rodríguez said in a statement. “This policy will allow certain Filipino-American family members awaiting immigrant-visa issuance to come to the United States and be with their loved ones.”
This parole policy was announced in the White House report, Modernizing and Streamlining Our Legal Immigration System for the 21st Century, issued in July 2015.
An estimated 2,000 to 6,000 Filipino-American World War II veterans are living in the United States today.
With the exception of immediate relatives of US citizens, the number of family-sponsored immigrant visas available by country of origin in any given year is limited by statute, a USCIS statement said.
In limited cases, certain eligible relatives will be able to seek parole on their own behalf when their Filipino World War II veteran and his or her spouse are both deceased.
USCIS will review each case individually to determine whether authorizing parole is appropriate.
When each individual arrives at a US port of entry, US Customs and Border Protection will also review each case to determine whether to parole the individual.
Legal authority for this parole policy comes from the Immigration and Nationality Act, which authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to parole certain individuals, on a case-by-case basis, for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.
Additional information about the Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program, including guidance on eligibility, the application process and where to file, is available in the revised Form I-131 instructions and the Federal Register notice. — RSJ, GMA News