FWVP: Filipino WW II Veterans Parole
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Important Update November 15, 2016: The U.S. government announced changes to speed up the application process for these parole applications. You can now apply for the parole program AND humanitarian reinstatement at the same time, which is a big help for those whose veteran petitioners have died. The government is trying to process applications within 4 months, and if there are special circumstances (for example the veteran is very ill) you can request urgent or expedited processing. Be aware that the election of Donald Trump could change or eliminate this program after January 20, 2017. We just don’t know yet.
This is the original June 2016 information: From June 8, 2016, some Filipino family members can apply for parole into the U.S. to wait for their immigrant visas to become available under the new Filipino World War II Veterans Parole Program (FWVP). The government believes 2,000 to 6,000 Filipino American World War II veterans are still alive and residing in the U.S. today, and many would like their relatives to be with them in their last years.
Here are some Questions and Answers on the program:
- Does this mean a visa is available? No, this program does not grant a visa. It grants parole into the U.S., which allows the Filipino national to enter the U.S. legally but does not grant a green card or permanent visa.
- Who is eligible? You must meet these requirements: (a) Have an approved I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Relatives such as spouses and minor children of the Filipino national can be included; (b) The petitioning relative must reside in the U.S. That’s the elderly veteran or surviving spouse. (c) Your immigrant visa is not yet available – check the Visa Bulletin. (d) The petitioner must be a Filipino World War II veteran or surviving spouse. The government will check to make sure.
- What if the veteran relative never filed a petition, or it wasn’t approved? Then you are NOT eligible for this program.
- Why is the government doing this? It can take over 20 years for a visa to become available for some adult relatives of petitioning veterans. The goal of the program is to allow veterans to have their eligible family members in the U.S. with them in their final years, and even to help with their care if appropriate.
- What if my veteran relative has died? You may still be eligible if your relative was residing in the U.S. at the time of death. If the petitioner died, you will also need to request humanitarian reinstatement before you can apply for parole. Humanitarian reinstatement is difficult to get. Read this post for details.
- What if my veteran relative returned to the Philippines to live? It depends on whether the veteran’s primary residence was in the U.S. or the Philippines; the government will look at the facts. The goal of the program is to allow the Filipino beneficiary (adult child or sibling and family) to go to the U.S. to be with the elderly veteran in his final years.
- How do you apply? Click here to see full details in English and Tagalog, and the I-131 form that must be used. If USCIS conditionally approves the request, the Filipino national will be interviewed by USCIS or the State Department at the consulate and also upon entry to the U.S.
- What if the beneficiary has a spouse or children who want to apply too? Children of the beneficiary are eligible to apply IF they are under 21 and unmarried at the time USCIS receives the parole application. A child’s marriage ends eligibility; a beneficiary’s marriage doesn’t. Important: Each person in a family must file a separate I-131 application and packet for parole, and they must be submitted together. Each person’s application costs $360. You can apply for a fee waiver on Form I-912; for example, if the Veteran is on Medicaid, fees might be waived.
- What’s the filing fee? The normal I-131 filing fee is $360 plus a $85 biometrics fee in some cases. You can apply for a fee waiver.
- Is this a work permit? If you are approved for parole, you can apply for a work permit known as an Employment Authorization Document or EAD once you get to the U.S. There is a separate fee of $380 to apply for an EAD.
- How do I get a green card under this program? This program does not grant a green card or legal permanent residence (LPR) status. When a visa becomes available in your category, you can apply to adjust status to get become an LPR while remaining in the U.S.
- How long will this program last? USCIS recommends you apply within 5 years and will review whether to extend the program at that time.
- Can anyone guarantee you’ll be granted parole? NO! The government is warning Filipinos there will be scammers. If someone says they can get you into the U.S. quickly if you pay them money, don’t believe them. Don’t waste your money.
- Do you need a lawyer to apply? This is a complex program, especially because so many veterans have died or are very old and ill. Legal advice is likely to save you a lot of time, money and heartache.
Each case will be reviewed individually; approval is not automatic. And since this is the government, applications will take time. Remember you will also have to apply for humanitarian reinstatement of the petition if the petitioner died before you got your visa. Look at this page for more information on reinstatement.
Click here to schedule a consultationon your case by Skype, phone or email (or in person in Oregon, US).