Humanitarian Parole

Because there was not enough time to process every one fleeing Afghanistan as a Special Immigrant, many people arriving in the United States were given Humanitarian Parole status. If you did not have a visa granted to you before you arrived in the United States, you would have been granted Port Parole and admitted to the US for two years. Learn how this differs from Special Immigrant Visas (SIV).

Background Image: Shawl, Mexico

Published: 12-3-2021

Immigration law is always changing. We will do our best to keep our website as up-to-date as possible, but the latest information might be more readily available at These pages were written to help you better understand your legal options, however, none of the information published by Catholic Charities Milwaukee should be considered legal advice. If you plan to open your own immigration case, hire an immigration attorney to consult you personally.

This article only applies to those who already have Humanitarian Parole status

What is Humanitarian Parole?

Parole is NOT an immigrant status.

Getting Humanitarian Parole into the United States means that the United States has allowed you to enter the country legally.  Parole does NOT last forever.  It is good for only a specific period of time. Immigration will tell how long your parole will be when they let you into the United States. 

Therefore, it is important to find a long term solution to staying in the United States before your parole ends. The two most common ways that will allow someone on Humanitarian Parole to stay in the United States are through:

Humanitarian Parole vs. Special Immigrant Visas

How are they different?

Having Parole is very different from being a refugee or having a Special Immigrant Visa.  Here are some important things for you to know:

  • Public Benefits given through Humanitarian Parole have been changing. Please click here or in the description below for the most recent information.
  • Parole is NOT a way to become a lawful permanent resident or United States citizen.
  • Parole only lasts a certain period of time. However, you could apply for parole again. There is a form you must complete and a fee. If you do not have the money to pay the fee, Immigration can process the form without paying any fee, but this will delay your application. For up-to-date information on this, follow the USCIS website.

If you are eligible to apply for SIV, you may still do so from within the US even if you are on Parole status. Also, those still outside of the United States may apply for Humanitarian Parole to get permission to enter the United States. For information on this, click here.

Benefits and Limitations

Having Humanitarian Parole also allows you to get an employment authorization document.  Commonly these are called work permits. Work permits allow you to get a social security number and in many states they are necessary to get a driver’s license or a state ID.

However, there are a number of limitations of Humanitarian Parole:

Seek the Help of a Good Lawyer

We Can't Stress This Enough

These pages are intended to help you understand what you are looking for – not to help you complete any of these applications alone. Immigration law is detailed and complicated, and we urge you to rely on a well-trained lawyer for help. A lawyer can help you prepare for every step along the way.

Additional Resources

Many have been leaving Afghanistan or have fled to the U.S. since the recent military withdrawal and crisis. Here are some updates.

Refugees coming to the United States must make several adjustments, and often have questions about green cards, citizenship, and work permits.

These three immigration mistakes could seriously hurt your chances of getting a green card, or lawfully immigrating to the United States.