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US Humanitarian Visa: What Is It and How Do I Apply?

Gaining access to the United States of America can be a complex and confusing process if you’re trying to live and work in the country. While there are many options such as work visas, spousal visas, or refugee visas, not everyone can qualify for those types of green cards. You may have heard of something called a Humanitarian Parole visa and wonder whether this type of visa may be applicable to you. In this blog post, we’ll cover what is a humanitarian visa, who is eligible for humanitarian parole, and how to apply for it. Keep reading to learn more.

What is a Humanitarian Visa? 

A humanitarian visa is a type of visa granted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to foreign nationals who need to enter the U.S. in the case of an emergency or based on public interest reasons. Usually, the humanitarian visa is given to those who want to visit their ill family members in the U.S., need medical help from a U.S. doctor, or attend a funeral. However, there is no specified emergency or purpose necessary to apply for a humanitarian visa.

It is important to note, however, that although USCIS says that anyone can apply for a humanitarian visa, this type of visa is typically only given to people with real emergencies or medical issues that need to be in U.S. USCIS will likely deny any request for this type of visa that seems like a way to get around other visa requirements. If you are currently living in the United States and have overstayed your visa, you should not apply for a humanitarian visa. The main purpose of this type of visa is to help foreign residents who are stuck outside the United States to enter because of a specific emergency. 

How to Apply?

To apply for a humanitarian visa, the person applying for this type of vis must first fill out and file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. They must also submit Form I-134, Affidavit of Support which established a source of financial support once the foreign national is in the United States and supporting documentation. There is also a $575 fee for filing Form I-131, or the beneficiary can file Form I-912 to waive the fee. Typically, it takes between sixty and one hundred and twenty days to process once the paperwork has been filed. It is possible to get expedited processing if there is a life-threatening or extremely urgent situation. You should know that if you are granted a humanitarian visa, it only lasts for the time necessary to deal with the emergency. It is typically granted for no more than a year. The U.S. government retains the right to revoke parole without notice if it determines that this type of visa is no longer warranted.

If you are considering applying for this, or any other type of U.S. visa, you may want to speak to an experienced immigration attorney before you begin. At Dominguez Law Firm, PLLC we work together with our clients to get them through the process and work hard to achieve the best result possible. Get in touch today to discuss your specific situation.