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In the context of immigration policy, an individual known as a “parolee” may be allowed to enter the United States without technically being “admitted” to the country due to urgent humanitarian reasons or reasons of significant public interest. The Homeland Security secretary may grant this parole to a noncitizen. 

Reasons could include to receive critical medical care, to visit or care for a sick relative, to enter the US for protection from targeted or individualized harm, or to prevent the inhumane separation of families. Examples of when parole might be used include the case of a war, such as when Afghans left their country following its takeover by the Taliban. 

Parolee status expires after one year, with the possibility of renewal at the government’s discretion. Most parolees are prohibited from applying for lawful permanent residency or citizenship. 

Noncitizens who are already in the United States and are in the process of adjusting their status or applying for an immigrant visa may apply for “advance parole” to travel outside the US. There are a number of eligibility requirements in order to do so, however, and even if they are met, there is no guarantee of reentry to the US. Individuals are “paroled” into the United States, after which they are considered parolees. On first mention, it’s helpful for clarity to specify the type of parole as “immigration parole.”

Additional references


In the context of immigration, a “parolee” is a noncitizen granted a temporary stay in the United States for humanitarian or public interest purposes. On first mention, it’s helpful for clarity to specify the type of parole as “immigration parole.”