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How do I get a Green Card through Military Service?

SPOUSE, PARENT, OR CHILD OF MEMBER OF ARMED FORCES WHO DIED IN COMBAT

If you are the Spouse, Parent or Child of an Armed Forces member who died in combat, USCIS permits self-petition. It means that you can apply for a green card. The deceased Armed Forces must have been a United States citizen who served honorably in the Armed Forces and died as a result of injury or disease incurred in or aggravated by combat.

The deadline to file this self-petition is 2 years from the Armed Forces member's death. If you are the spouse, you must not have been legally separated at the time of the member's death.

  • If you are the child, you may apply even if you are 21 years of age or married after the Armed Forces member's death.

  • If you are the parent of the deceased Armed Forces member, you may file a petition even if the deceased Armed Forces member was under 21 years of age.

The forms required to obtain a green card through are I-360 and I-485 which may be filed concurrently. The great thing about this process is that there is no public charge ground of inadmissibility.

What if the Armed Forces member became a US Citizen posthumously?

A spouse, parent, or child may still obtain Legal Permanent Residency if the Armed Forces member became a US Citizen after he died. The same deadline for filing within 2 years applies.

 

Parole in Place

If you are the spouse, parent or child of an Armed Forces members, you are eligible for a benefit called Parole in Place. Parole in Place allows non-citizens to apply for Adjustment of Status even if they entered the United States without inspection.

How do I request Parole in Place?

The Armed Forces member may request the Parole in Place once he becomes a member of the military branch such as Army, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard or National Guard. If you are an Armed Forces member, and your parents entered the country without inspection, they may benefit from Parole in Place so that they can obtain a green card through you. It will allow them to Adjust their Status to Legal Permanent residency without having to leave the United States.

What is the process to request a Parole in Place for my family member?

The process is very simple and it takes two steps. First, you must request Parole in Place from USCIS. You'll be scheduled for an interview where the USCIS officer will verify the status of the Armed Forces member and the status of the Petition filed with USCIS (I-130). If the Immigration Officer feels satisfied, he'll stamp the applicant's passport and provide a document called Parole in Place.

The second step is to use that Parole in Place to apply for Permanent Residency through a process called Adjustment of Status by filing form I-485. Then the applicant will attend an interview just like everyone else. Most USCIS officers who handle Parole in Place are also former military members, so they are very happy to assist the family members of their brothers and sisters military members. 

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