PIP is a policy that was started in 2007 under President Bush to
ease the stress and anxiety that some military personnel face
because they worry about the immigration status of their family
whilst they themselves are serving their country. The policy is
to help military dependents “secure permanent immigration status
in the United States” as soon as possible.
PIP is a type of lawful status that “paroles”, or officially
allows, immediate family members of certain military personnel
to stay and reside in the U.S. for renewable one-year periods of
time. Recipients of PIP can also apply for a work authorization
card and, many times, eventually get a green card - all without
having to leave the U.S.
To be eligible for PIP, an individual must be the spouse,
parent, or child of someone currently serving on active duty in
the U.S. Armed Forces or the Selected Reserve of the Ready
Reserve. PIP is also available for spouses, parents, and
children of living or deceased veterans, as long as the veteran
was not dishonorably discharged.
It is important to note that PIP is only available to military
family members who entered without admission or parole. PIP does
not apply to people who were first admitted into the U.S. and
then overstayed their authorized period of admission. Under the
PIP policy, this is because individuals who are present in the
U.S. without admission “are applicants for admission” whereas
individuals who are currently in the U.S. beyond their
authorized period of admission “are no longer applicants for
By making PIP available to military families, the federal
government ensures the unity of these families.
Specifically, people immigrating to the U.S. through a family
relationship usually have to travel outside the U.S. and apply
at an American Consulate to be readmitted. The requirement to
travel outside the U.S. can potentially cause families to be
separated for long periods of time before the immigrating family
member is allowed to return to the U.S. and get a Green Card.
The PIP policy means that military family members
have legal status to remain in the U.S.
during the Green Card application process.
If someone thinks they may qualify for PIP, it is important to
contact an immigration attorney to correctly determine their
eligibility. People who have a criminal conviction or other
criminal matters on their record may face issues when applying
Overall, PIP is a great option for military families that have
concerns about their immigration status and want to ensure that
they can remain together in the U.S. Furthermore, due to the
current changes in the U.S. immigration environment, it may be a
good idea for military families to take advantage of PIP while
it is still available.