The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) provides free legal help to some refugees and displaced people.
- IRAP helps some people find services and prepare refugee and visa applications.
- IRAP is not part of any government, IOM, or UNHCR.
- IRAP cannot grant refugee status or visas or speed up cases.
- IRAP cannot provide financial help, find or pay for housing, or find jobs.
- All of IRAP’s help is free. No one affiliated with IRAP has the right to ask you for money or any other service.
IRAP decides to help people based on their need and eligibility for immigration status. IRAP does not decide to help people based on any other social or political or religious criteria.
This website provides general information about legal processes available to some refugees. It is not meant as legal advice for individual applications.
If you are in a refugee emergency, we recommend that you contact the UNHCR office in the country where you live .
This guide is for people who:
- Have a sponsor in the U.S. who will assist them in applying for Humanitarian Parole, and
- Who face urgent humanitarian needs.
Humanitarian Parole lets people enter the U.S. temporarily because they are in danger, need medical treatment, or for other urgent reasons. Most applications are rejected. The U.S. government approves Humanitarian Parole requests only where people have no other legal option to enter the United States.
Examples where Humanitarian Parole may be appropriate include:
- Someone who needs life-saving medical treatment only available in the United States.
- Someone who has a family member in the U.S, cannot get a U.S. visa, and is in danger.
Important Things to Know:
- Anyone can apply for Humanitarian Parole, including a person outside the United States.
- Entry into the United States is temporary. The standard parole period is 365 days.
- After you enter the United States, you can apply for another immigration status, including by filing for asylum. If you are not successful, you may be required to leave the country.
To apply for Humanitarian Parole, you must submit an application that includes the following documents:
Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, with a filing fee of $575 (US)
- Include a copy of your passport and two passport photos.
- Your signature in the appropriate place on the form.
- If you are applying for more than one person, submit a separate Form for each person (including children). Submit a filing fee of $575 for each person.
If you do not have enough money, you can apply for an exception by filing Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver.
Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support
- Form I-134 must be completed by a person willing to sponsor you. Your sponsor must be someone who is willing to sign an official government document and provide documentation saying they are able to financially support you. The sponsor does not need to be your family member or friend.
Your sponsor must provide evidence of their finances. This can include:
- Copies of income tax returns for the last two years.
- Proof of their job and salary.
- Proof that they own a house or car.
- Bank accounts.
- Other information of assets or income.
- Your sponsor must also provide a passport copy.
- Signing the form does not mean that the sponsor will need to pay for or provide housing for you if you are granted parole. It just means the sponsor will support you financially if you need it.
If you do not know if your sponsor has enough money to satisfy the requirement, you can look at this U.S. government website.
- To calculate the “household size,” count your sponsor, the family members that they support, you, and anyone else on the application.
- For example: Your sponsor is married with two children. You and your spouse are applying for Humanitarian Parole. The household size is 6.
- The sponsor’s income should be more than the dollar amount listed on the website for that household size.
Also include a written statement saying:
- Why you should be granted Humanitarian Parole. Give as many details as you can about your situation and why you need to travel to the U.S.
- Why you can’t travel to the United States on a different existing pathway, such as a visa or through refugee resettlement. If you applied for a visa before, say when and where you applied. If you never applied for a visa, say why.
If your case relates to medical issues, include medical records. They should:
- Describe your issue.
- Describe the treatment that you need
- Explain why you need treatment in the United States.
- You must also say who will provide and pay for your medical treatment and all of your expenses while in the United States.
- If you are applying because you were in the United States. as a refugee, asylee, or Green Card holder, but left more than a year ago and lack documentation that would permit you to reenter, explain why you left and why you didn’t apply to come back sooner. Explain any changes in your life since you left.
- You can include letters from family members, friends, and Congressional representatives who support your case.
Send your application to:
Check this USCIS website to find the correct filing location for your application. There is no online or e-mail submission option.
Asking for help
You or your relative may want to ask an immigration attorney for help with this process. Here are a few resources:
- Information about asking for help from IRAP is here.
- If you are in Jordan, you can ask for IRAP Jordan’s help using this form. If the form is closed, you can check back at a later date.
- A list of free immigration legal service providers in the United States is available here. These attorneys are not affiliated with IRAP.
- A list of private immigration attorneys in the United States is available here. Please note that private immigration attorneys may charge a fee for their services. These attorneys are not affiliated with IRAP.