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 .
Individuals who come to the United States on CAM parole status have permission to stay for a temporary period of time, generally for three years. In the past, CAM parolees were generally granted two years of parole. If you were granted one year of parole, you should contact the CAM Hotline for assistance at (917) 410-7546 or info@menoresCAM.com. This guide provides information on support and options available to CAM families who are in the United States.
See this pamphlet for helpful resources.
How long can I stay in the United States on CAM parole status?
CAM parole status lasts for a specific period of time. You can check when the status ends by looking at the stamp that the officer put in your passport at the airport or by getting an electronic copy of Form I-94 here.
As a CAM parolee, you are not a “refugee.” This means your current parole status does not give you a path to permanent status, nor will you automatically get a green card with this status. See below.
What can I do if I want to stay in the United States for longer?
You should find a lawyer as soon as possible after getting to the United States to ask about your options for applying for a more permanent status. There may be deadlines for applying for certain statuses like asylum.
You can also apply to renew your CAM parole status, even if your parole has already expired. This is called re-parole. See below.
How can I apply for CAM re-parole?
If your CAM parole period has ended or is ending within the next year, you can apply for CAM re-parole. Applying for CAM re-parole means that you are asking the government to issue you a new parole period. The United States government has instructions on how to ask for CAM re-parole here. Typically, the government is granting new parole periods that begin at the expiration date of your last parole period and that end three years into the future.
If you traveled to the United States through the CAM program with additional family members and you all were granted parole, every individual person, even babies, must file their own re-parole application that is complete on its own. You can mail these re-parole applications in the same envelope, but each individual seeking to extend their parole status has to file their own application.
Because of current government application processing delays, you should try to apply for re-parole approximately one year before your CAM parole status ends. If you are planning to apply to renew your work authorization (see below), you cannot submit apply for a work authorization application (Form I-765) until after you have been granted CAM re-parole.
To apply for CAM re-parole, you must include the documents listed below when you file your application with the US Government. Each individual must file a separate application for re-parole. So, if you are requesting CAM re-parole for multiple family members, you must fill out each of these forms, pay the fee, and provide documentation for each person. Every application is reviewed separately: each person renewing parole must have a complete, standalone application.
**IRAP has translated each of the government forms into Spanish to help you understand the application process, but your entire CAM re-parole application must be in English and you must use the official English-language government forms. Do not submit the Spanish-language documents.**
Form I-131, Application for Travel Document
- Write “CAM re-parole” across the top of your application.
See IRAP’s Spanish translation of Form I-131 with guidance. Note this is an older edition of the Form I-131 with minor differences compared to the current edition.
Application Fee or Fee Waiver
- The CAM re-parole application costs $575 per person, and you can pay with a money order, personal check, cashier’s check, or by credit card.
If you are unable to pay the fee, you may ask the government to waive the fee in your case by submitting Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver. See IRAP’s Spanish translation of Form I-912 with guidance.
Evidence of your identity
Copy of a government document with your photograph and your identifying information, for example, the photo page of your passport; your work authorization card (EAD) front and back; or your valid driver’s license.
All available evidence that you were previously granted CAM Parole
Copy of all available documents demonstrating that you were previously granted CAM parole, for example, your passport page with the stamp you received from the government when you entered the United States showing your parole period; your form I-512L; and your Form I-94 (Click here to get your Form I-94 online. Your passport number is your “Document Number”).
Evidence to support your request for CAM re-parole
- The government does not require evidence in a particular format, but one way to provide this evidence is using a cover letter and a statement about your personal situation.
- The government does require a statement with the signature of the person describing the need for re-parole, whether it is the applicant or a family member of the applicant. An advocate or attorney’s statement alone is insufficient.
- IRAP created a sample cover letter to assist you. (Spanish translation here as a guide—but your letter must be in English).
- IRAP created a sample statement to assist you (Spanish translation here as a guide—but your statement must be in English).
- Note that the government requires evidence of your fear of returning to your country of origin, for example, if the same reasons you needed to leave your country originally remain relevant. The government also requires evidence of your need to remain in the United States, for example to maintain family unity, to support a family member, or to continue your education or employment.
- If you previously received an employment authorization document (EAD), you should include it as evidence that you were supporting yourself.
- If you intend to seek permanent status in the United States, through another application, like asylum, you should state your intent to apply for this other status as it is considered a positive factor in granting your re-parole application.
- Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support from your sponsor, and supporting documents
- 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. The sponsor does not need to be the qualifying parent who first applied for CAM for you. For example, the sponsor could be a person at your church or your job.
- See IRAP’s Spanish translation of Form I-134 with guidance. Note that the edition of the Form I-134 changes often. This guidance may pertain to an older edition of the form but still includes relevant guidance for you in using the current edition of the form.
- Your sponsor’s supporting documents should include evidence of their immigration status (such as their work permit) and evidence in duplicate (two copies) supporting their income and assets. They should include their full, most recent tax returns (the W-2 alone is not sufficient, and an employer letter stating date and nature of employment, salary paid, and temporary or permanent nature of the position, on letterhead, may be required) and if they report assets, they must include evidence to show that they have those assets, such as their bank statements; letter from bank stating date account opened, total amount deposited in the last year, present balance; appraised value of the home minus the sum of all loans; evidence of the value of a second automobile). If your sponsor cannot provide any of these specific documents, they should submit as much evidence as possible to demonstrate they have the financial resources to support you. Note that this guidance is based on IRAP experience in practice with CAM re-parole applications, but it is possible that submitting your re-parole application without all of these documents will still result in an approval or at least the opportunity to add to your original submission if the government wants additional information.
- Sponsors may sponsor more than one re-parole applicant. Each person the sponsor sponsors must have an independent Form I-134 submitted on their behalf.
- Sponsors are evaluated for financial capacity primarily based on their meeting the federal poverty guidelines for the size of their household. The federal poverty guidelines are available here.
You do not need an attorney to apply for CAM re-parole. You may apply yourself or get assistance from someone who is not an attorney. But if you would like to find a lawyer to assist you with filing your CAM re-parole application, you can bring this note that explains your status and what you are requesting.
What if my CAM parole status ended and I don’t have any other status?
You are eligible for CAM re-parole. You should apply as soon as possible. When your parole period expires and if you have not obtained or applied for another legal status (such as asylum), then you no longer have legal permission to remain in the United States. Not having legal status puts you at risk of deportation and makes you ineligible for work authorization. See information above about applying for CAM re-parole.
The government is approving CAM re-parole applications for people who fell out of status, even for years. If you are applying for CAM re-parole months or years after your prior parole period expired, you should include in your cover letter or personal statement an explanation for your not renewing your parole sooner. Such explanation may include that you were unaware it was possible to renew, you were waiting to find legal support to submit the re-parole application, you were afraid to renew your parole when the CAM program had been terminated in 2017 and 2018, or other reasons that are true for you.
Can I work in the United States while on CAM parole?
As a CAM parolee, you are not automatically authorized to work. You must apply for work authorization. The application is called Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. You should choose category (c)(11) – ‘Paroled in the Public Interest’ on the application. You can find a lawyer to help you with this.
If you are asked by potential employers or others for your “admission information,” you can get an electronic copy of Form I-94 here.
Employment authorization based on CAM parole will always expire on the day the parole expires.
You may not apply to renew your work authorization at the same time you apply to renew your CAM parole. Instead, you must include the CAM re-parole approval notice in your work authorization renewal application. In practice, this means that you will almost certainly have a period of time, possibly longer than one year, when you are without work authorization, even if you renew your CAM parole before your parole expires.
I have more questions about accessing benefits in the United States
If you have questions about other immigration pathways, please check our legal information website here.
Here are community resources for CAM parolees in several regions of the United States. These guides are in English.
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New York
- Northern California
- Southern California
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