USCIS Issues Guidance on Discretionary Employment Authorization for Foreign Nationals Paroled Into the United States

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) recently issued policy guidance on its discretion to grant employment authorization to foreign nationals paroled into the United States, including those who are otherwise inadmissible.

The agency noted that employment authorization for such parolees is not automatic and thatthe agency "will only consider employment authorization for parolees when, based on the facts and circumstances of each individual case, USCIS finds that a favorable exercise of discretion is warranted." The policy guidance includes a list of positive and negative factors an officer may consider when "balancing the totality of the circumstances and determining whether an applicant warrants a favorable exercise of discretion."

USCIS said the policy update does not affect individuals paroled into the United States under the International Entrepreneur Rule. Such parolees are authorized to work based on their parole under current Department of Homeland Security regulations governing the International Entrepreneur parole program.

Details: USCIS announcement, https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/uscis-issues-guidance-discretionary-employment-authorization-parolees; USCIS policy alert, https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/policymanual/updates/20190819-EmploymentAuthorizationForParolees.pdf; USCIS policy manual, Chapter 2—Parolees, https://www.uscis.gov/policy-manual/volume-10-part-b-chapter-2