TIME is of the essence for Filipino World War II veterans who are now living in the United States but are still counting years to finally have their children and grandchildren with approved petition to join him here and enjoy the remaining years of their life together as a family. With the Obama Administration parole program, the wait time for them may now be shorter, and it will benefit the nation that the children are able to come to America to take care of their veteran father (or mother).
I interviewed Atty. Lou Tancinco, legal counsel for “Pinoy Panawagan” of The Filipino Channel’s daily newscast “Balitang America”. Here are her answers to commonly asked questions about this parole program:
Q: Is the Parole program for Filipino World War II veterans the same as a U.S. visa?
A: First, we have to understand that this is a parole, not a U.S. visa. It will have the same effect as the visa as it will allow the individual to enter into the United States. However, by its nature, the grant of this parole is discretionary on the part of the USCIS. It is granted only for significant public benefit. Here the case of the Filipino World War II veterans is considered a significant public benefit that is why a parole program is established.
Q: What if the family member with an approved petition has a criminal record?
A: There must be NO criminal history on the part of the applicant for parole, otherwise he or she will NOT be eligible for the program.
Q: What will happen to the children who no longer have surviving parents?
A: The parole program permits the surviving spouse to apply for the parole on behalf of the veteran. And if both the veteran and surviving spouse die, the children may “self apply” after he gets the revoked petition reinstated. Unfortunately, there is this requirement of reinstatement when both parents are deceased.
Q: How long will they be permitted to stay on parole?
A: They can stay on parole to wait for the priority date to be current. However, this program is NOT mandatory. This is voluntary on the part of the children of the veterans.
* * *
Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to www.TheFil-AmPerspective.com, https://www.facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos