Immigrants who have been temporarily allowed into the United States (known as parolees) will face a higher level of scrutiny when they apply for temporary work permits.
While it was never an automatic perk, many foreign nationals benefited from this program while awaiting lawful permanent resident status.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a policy alert on Monday stating that the agency is enhancing its adjudicators’ discretion to grant or deny work permits to foreign nationals paroled in the U.S.
Entering and staying temporarily in the country for humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit does not establish automatic eligibility for employment authorization, the agency stressed.
USCIS said the new guidance in its Policy Manual emphasizes the “use of discretion” to decide whether to approve a work permit for parolees.
The policy update also describes the factors that immigration benefits adjudicators “may consider when balancing the totality of the circumstances and determining whether an applicant warrants a favorable exercise of discretion.”
“USCIS 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 Department of Homeland Security explained in a press release.
Read more: These policy changes will impact legal immigrants in the U.S. in 2019
Parole, as most immigrants call it, is a special type of admission to the United States — not a visa. Administered by USCIS, the discretionary program allows its beneficiaries to stay legally in the United States while they wait for their immigrant visas.