New DHS Process Offers Pathway to Permanent Residency for Certain Noncitizen Spouses of U.S. Citizens

On June 18, 2024, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a new initiative aimed at providing a pathway to lawful permanent residency for certain noncitizen spouses of U.S. citizens. This process is designed to consider, on a case-by-case basis, requests from individuals who meet specific criteria, offering hope to many long-term residents seeking stability and security in the United States.

Key Criteria for Eligibility

To be eligible for this new process, noncitizen spouses must meet the following conditions:

  • Residency: They must have lived in the United States continuously for at least 10 years as of June 17, 2024.
  • Safety and Security: They should not pose a threat to public safety or national security.
  • Marital Status: They must have a legally valid marriage to a U.S. citizen as of June 17, 2024.
  • Adjustment of Status: They must be otherwise eligible to apply for adjustment of status and merit a favorable exercise of discretion.

Importantly, this process allows eligible noncitizens to apply for lawful permanent residence without the need to leave the United States.

Scope and Impact

DHS estimates that approximately 500,000 noncitizen spouses could be eligible for this process, with an average residency of 23 years in the U.S. Additionally, around 50,000 children of these spouses may also benefit from this initiative. This significant policy change highlights the administration’s commitment to addressing the needs of long-term residents who have established deep roots in their communities.

Case-by-Case Consideration

Each request under this new process will be assessed individually. Noncitizens must:

  • Be present in the U.S. without admission or parole.
  • Have no disqualifying criminal history.
  • Not constitute a threat to national security or public safety.
  • Merit a favorable exercise of discretion.

Noncitizen children of eligible spouses can also be considered if they meet specific criteria, including being physically present in the U.S. without admission or parole and having a qualifying stepchild relationship with a U.S. citizen as of June 17, 2024.

Application and Vetting Process

USCIS will evaluate each parole-in-place request on its merits, considering factors such as immigration history, criminal background, and results of security checks. Strong measures will be in place to prevent fraud and ensure the integrity of the program.

A Federal Register notice will soon outline the specific steps for application. Applicants will need to file a form with USCIS, provide supporting documentation, and pay a fee. It is important to note that any requests submitted before the official application period begins later this summer will be rejected.


This new DHS process represents a significant step towards providing stability and security for noncitizen spouses of U.S. citizens who have long been contributing members of their communities. By offering a pathway to permanent residency, DHS is recognizing the importance of family unity and the contributions of long-term residents to the fabric of American society. Keep an eye out for further announcements and detailed instructions on how to apply once the application period opens.

For more information, stay tuned for updates in the Federal Register and the official USCIS website.

Contact Information

If you or your family members have any questions about how immigration and nationality laws in the United States may affect you, or if you want to access additional information about immigration and nationality laws in the United States or Canada, please do not hesitate to contact the immigration and nationality lawyers at NPZ Law Group. You can reach us by emailing or by calling us at 201-670-0006 extension 104. We also invite you to visit our website at for more information.