SC 23-026

Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Area Port of New Orleans, by issuance of this Southern Currents, hereby provides guidance on the parole of crewmen.

Section 212(d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended, provides CBP with the discretion to parole into the United States temporarily under such condition as the service may prescribe only on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.  Whether to grant a parole request is a matter of agency discretion.

All parole requests, including Lightering Paroles, should be submitted in writing 72 hours in advance, not to include weekends and holidays. Emergency Medical Paroles will be the exception.

All parole requests should be on company letterhead and include the name, date of birth, passport number, and nationality of the individual. The request should include the reason for the parole, relevant dates, and safeguarding information, if applicable.  A copy of the bio-page and visa (if visa is valid), and I-95 Landing Permit should also be included with the letter.

CBP at the Louis Armstrong International Airport should be notified by phone at (504) 303-7663 or group email

The established fee for a request for authorization for parole of an alien into the United States is $65.00 each.

Paroles can generally be requested for the following circumstances:


In addition to general requirements, include the medical reason for the request, length of treatment, at what facility the individual will be treated and housed during the treatment, and a copy of Guarantee of Payment (Form I-510).

Repatriation of crew

Repatriation of vessel crew is accomplished via a valid travel document and D Visa (crew visa), presentation of CBP Form I-408 (application to pay off or discharge a crew member), an I-95, and evidence of definite departure arrangements.  The lack of or failing to obtain a valid crew visa is generally not a reason for which a parole will be granted.  If there is an urgent humanitarian/emergency need to repatriate a crewmember who is not in possession of the required documents, in addition to general requirements, include the specific reason along with a copy of the flight itinerary for the individual and guard service.  Before carriers plan their crew changes, they should ensure that all crew meet CBP repatriation requirements.


In addition to general requirements, include details on the nature and location of the business/training, where the individual will be housed at, and flight details.

Crewmembers Onboard Lightering Vessels

In addition to the general requirements, the following applies to crewmen onboard lightering vessels that, for technical reasons, do not qualify for the traditional nonimmigrant crew (D) classification.  The Area Port of New Orleans will inspect these applicants and if found eligible, parole crewmen for the amount of time deemed appropriate.  These crewmen will be required to depart foreign prior to the expiration of their paroles.

Paroles for lightering crewmen may be completed onboard the vessel as part of the initial crew inspection, per port policy, and on a case-by-case basis.

Lightering paroles will not normally be granted to a crewman that has already been inspected as an arriving crewman and has been granted permission to land.

Lightering paroles will not be granted to any crewman who is not in possession of a valid C1/D visa.

A fee of $65.00 U.S., payable at the time of application, will be charged for each crewman requesting a lightering parole.

Any crewman who arrives onboard a vessel, and is granted shore leave, should depart foreign as defined in the INA for immigration purposes, prior to the expiration of the 29-day authorized period to land. Failure to comply with terms of the authorized period may result in the alien crewman being served with an I-99, Revocation of Landing Permit.

Travelers in transit to join a commercial vessel, whose crewmen are currently approved for parole to conduct lightering operations, should request to be paroled at the time of application [to include at the airport of arrival] for admission. The decision to grant the parole is solely in the discretion of the approving port of entry.

A crewman in C-1 status will not be eligible for parole upon arrival at the vessel and will be detained onboard until departure foreign.

The conditions for lightering paroles are as follows.:

  1. The agent/master of the vessel must submit, a minimum of 72 hours prior to arrival from foreign, not to include weekends and holidays, a written request for paroles to CBP.  The letter must state that the vessel will be engaged in lightering operations and must include an agreement to immediately repatriate any crewmember whose contract has been terminated or cancelled.   In addition, the agent/master of the vessel must notify CBP immediately upon the departure of any crewman in parole status;
  2. Provide a valid contract, or official orders, showing that the vessel is to be used in lightering operations, including the companies or parties of the contract/orders and the contract term/duration;
  3. Each crewman must have a valid unexpired D (crewman) visa. Crewmen not in possession of a valid D visa will be detained on board the vessel and will be required to depart foreign with that vessel;
  4. Provide an updated original CBP Form I-418 Passenger List – Crew List;
  5. The agent/master must submit a copy of each crewman’s passport biographical and visa page, with the following biographics in American standard text.:
    1. Height
    2. Weight
    3. Hair Color
    4. Eye Color
    5. Marital Status
  6. The agent/master of the vessel must submit upon the request of CBP, an update of each vessel conducting lightering operations for which crewmen have been granted parole.

If you have any additional questions, please contact Chief CBP Officer Kevin Alombro at

(504) 670-2050 or at