IMMVI: How to Prove “Urgent Humanitarian Reason” or “Significant Public Benefit”


IMMVI is a “Military Immigration Option.” If you are trying to figure out what the following two items could possibly mean, you likely have seen the IMMVI Requirements on a Government Website:

  • Urgent Humanitarian Reason
  • Significant Public Benefit

Well, the two items are actually a “term of art,” items that have a specific meaning in immigration law, but an even more specific meaning in regards to a Military Immigration Option.

Starting Point (making sure we all start with a basic understanding):

First and foremost, immigration can be broken into many different parts, many different agencies, and many different documents. IMMVI is 100% military-based, it is not civilian. IMMVI is available for:

  1. Current Service Members
  2. Veterans
  3. Current Service Member’s spouse or child
  4. Veteran’s spouse or child

IMMVI does NOT create a visa. IMMVI creates a “parole document” that is a “visa-equivalent.”

IMMVI is AUTOMATICALLY expedited. So, you don’t have to submit an expedited request like civilian filings.

Where do the Terms Come From:

USCIS provides the following guidance:,Relative%20in%20the%20United%20States&text=In%20some%20cases%2C%20urgent%20humanitarian,relative%20in%20the%20United%20States.

However, as an Immigration Attorney, the guidance is a little broad and it doesn’t fully state the “Best” way to prove Urgent Humanitarian or Significant Public Benefit.

To visualize, the guidance explains the forest view and explains a couple of trees. IMMVI Filings are BEST when the proof explains:

  1. the tree’s variety
  2. the tree’s age
  3. the tree’s position in the world
  4. environmental benefits
  5. environmental risks
  6. companion plants and woodland creatures
  7. etc.

In short, the proof NEEDS to be specific and not rely solely on “buzzwords.” (Not saying “buzzwords” are bad. Actually, lets break down the buzzwords below.)

Buzzword: Urgent Humanitarian Reason

Urgent humanitarian reason is broken into two parts: (1) Urgent/Urgency, and (2) Humanitarian.

Urgency is usually broken into (1) things are outside of your control and you need help now and (2) things are inside of your control and help now is the better of two evils. You would “lose” an urgency argument if the “better of two evils” states that you should wait abroad.

Humanitarian can arise from the fact that someone is outside the United States and they are particularly vulnerable because of:

  • Age;
  • Gender;
  • Disability/Pregnancy; or
  • Living circumstances.

Buzzword: Significant Public Benefit

Significant Public Benefit is also broken into two parts: (1) Public Benefit and (2) Significant.

In terms of IMMVI, the Public Benefits is another way of saying the US Government Benefits. Significant means there is an “Importance” that can be articulated and proven. There has to be a reason, and a good reason, for the Government to care.


BUZZWORDS are not bad. They are recommended to help explain and organize thoughts, BUT they MUST be supported by documentation and evidence. Saying the words is not enough to “prove” they exist or they qualify for an approval of IMMVI.

(Meat and Potatoes) What are examples of Urgent Humanitarian Reasons:

For IMMVI, an urgent humanitarian reason can be:

  • Wife’s pregnancy is experiencing complications that local medical care abroad cannot treat or cannot treat well or that is economically infeasible. Pregnancies are on a timeline and a child’s development is time-sensitive. [note: merely being pregnant is not urgent or humanitarian]
    • Medical Bills
    • Support letter from the Medical Professional
    • Pregnancy Test
    • Medical History
  • Spouse’s welfare and safety is at risk
    • Police Report
    • Court / Legal Document
    • Photos of damage or injury
    • Proof of future threats against welfare and safety
    • Support Letter providing an explanation
  • Medical Issues
    • Medical Bills
    • Support letter from the Medical Professional
    • Medical History
    • Photo of Injury or Disability
  • Local Crime and Public Safety Concerns
    • Police Report
    • DOS Safety Reports summarizing a country’s or region’s risks
    • Newspaper articles
    • Public Announcements
  • Legal or financial issues within the US require immediate arrival to the US
    • Police or Court Records
    • Foreclosure Notice
    • Demand Letters from Creditors
    • Employment Termination Notice from a US Employer

(Meat and Potatoes) What are examples of Significant Public Benefits:

For IMMVI, a Significant Public Benefit can be:

  • Security Clearance Maintenance/Improvement
  • Deployability
  • Mental Health of a Disabled Veteran
  • Physical Health of a Disabled Veteran
  • Psychological Harm (especially to someone with PTSD)
  • Family Unity (Sure, we want families to be together, but that is not significant by itself)

Proof can come in the form of support letters from a Command, a Security Officer, a Doctor, the VA, and a Psychologist.

Fickey Martinez Law Firm is an Immigration Law Firm located near many Military Bases in North Carolina and has many years of experience with a “Similar” Military Immigration Option called “Military Parole in Place” (aka PIP). The Standards of PIP are similar to IMMVI, except PIP has been around for about a decade and is for people who are in the US, whereas IMMVI is new/young and is for people who are NOT in the US.

If you have any concerns, you may contact our office, Fickey Martinez Law Firm, P.L.L.C., to schedule a Consultation.


Related blog posts:

Understanding Adjustment of Status Movements Around the Nation: Raleigh-Durham Processing

Local USCIS Doctor in Eastern North Carolina: Our Recommendation

Joint Bona Fide Documents: How to Start meeting the USCIS I-130 Evidence Requirement for a Marriage

DEERS Office and the need for Apostille / Legalized Foreign Documents

Foreign Document Translation: Our Recommendation

Virtual Utah Marriage: Alternative to a Proxy Marriage for Immigration Purposes




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Joint Bona Fide Documents: How to Start meeting the USCIS I-130 Evidence Requirement for a Marriage