Family Reunification Parole Program for Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador

One of the most rewarding aspects of immigration law is the ability to reunite family members whenever possible. In April, 2023 the Department of Homeland Security along with the Department of State announced the implementation of a new family reunification program for Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. This family parole program will help individuals from the designated countries join their families on U.S. soil while they wait for their immigrant visa to become available. 

The Family Reunification Program

The family reunification program (FRP) has long been used to reunite families in the U.S.. In 2007 the program was used for the Cuban community (the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program) and in 2014 for the Haitian community (the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program). 

Now in 2023, the program is being used to reunite nationals of Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras who have an approved Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative with their family in the U.S. 

To qualify for the program the beneficiaries must be outside the United States, meet all requirements, including screening and vetting and medical requirements, and must not have already received an immigrant visa. 

How to Take Advantage of the Program

The family reunification parole program is available by invitation only. Which means that an invitation will be sent by immigration to the petitioner who filed the form I-130, Petition for Alien relative, on behalf of the principal beneficiary who is a national of Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras, and their immediate family members. The process will allow an eligible beneficiary to be considered for parole into the United States only on a case-by-case basis while they wait for their green card to become available.

It is important to note that immigration has made it very clear that a Petitioner must receive an invitation prior to submitting Form I-134A. Immigration has stated that if a Petitioner submits Form I-134A without an invitation, this will result in non-confirmation of the submission and the family reunification process will not move forward for the beneficiary listed in the Form I-134A.

Filing Forms and Awaiting Approval

If a Petitioner receives an invitation to participate in the family reunification parole program, the Petitioners can then file Form I-134A, Online Request to be a Supporter and Declaration of Financial Support, for the principal and derivative beneficiaries. Once USCIS establishes that the Form I-134A is sufficient, the Department of Homeland Security will then complete the security vetting process for each beneficiary and authorize travel to the U.S. on a case by case basis. 

Once travel is authorized, the beneficiary will be able to travel to the U.S. to seek a discretionary grant of parole. If the beneficiary is granted parole, they will be able to enter the United States to wait for their immigrant visa to become available and then apply for their green card, if they are eligible. The beneficiaries will generally be paroled into the United States for up to three years and are eligible to apply for employment authorization.

As with all immigration matters, working with an immigration attorney that is experienced and passionate about family reunification can significantly improve the chances of a positive outcome. Although the USCIS attempts to make it easier for supporters and their beneficiaries to file on their own, there is no review process that ensures the information is completed accurately and the appropriate forms have been submitted. Filing important immigration documents with errors or missing information can put your case on hold for weeks, months, or even years. In situations like these, time is of the essence, and you want your family members to have the best opportunity to reunite with you in the U.S.

In the event that your family members do not get selected for this parole program, that doesn’t mean that there are no other avenues. Our legal team will provide you with the guidance and resources you need to ensure that your documents are complete to avoid unnecessary delays. Families deserve the opportunity to work towards building a brighter future together. To schedule a consultation and discuss your options, reach out to the office of Rotella & Hernandez by calling (305) 596-3618 today.

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