DHS Modernizes Cuban and Haitian Family Reunification Parole Processes

Posted by Ann Badmus | Aug 10, 2023 | 0 Comments

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today published Federal Register notices that will update and modernize the Cuban and Haitian family reunification parole (FRP) processes, reflecting extensive feedback from stakeholders on these important programs. With the modernization of these processes, petitioners will be able to complete most of the FRP process on a secure online platform, eliminating the burden of travel, time, and paperwork and increasing access to participation. The process is still available on an invitation-only basis.

The Cuban family reunification parole (CFRP) and Haitian family reunification parole (HFRP) processes promote family unity, and updates were first previewed as part of the comprehensive measures announced in April by DHS and the Department of State, consistent with our commitment under the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection.

"Lawful pathways, combined with strong enforcement, are effective at reducing irregular migration to the United States and preventing migrants from putting their lives in the hands of smugglers,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “This modernization of the family reunification parole processes improves our ability to maintain the integrity of our vetting and screening standards, responds to important feedback from stakeholders in both the Cuban and Haitian communities, and ensures meaningful access – consistent with our values – for potential beneficiaries.”

Effective August 11, 2023, most steps of the updated processes will be completed online, with the exception of the completion of a panel physician exam overseas and the in-person parole determination made upon arrival by air at an interior U.S. Port of Entry. Eligible beneficiaries must be outside the United States and are no longer required to be physically present in Cuba or Haiti.

DHS made these updates by leveraging technological advancements developed since CFRP's inception in 2007 and HFRP's inception in 2014. These advancements will improve process efficiencies. DHS will continue to verify an individual's identity and eligibility on a case-by-case basis and to conduct robust and multilayered security vetting.

Both processes begin with the Department of State's National Visa Center issuing an invitation to the petitioning U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family member whose Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, filed on behalf of a Cuban or Haitian beneficiary, has been approved. The petitioner can then initiate the FRP process by filing Form I-134A, Online Request to be a Supporter and Declaration of Financial Support, on behalf of the principal beneficiary and any derivative beneficiary spouse and children to be considered for advance travel authorization and parole.

USCIS will send a letter to CFRP petitioners who have a pending Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, filed for a principal beneficiary who is waiting for an interview in Havana. Additionally, DHS is making the HFRP process more accessible by opening the process to all Haitian approved principal beneficiaries, regardless of when USCIS approved the Form I-130 (previously, eligibility was limited to those approvals issued on or before December 18, 2014).

DHS is committed to ensuring that the CFRP and HFRP processes reunite families and provide a safe and orderly process that enables certain Cuban and Haitian nationals and their derivative spouse and children to enter the United States without making the dangerous journey to the Southwest Border or through maritime routes. These efforts are consistent with the U.S. national interest and its foreign policy priorities, including initiatives intended to expand access to and streamline lawful pathways to discourage irregular migration.

The Federal Register notices for Cuba and Haiti provide detailed information on the application process and eligibility criteria.

This article is provided as an educational service and is not legal advice. Consult with an attorney for your specific circumstances.  For a comprehensive evaluation of your immigration situation and options, you are invited to call us at 214-494-8033, text us using our chat box, or complete our contact form.

About the Author

Ann Badmus

Principal and Managing Attorney

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