Monday, July 10, 2023

DHS Announces Family Reunification Parole Processes for Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras

Biden-Harris Administration continues strategy to provide lawful pathways and reduce dangerous irregular migration

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced the implementation of new family reunification parole (FRP) processes for Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, advancing the Biden-Harris Administration's successful combination of expanded lawful pathways and strengthened enforcement to reduce irregular migration. The FRP processes promote family unity and are part of the comprehensive measures announced in April by DHS and the Department of State.

The new processes are for nationals from Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras whose family members are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents and who have received approval to join their family in the United States. Specifically, nationals of these countries can be considered for parole on a case-by-case basis for a period of up to three years while they wait to apply to become a lawful permanent resident.

"These new processes promote family unity and provide lawful pathways consistent with our laws and our values," said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. "The Department has proven that the expansion of safe, orderly, and lawful pathways, combined with strong enforcement, is effective in reducing dangerous, irregular migration to the United States."

Certain nationals of Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras who are beneficiaries of an approved Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative may be eligible to be considered for parole under the new processes. Qualifying 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.

The processes begin with the Department of State issuing an invitation to the petitioning U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family member whose Form I-130 on behalf of a Colombian, Salvadoran, Guatemalan, or Honduran beneficiary has been approved. Beneficiaries awaiting an immigrant visa could include certain children and siblings of U.S. citizens and certain spouses and children of permanent residents. The invited petitioner can then initiate the process by filing a request on behalf of the beneficiary and eligible family members to be considered for advance travel authorization and parole.

The new processes allow for parole only on a discretionary, case-by-case, and temporary basis upon a demonstration of urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit, as well as a demonstration that the beneficiary warrants a favorable exercise of discretion. Individuals paroled into the United States under these processes will generally be considered for parole for up to three years and will be eligible to request employment authorization while they wait for their immigrant visa to become available. When their immigrant visa becomes available, they may apply to become a lawful permanent resident.

The Immigration and Nationality Act authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security, in his discretion, to parole noncitizens into the United States temporarily on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. The parole authority has long been used to establish FRP processes administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, including the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program, which was established in 2007, and the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program, which was established in 2014.

The Federal Register Notices for ColombiaEl SalvadorGuatemala, and Honduras provide more information on the FRP process and eligibility criteria.

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