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DHS Begins Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program
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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that it has begun the Cuban Family Reunification Parole (CFRP) Program. Under this program, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services(USCIS) is offering beneficiaries of approved family-based immigrant visa petitions an opportunity to come to the United States rather than remain in Cuba to apply for lawful permanent resident status. The purpose of the program is to expedite family reunification through safe, legal, and orderly channels of migration to the United States and to discourage dangerous and irregular maritime migration.

The United States endeavors to provide a minimum of 20,000 travel documents annually to aspiring Cuban emigrants. In so doing, the United States offers a safe, legal, and orderly means of coming to the United States. To date, the majority of travel documents issued under the Migration Accords falls into one of three programs:
  • Family-based immigrant visas;

  • Refugee resettlement;

  • Parole under the Special Cuban Migration Program, also referred to as the Cuban Lottery.
The CFRP Program will supplement these existing programs and provide another avenue for the United States to meet the commitment of issuing 20,000 travel documents under the Migration Accords.

About Cuban Family Reunification Parole (CFRP) Program:

Under the CFRP Program, USCIS may exercise its discretionary parole authority to permit certain eligible Cuban nationals to come to the United States to rejoin their family members. See INA § 212(d)(5)(A), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(d)(5)(A) (permitting parole of an alien into the United States “for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit”); see also 8 CFR § 212.5(c) & (d) (discretionary authority for granting parole). Whether to parole a particular Cuban national is a case-by-case, discretionary determination.

Eligibility:

Cuban nationals who reside in Cuba and who are the beneficiaries (including any accompanying or following to join spouse and children (see INA § 203(d), 8 U.S.C. § 1153(d)) of a properly filed Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, that has been approved, but for which an immigrant visa is not yet immediately available, are eligible.

Participation in the CFRP Program is not available to aliens who qualify as “immediate relatives” under section 201(b)(2)(A)(i) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. § 1151(b)(2)(A)(i). Parole is not needed for these aliens, because they may seek visas for travel to the United States immediately upon the approval of an I-130 Petition.

How do I file for my Family Member in Cuba?

Under the CFRP Program, USCIS or the Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC) will mail a written notice to U.S.-based United States Citizen and Lawful Permanent Resident petitioners whose Forms I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, have been approved, informing them of their beneficiary’s eligibility to participate in the CFRP Program and the procedures for requesting parole. However, participation in the CFRP is voluntary. If USCIS exercises its discretion to grant parole, it will issue the necessary U.S. travel documents to the beneficiary in Cuba. These travel documents will enable the beneficiary to travel safely to the United States to rejoin his or her family members.


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