USCIS is resuming the Cuban Family Reunification Parole (CFRP) Program beginning with already pending CFRP applications. This program started in 2007 and has been on hold for some time. It allows beneficiaries of approved Forms I-130, Petitions for Alien Relative, to come to the United States on parole while waiting for an available visa number. The purpose of the program is to offer safe immigration pathways for those confronting humanitarian crises and alleviate the dangers associated with irregular immigration efforts for family members of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.
Under the CFRP, USCIS sends invitation letters to petitioners who are eligible for the program. Upon receipt of an invitation, parole forms and fees must be submitted. The last step is the scheduling of a consular interview in Havana. Upon arrival in the United States, beneficiaries are eligible to apply for work authorization. When the beneficiary’s immigrant visa becomes available or after one year of physical presence in the U.S., the beneficiary may apply for lawful permanent residence, if otherwise eligible.
At this time, USCIS is not issuing new invitations. The agency, however, has started to mail interview notices to petitioners with pending applications along with instructions for the beneficiary interviews. The Embassy in Havana was closed in 2017 and the USCIS field office in Havana was closed in 2018. Currently, there is limited interview capacity; however, on August 18, 2022, USCIS began conducting interviews.
USCIS is also sending general information about the program to petitioners with pending applications. That information includes points that petitioners and beneficiaries should consider to determine whether they are still eligible for the program and how to proceed. These considerations include:
- Has the beneficiary already applied for adjustment of status?
- If the petitioner has naturalized, can the beneficiaries be considered immediate relatives for adjustment purposes?
- Have any beneficiaries aged out?
- Is immigrant visa processing an alternative?
- Recommended petitioners with pending CFRP applications for family members should ensure that USCIS and National Visa Center (NVC) both have their current address; and
- Warned petitioners and beneficiaries to avoid scams explaining that the government agencies will not email or call to ask for money or payment or fees.
In June 2022, DHS announced that it would resume both the CFRP and the Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program. To date, the Haitian program has not resumed.
Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to advise regarding these family reunification programs.