On April 27, 2023, the Department of State (State) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced an expansion of the family reunification parole program, which allows eligible individuals to temporarily enter the United States to reunite with family members who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.
This new program will allow Guatemalans, Hondurans, Salvadoreans and Colombians to benefit from an approved form I-130, also know as a family petition, even if their priority date is not yet current. This program will be an expansion of an existing program that is currently being modernized which allows Haitians and Cubans with approved family petitions to receive a temporary parole to enter and reside in the United States.
The family reunification parole program seeks to address this issue by allowing certain family members to enter the United States on a temporary basis while they wait for their visa priority date to become current. This can help to reduce the amount of time that families are separated and improve the well-being of family members who may be facing significant hardships in their home countries.
Details of what will be required by the program aside from the approved family petition are forthcoming, but current family reunification parole programs require that potential applicants be eligible for an immigrant visa, admissible to the United States, be able to pass the medical examination and backgrounds check and be warrant a favorable exercise of discretion.
However, it is important to note that the family reunification parole program is not a permanent solution to the challenges faced by immigrants and their loved ones residing in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Colombia. As we await more details on how the application process will work it is important to make sure you are working with an experienced immigration attorney. Ensuring that your family petition was approved and remains active at the National Visa Center is the most proactive action one can take while the program is rolled out.
If you or a loved one has questions regarding this upcoming program or the family petition process, contact one of our offices for a consultation with one of our experienced immigration attorneys. We offer telephonic, video, and in-person consultations at our offices in Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Fresno, Sacramento, and San Francisco, California; Phoenix, Arizona; Salt Lake City and Orem, Utah; and Boise, Idaho.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Danny Chrisney is the managing lawyer at the Wilner & O’Reilly | Phoenix office. The son of a Guatemalan immigrant, Danny speaks fluent Spanish. Growing up in the Latino community of Southern California Danny saw how our nation’s immigration laws could shape the lives of those around him. Danny received his Juris Doctor degree from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University where he graduated with Highest Pro Bono Distinction. While attending law school Danny worked with USCIS at the Phoenix Field Office. There he received a Certificate of Appreciation for his legal research. He was also able to work as a law clerk for the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, Children’s Division, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing legal services to unaccompanied minors and other refugees. He worked closely with Indigenous Guatemalan children in the areas of Asylum and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.