HOUSTON: On Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it is updating and modernizing the family reunification parole (FRP) procedures for Cubans and Haitians. While the process will remain invitation-only, petitioners will now have increased access to participate and be able to complete the FRP process via a secure online platform.

“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.”

Beginning August 11, 2023, the updated processes allow for most steps to be conducted online except for completing an overseas physician exam and in-person parole determinations upon arrival by air at an interior U.S. port of entry. To be eligible, beneficiaries must be outside of the United States but are no longer required to be present in Cuba or Haiti. 

According to DHS, the updates will improve deficiencies in the Cuban Family Reunification Parole (CFRP) process and the Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) process. In order to maintain and conduct a “robust and multilayered security vetting” procedure, DHS says it will continue to verify an individual’s identity and eligibility on a case-by-case basis.

The process for Cubans and Haitians begins when an invitation is issued by the Department of State’s (State) National Visa Center to a petitioning U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident’s Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) has been approved. The petitioner can then initiate the FRP process by filing an Online Request to be a Supporter and Declaration of Financial Support Form (I-134A) on behalf of any beneficiary to be considered for advance travel authorization and parole.

“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,” the announcement says. “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 more detailed information about the application process and eligibility criteria.

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Arturo Dominguez

Arturo is an anti-racist political nerd. He is an upcoming author, journalist, advocate for social justice, and a married father of three. He is a top writer on Medium and a regular contributor to several news media outlets. He writes educational and informative material about systemic racism, white supremacy, and racial injustice.

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