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Biden Administrations Begins Family Reunification for Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras

Posted by Hugo R. Valverde, Managing Attorney, and Anna D. Colby, Attorney Social Media Marketing Manager | Jul 21, 2023 | 0 Comments

Photo by Dim Hou on Unsplash

It's the dream of many people who have immigrated to the United States to be able to bring their family members here. But for so many that dream takes decades and decades to become a reality. 

In May the Biden Administration announced a new initiative to reunite families from four different Latin American countries - a Family Reunification Parole Process - that would enable certain family members of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who have an approved family-based petition (Form I-130) to wait for an immigrant visa in the United States with their family member on a temporary parole status. 

This current announcement is only for beneficiaries who are nationals of Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, but the process is already in place for family members from Haiti and Cuba

This July the Department of Homeland Security announced that the family reunification program has now begun, meaning U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have an approved I-130 form for an immediate relative may be issued an invitation by the State Department to initiate the parole process by filing a request on behalf of the beneficiary and eligible family members to be considered for advance travel authorization and parole.

How Soon Can I Apply for My Family Member to Come Here?

  • You have to receive an invitation from the State Department in order to file the request for your family member (Form I-134A), and invitations have not been sent out yet. They will be sent through the mail to eligible Form I-130 petitioners, so be on the lookout. USCIS stated that if you file an I-134A application for your relative without first receiving the State Dpt invitation, it will not be confirmed. 
  • If USCIS confirms the sufficiency of a petitioner's Form I-134A, the Department of Homeland Security will complete security vetting on each beneficiary and will consider each beneficiary for advance travel authorization on a case-by-case basis. 

How Long Can My Family Member Stay in the United States?

  • If granted, parole will be given for a three year period in the U.S., with the hope that while your family member is here an immigrant visa will become available and they can apply to adjust status to a permanent resident. 

Will My Family Member be Able to Work Once They Get Here?

  • Not immediately. Upon arriving in the U.S. your family member will be able to apply for a work permit (Form I-765), and only after it is approved can they begin working here. Work authorization documents are currently taking an average of 5-9 months to be approved. 

If you have questions about applying for family reunification parole or another type of immigration petition please reach out to us at (757) 422-8472, or send us a message on our website. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys by clicking on this link.

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