In the mid-1990s Bill Gates said, “If your business is not on the Internet, then your business will be out of business.”
This quote from the co-founder of Microsoft rings true almost 30 years later, but the U.S. government is still not fully caught up to having its business online.
In another step towards modernizing its systems, USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) and DHS (Department of Homeland Security) have announced an updated procedure for the Cuban and Haitian family reunification parole processes.
As of August 11, 2023, the steps to take for those processes will be almost exclusively online, with the exception of the completion of a panel physician exam overseas and the in-person parole determination made upon arrival by air at an interior U.S. Port of Entry. Online filing is very helpful in U.S. immigration matters. It enables the petitioner to track the status of the petition, keeps all documents of the petition in one location, and enables the petitioner to receive information faster.
Another big change that stated - eligible beneficiaries are no longer required to be physically present in Cuba or Haiti - but they still must be outside of the United States to qualify. The family reunification process for Cuba and Haiti remains available on an invitation-only basis.
The family reunification parole process started in 2007 for Cuba, and in 2014 for Haiti. Under the process, certain family members of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents who have an approved family-based petition (Form I-130) may be able to wait for an immigrant visa in the United States with their family member on a temporary parole status. Unless there are grounds for termination of parole, the family member could in theory apply for re-parole to stay in the United States until their immigrant visa is available.
Check out this blog we wrote with details about the full process, but as a reminder, you have to receive an invitation from the State Department in order to file the request for your family member (Form I-134A). They will be sent through the mail to eligible Form I-130 petitioners, so be on the lookout and make sure your address is updated with USCIS. You should do a Form AR-11 online for free to change your address if you have moved since filing for your family member.
If you have a family member in Haiti or Cuba and want assistance with the family reunification process 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.