By Kristina Karpinski
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced the Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program for certain Haitian beneficiaries of approved family-based immigrant petitions. Under this program, eligible Haitians will be paroled into the United States up to two years before their priority dates become current, and will be allowed to remain in the U.S. until their immigrant visas are available. According to DHS, the program will be implemented in early 2015 and is intended to accelerate the ability of Haitians to safely and legally enter the U.S. to reunify with family.
Under the program qualified petitioners of approved I-130 relative petitions will receive an invitation from the National Visa Center (NVC) to apply for parole for their family members in Haiti. The program targets only those preference category cases where the priority date is expected to be current within approximately two years. Only petitioners who receive written notification from NVC may submit a parole request. Decisions on the parole requests are discretionary and will be made on a case-by-case basis. The beneficiaries in Haiti will need to undergo medical examinations and security background checks before parole is granted. If parole is granted, beneficiaries will be issued a travel document to come to the United States. Once in the U.S., the parolees can immediately apply for an employment authorization document, and once their priority dates become current they can apply to adjust status to permanent residence.
DHS anticipates that approximately 5,000 Haitians will qualify to pursue parole during the first year and expects it will be a multi-year program. USCIS plans to provide more information on the program, including processing details, by the end of this year. CLINIC will provide more information on implementation once it becomes available.