Family Reunification Parole Process Announced for Ecuador

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Family Reunification Parole Process Announced for Ecuador

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On October 18, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a new family reunification parole process for certain nationals of Ecuador who have relatives in the United States and have already started the process to immigrate to the United States. Ecuador joins a growing list of countries, including Cuba, Haiti, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras,  where the U.S. has established a family reunification parole program.

Under this program, certain children and siblings of U.S. citizens and certain spouses and children of lawful permanent residents who are outside the U.S. and awaiting an immigrant visa may be eligible to seek advance travel authorization and parole into the U.S. while they wait for their immigrant visa to become available.  Potential participants in this family reunification parole program must be beneficiaries of an approved I-130 petition.

The process starts when the National Visa Center, an agency within the U.S. Department of State, issues an invitation to the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family member who has already filed an I-130 petition on behalf of their relative and the petition has been approved. Invitations are generally sent by email, though the NVC will mail an invitation if the petitioning family member does not have an email address on file.

The invitation will direct the petitioner to file Form I-134A, Online Request to be a Supporter and Declaration of Financial Support. There is no fee to file this form and no fees are required by the government to obtain travel authorization or a decision on a beneficiary’s request for parole.

After the petitioning family member submits the I-134A and U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has determined that the sponsor’s income and financial resources are sufficient, USCIS and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) will email the beneficiary with instructions on next steps. Beneficiaries must create an online account, obtain a medical examination, provide basic biographic information, and a photo before CBP issues a decision on the parole request.

If granted, beneficiaries will receive authorization to travel to the U.S. and a period of parole up to 3 years. Upon entry to the U.S. beneficiaries will be able to apply for a work permit.

At present, there is no mechanism for the petitioning family member or beneficiaries of approved I-130 petitions to request an invitation from the Department of State to participate in this program. USCIS has created a tool to confirm whether an invitation has been issued.  To check on whether the Department of State has issued an invitation, individuals should enter their I-130 receipt number here.

If you have any questions on whether you or your family members may be eligible for the family reunification parole process, or are looking for guidance in the process, please reach out to our office!

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