This month United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released new information regarding the coming family parole process for people from Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (and the modernization of existing family reunification parole for nationals of Cuba and Haiti).
USCIS indicates that more information will be announced in mid-June 2023. While the agency says that more details will be announced in June, we do know that the process will only be available for those who are beneficiaries of an approved I-130 petition. For those who are able to participate in the new program, the U.S. government will provide advance travel authorization to allow the individuals to enter the United States while they await their immigrant visa. If this process is widely available to beneficiaries of all categories of approved I-130 petitions from these countries, it will drastically cut down the wait times for entry to the U.S. For example, in the “F4 category” for siblings of adult U.S. citizens, the June 2023 Visa Bulletin provides that the government is currently processing immigrant visas for people with priority dates prior to April 8, 2007:
Under current law and agency policy, it may take decades for a visa petition for a sibling to lead to the actual entry to the United States. But for nationals of Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, under this coming policy, it may be that they can enter the United States soon after the I-130 petition is approved and wait for their priority dates to become current from within the United States, cutting many years or even decades from their wait times for entry. This policy could also benefit adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens (category F1), spouses and minor children of permanent residents (F2A), unmarried adult children of permanent residents (F2B), and married children of U.S. citizens (F4).
Again, only those with approved I-130 petitions will have the chance to benefit from this new policy. Because of this, it may be advantageous to file an I-130 petition now to get it processing, even before the new policy takes effect.
To be clear, the information we have on this new program is very limited and there is no way to take advantage of the process yet. Those interested should be wary of any attorney or other individual promising that they can already take advantage of this program or that they know exactly how the program will work. However, the information we do have indicates that this might be a program which allows family members from the selected countries to enter the U.S. many years sooner than under current policies. Individuals from these countries should keep themselves informed. If you have questions about your individual circumstances, schedule a consultation and we would be happy to evaluate how this might impact you or your loved ones.
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