New Family Reunification Pathway for Honduras, Colombia, Guatemala, and El Salvador

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) just announced the implementation of a new Family Reunification Parole (FRP) process for Honduras, Colombia, Guatemala, and El Salvador. The FRP process is for nationals of any of the four aforementioned countries whose family members are either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, with the goal of seeking to promote family unity.  Likewise, the purpose of FRP is to expand legal, safe, and orderly pathways to reduce dangerous and/or irregular migration into the United States.

There are FIVE important facts to know about the new FRP process:

  1. Certain nationals of the four delineated countries who are beneficiaries of an approved Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative may be eligible to be considered for parole under the new processes on a case-by-case basis.
  2. Qualifying beneficiaries MUST be outside the United States.
  3. The qualifying beneficiary must meet all requirements, including screening and vetting and medical requirements, and must not have already received an immigrant visa.
  4. Individuals paroled into the United States under the FRP will generally be considered for parole for up to three years and will be eligible to request employment authorization while they wait for their immigrant visa to become available.
  5. Once the FRP recipient’s immigrant visa becomes available, they may apply to become a lawful permanent resident.

Immigration Lawyer Edward Shulman engaged in an “Ask the Expert” telephonic interview this morning about the new FRP process.  Attorney Shuman began by stating that he applauds the Biden Administration for their humanitarian approach to expanding the Family Reunification Parole program to nationals from these four countries. In particular, he highlighted how, through this program, intending immigrants residing in their home countries may more expediently reunite with their U.S. citizen and/or legal resident family members, reducing the need for the oft-times desperate and unlawful entry into the United States.  Notably, he explained that the new processes allow for parole only on a discretionary and temporary basis upon a demonstration of urgent humanitarian needs and/or the demonstration that the beneficiary warrants a favorable exercise of discretion. Furthermore, Mr. Shulman felt it important to note that the expertise of an immigration lawyer will be critically important in these cases due to the subjective and facultative nature of FRP processes.  He cited the particular example of how, if it can be proven that the applicant’s entry into the United States creates a public benefit in some way, this would aid with eligibility.