Biden Brings Back the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program
By Patricia Elizee, Esq.,
The previous administration ended the Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) program. President Biden’s administration is bringing it back. This is a program to speed reunification of Haitian families under certain circumstances.
This is just one program helping Haitians immigrate to the United States. It allows immigrants in Haiti waiting to migrate to the United States to be paroled into the United States and shortens the amount of time they need to wait before being able to migrate to the United States. Parole is a legal way to enter the US without a visa. It is a temporary status until you receive a visa or other immigration status.
What Is the Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program?
The HFRP program is for permanent US residents (those with green card) or US citizens to apply for parole for relatives living in Haiti. The HFRP program allows these relatives entry into the United States, even though they do not yet have an immigration visa.
Once in the United States, these relatives can apply for a green card. While waiting for their green card application, they can apply for a discretionary work authorization.
Who’s Eligible for HFRP?
The HFRP program refers to petitioners and beneficiaries. The petitioner is the permanent US resident (green card holder) or US citizen that applies to have their relative paroled into the country. The beneficiary is the Haitian relative the petitioner is trying to gain lawful entry into the US for.
Petitioners must meet the following requirement to use the HFRP program:
· The petitioner must have filed Form I-130 for a Haitian family member and the USCIS must have approved it before December 19, 2014
· The relative can’t already have an immigrant visa
· The petitioner must have received an invitation from the State Department’s National Visa Center (NVC) to take part in the HFRP program
The Invitation Process
The number of invitations sent out is based on the number of visas expected to be available within the next 18–42 months. The resources available to process applications also restrain the number of invitations sent.
To receive an invitation, USCIS must have approved your Form I-130. Even with an approved Form I-130, the NVC doesn’t send invitations when they expect the beneficiaries to receive an immigration visa in less than 18 months. That’s because the immigration visa process will be better for the beneficiary.
If the NVC doesn’t expect an immigration visa to be available for more than 42 months, the applicant will have to wait longer for their invitation. Typically, immigration expects that the immigrant will qualify to apply for the green card within 24 months of the immigrant receiving a HFRP visa.
Who’s Not Eligible for HFRP?
Immediate relatives of the petitioner are not eligible for the HFRP program. So, what’s an immediate relative? It’s any of:
· Spouses of US citizens;
· Unmarried children under 21 years of age of US citizens and
· Parents of US citizens over 21 years of age.
For example, a child over 21 may be eligible for the HFRP program. An unmarried child under 21 has better options. They can immediately seek an immigration visa as soon as their USCIS approves their Form I-130.
Others who are not eligible for the HFRP program include:
· Beneficiaries that do not attend their in-person interview while in Haiti;
· Beneficiaries of a Form I-130 approved after December 18, 2014; and
· Beneficiaries whose petitioning relatives haven’t received their invitation from the NVC.
The Application Process
For those who are eligible for the HFRP program, the petitioner needs to fill out Form I-131 for each family member. It’s often a good idea to consult with an immigration lawyer when preparing these forms.
After completing the form, you need to write “HFRP” at the top of the Form I-131. You’ll need to include:
· Two passport-style photos of each eligible beneficiary
· Include a copy of your Form I-797 showing your I-130 approval or a copy from your Case Status Online that shows approval
· Include the applicable fee or a Form I-912 requesting a fee waiver
· A Form I-134 for each eligible beneficiary declaring financial support for each family member
· A copy of the NVC invitation letter
Deadline for Applying
Your deadline for applying will be on your invitation from the NVC. As a general rule, the deadline is six months from the date on the invitation letter.
The NVC will provide you with appointment information for each beneficiary for their interviews by US officials in Haiti. It’s often a good idea to discuss these interviews with an American immigration lawyer before the beneficiaries appear for the interview. The beneficiaries must bring the following items to their appointment:
· Haitian government-issued identification
· Their unexpired passport
· The original documents supporting their eligibility for the program with certified English translations
· A copy of the interview appointment notice
This article only hits the high points involved in the HFRP program. The USCIS website provides much more detailed information. It’s highly advisable for petitioners to consult with an American immigration lawyer before deciding to pursue the HFRP program. There may be much better options available to immigrate to the US.
Elizee Law Firm, 1110 Brickell Avenue, Suite 315, Miami, Florida 33131. Ph: 305-371-8846. firstname.lastname@example.org