On August 18, Uscis (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) started conducting interviews at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, while noting the limited number of interviews they can perform so far. Uscis explained in a statement that they have already started sending e-mail interview notices to the applicants, including instructions for the interview.
The Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program in the United States (CFRP)was actually halted in 2017, which meant that migration agreements between the two countries were reversed immensely.
Such a program is extremely important, since it ensures that the U.S. is helping to reunite multiple families.
For years, Cuban families have been split up and this program is a much-needed step towards their reunification, especially given the migration routes that many in the U.S. have chosen to take during thenew exodus.
According to U.S. Coast Guard reports, 5,006 Cubans have been stopped in the last months of this year attempting to reach U.S. shores, while in 2021 and 2020 only 838 and 49 Cubans were intercepted during the whole financial year, respectively.
Uscis pointed out in the statement that the beneficiaries should not take any steps to be prepared for the interview until they receive a notification. If the applicant has a pending CFRP application, he/she should make sure that both Uscis and the Department of State’s National Visa Center have the applicant’s most up-to-date mailing address.
The U.S. Embassyin Cuba has begun processing pending applications for the Parole Program.
As a result, however, the Uscis is clearly not currently issuing new invitations and a new round will be announced on the Uscis website for those who had not applied before the 2017 standstill.
This program, started in 2007 by the former President George W. Bush, was a legal mechanism allowing certain qualified U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents to apply for an entry permit to bring their family members from Cuba. If the entry permit is granted, these family members are allowed to enter the U.S. without waiting for their immigrant visapriority dates of entry. Once in the United States, CFRP beneficiaries may apply for work authorization while they wait to become legal permanent residents. Parole was halted by the Donald Trump administration in 2017.
Under the current administration of Joe Biden, the embassy in Havana resumed in May 2022 visa applications for migrants after a four-year halt. In addition, the president lifted the $1,000 quarterly limit on remittances and also he authorized group travel to Cuba to make contacts with the Cuban people, commonly known as “people to people travel”.
As highlighted on the U.S. Government website, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are not eligible for CFRP, as they can immediately apply for immigrant visas after their Form I-130 is approved. The immediate family members are: spouses of U.S. citizens, unmarried children under 21 years of age of U.S. citizens, and parents of U.S. citizens over 21 years of age.
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