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News On the Family Reunification Program for Cubans

Jul 30 , 2023

The Cuban Family Reunification Permit Program has been in place since 2007. This is a legal migration option apart from the humanitarian parole program for family reunification which since January 2023 benefits Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans. The CFRP enables U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents to reunite with their family members in the United States without having to seek an immigrant visa.

U.S. consular services in Havana resumed in August 2022 after 4 years of interruption due to what is known as Havana Syndrome. At that time, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) restored communication with some applicants by mailing interview guidance. Due to a large backlog of cases, the process has slowed down and many families are waiting to be reunited.

Following a communiqué issued in April 2023 by the U.S. Government, the Beneficiaries of this program who are awaiting news on their case were optimistic about what was defined by the authorities as a “modernization of the family reunification process for Cuba and Haiti”.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, in a joint press conference with Secretary of State Antony Blinken on April 27, 2023, announced the streamlining of the parole process for family reunification for Cuban and Haitian families.

News about the family reunification program

The Washington Embassy in Cuba made clear on its Twitter account that individuals with outstanding applications should keep their mailing address updated with USCIS.

On June 7, 2023, Uscis reported on its website about the update of the family reunification program.

For example, under these processes, in-person interviews in Cuba and Haiti will no longer be required for all beneficiaries. We will continue to determine identity and eligibility on an individual, case-by-case basis and conduct a security investigation..”

Please note that for the family reunification program:

  • There is no fee to apply for consideration of your case
  • They will begin sending out new invitations for humanitarian family reunification permits starting in June 2023.
  • These explanations are addressed to the future beneficiaries of the program.
  • Uscis will make “public announcements when invitations are issued”.

CFRP eligibility requirements:

An approved Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, must be filed. This document provides evidence of the proven family relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary.

Also, in order to qualify, it is necessary to have a requested immigrant visa not yet available and to have been invited to participate in the program by the National Visa Center (NVC).

Which family preference categories will benefit from the CFRP?

  • unmarried or married children 21 years of age or older of a U.S. citizen, along with their spouse and minor children
  • siblings of a U.S. citizen, including spouses and minor children
  • spouses, minor children and unmarried children of permanent residents

It remains unknown what will happen to the backlog of cases due to the program shutdown between 2017 and 2022.

For the moment one must wait for the public information announced by USCIS, in order to know more details about the procedures in each case and the outcome of the most long-standing cases.

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