There are existing ways for immigrants to enter the United States legally. However, some might encounter unfavorable circumstances, forcing families to stay apart for too long. The government acknowledges these struggles and recently responded by expanding lawful ways to reunite families and address irregular migration.
These initiatives include new processes under the family reunification parole (FRP) by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This method allows naturalized immigrants or lawful permanent residents to help their family members enter the United States from qualified countries, including El Salvador, Colombia and Guatemala. The eligible family members could go under a three-year parole before applying as permanent residents.
A lawful U.S. citizen or permanent resident files a Form I-130 for their family member to start the process. They will then wait for approval and an invitation issued by the Department of State.
The petitioner can begin the FRP pathway by requesting the applicant to become a program beneficiary, considering them for parole and advance travel authorization. If they qualify, beneficiaries can request employment authorization while waiting for their immigrant visas. However, they might only participate in the program after passing extensive screenings and requirements.
Approval is not a guarantee
There is no assurance for applicants to qualify for the new FRP process. It could only apply on a case-to-case basis, considering the following factors:
- Humanitarian reasons
- Substantial benefit to the public
- The applicant’s circumstances calling for beneficial discretion
Beneficiaries of this program may apply to become permanent residents once they receive their immigrant visas. Ideally, the process can help families reunite and begin living together in the United States.
Still, the outcome could significantly depend on the applicant’s eligibility and vetting results. In these instances, it might be best to seek legal advice to determine possible pathways based on the circumstances.