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Changes to the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program Are Announced

Maria del Carmen Ramos

Maria del Carmen Ramos

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced changes to the Cuban Family Reunification Parole (CFRP) Program. Currently, no form or fee is required for the CFRP Program.  This will no longer be the case. As of February 17, 2015, USCIS will begin requiring the filing of an Application for Travel Document (Form I-131) and payment of its associated fee (or approval of a fee waiver request) from individuals applying on behalf of a beneficiary in Cuba for the CFRP Program.

Under the CFRP Program, USCIS offers certain beneficiaries of approved family-based immigrant petitions the opportunity to come to the United States to apply for lawful permanent resident status, rather than remain in Cuba for their immigrant visas to become available. Pursuant to USCIS’s announcement, “[t]he purpose of the program is to expedite family reunification through safe, legal, and orderly channels of migration to the United States and to discourage irregular and inherently dangerous maritime migration.”

This will affect only those individuals who receive a written invitation to apply to the CFRP Program from the Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC). Essentially, on or after February 17, 2015, those individuals that NVC contacts with approved petitions for Cuban family members regarding their eligibility for the CFRP Program will be required to comply with the changes discussed herein. Only individuals who receive a written notification regarding their eligibility for the CFRP Program from the NVC will be eligible to apply.  Additionally, the NVC will provide eligible applicants instructions on how to apply in its invitation.

This change in policy will not affect existing CFRP Program beneficiaries or individuals who received a notice of program eligibility from the NVC predating this announcement and who submitted to the NVC the complete documentation required to apply for the program prior to February 17, 2015. Those cases will be “grandfathered” and will continue to be processed without form or fee.

For more information, please contact Maria del Carmen Ramos at 813.227.2252 or mramos@slk-law.com.

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