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USCIS Introduces Parole Process to Reunite Families from Ecuador

In an effort to expedite family reunifications and provide a safer alternative to irregular migration, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has introduced a new Family Reunification Parole (FRP) process for certain nationals of Ecuador. The initiative, outlined in a Federal Register notice, is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s comprehensive approach to create lawful pathways and enhance enforcement to address irregular migration.

Under this invitation-only FRP process, eligible beneficiaries from Ecuador can be considered for parole on a case-by-case basis while awaiting the availability of their family-based immigrant visas. The process aims to foster family unity and mitigate the risks associated with dangerous migration.

To be eligible, individuals must be beneficiaries of an approved Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and meet specific criteria, including screening, vetting, and medical requirements. The process is initiated when the Department of State invites certain U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, who have an approved Form I-130 for an Ecuadorian principal beneficiary, to begin the FRP process. The petitioner can then file a request to support eligible family members, facilitating their consideration for advance travel authorization and parole.

Starting November 17, 2023, USCIS will utilize Form I-134A, Online Request to be a Supporter and Declaration of Financial Support, for this FRP process. Parole will be granted on a temporary basis and a case-by-case evaluation, based on urgent humanitarian or significant public benefit reasons, with a general parole period of up to three years. Parolees may request employment authorization while awaiting their immigrant visas, and upon visa availability, they can apply for lawful permanent residency.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas holds discretionary authority, as outlined in Section 212(d)(5)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, to parole applicants temporarily into the U.S. for urgent humanitarian or significant public benefit reasons. This FRP process for certain nationals of Ecuador follows previous initiatives for family reunification parole, including those for Cuba, Haiti, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, as part of ongoing efforts to establish lawful and orderly migratory pathways. The Federal Register notice provides detailed information on the application process and eligibility criteria.

Source: USCIS