The FRP program allows eligible Cuban and Haitian nationals to seek parole into the United States for the purpose of reuniting with their family members while they wait for their immigrant visas to become available to apply for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence.
Happy Veterans Day! On behalf of our law office, we would like to thank the servicemen and women who have dedicated their lives to protect our country. We are grateful to you for the sacrifices you have made and your service.
We close off the week with a recent update from the U.S. Department of State regarding immigrant visa processing in Havana, Cuba.
According to a new announcement made yesterday, the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, will fully resume immigrant visa processing beginning January 4, 2023.
This will include processing of immigrant petitions for immediate relatives, other family preference categories, diversity visas, and K fiancé(e) visas.
For its part, the U.S. Embassy in Georgetown, Guyana, will continue processing of Cuban immigrant visa applications for those individuals who were scheduled to attend in-person interviews there through the end of December of this year.
Immigrant visa applicants whose appointments were originally scheduled in Georgetown will complete case processing in Georgetown.
Sadly, case transfers from Georgetown to U.S. Embassy, Havana are not available for applicants who have already been scheduled to attend interviews in Georgetown.
We kick off the start of a brand-new week with very good news for Cuban nationals.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that it will be resuming operations under the Cuban Family Reunification Parole program also known as CFRP starting with pending CFRP applications.
CFRP processing was suspended due to the significant decrease in U.S. government personnel at the U.S. Embassy Havana in 2017 and the closure of the USCIS field office in Havana in 2018.
What is the Cuban Family Reunification Parole?
Cuban Family Reunification Parole is a program that was created in 2007 to allow certain eligible U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) to apply for parole for their family members in Cuba. If granted parole, family members can come to the United States without waiting for their immigrant visas to become available. Once in the United States, CFRP Program beneficiaries may apply for work authorization while they wait to apply for lawful permanent resident status.
Who is eligible?
You may be eligible to apply for parole for your relatives in Cuba under the CFRP program if:
- You are either a U.S. citizen or LPR;
- You have an approved Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for a Cuban family member;
- An immigrant visa is not yet available for your relative; and
- You received an invitation from the Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC) to participate in the CFRP Program.
To be eligible, the principal beneficiary must:
- Be a Cuban national living in Cuba; and
- Have a petitioner who has been invited to participate in the CFRP Program.
You cannot apply for CFRP until you are invited to do so by the National Visa Center. Additionally, you cannot self-petition for the program.
Are you a Cuban national with a pending immigrant visa application? If so, we have some great news for you.
The Department of State today announced that the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba will now be responsible for scheduling all immediate relative immigrant visa appointments, including those of spouses and children under 21 of U.S. citizens (IR/CR-1 and IR/CR-2), with interviews beginning in July 2022.
Previously, the Department of State announced that Havana would be scheduling interviews for applicants in the IR-5 category (parent of a U.S. Citizen) that began their processing there in May 2022. While the government is working to expand services to reduce the ongoing backlogs, the U.S. Embassy in Georgetown, Guyana will continue to remain the primary processing location for all other Cuban immigrant visa applicants (IR/CR-1, IR/CR-2 and IR-5).
Documentarily Qualified Notifications on or after June 8th – U.S. Embassy Havana
IR/CR-1 and IR/CR-2 applicants who were notified on or after June 8, 2022 that their case is ready to be processed will have their interview scheduled at the U.S. Embassy Havana, not the U.S. Embassy in Georgetown, beginning in July.
Documentarily Qualified Notifications before June 8th – U.S. Embassy Georgetown
IR/CR-1 and IR/CR-2 applicants who were notified prior to June 8, 2022 that their case was ready to be processed will be interviewed at the U.S. Embassy Georgetown, also beginning in July.
The Department of State has said that neither the U.S. Embassy in Havana nor the U.S. Embassy in Georgetown will be able to assist with requests to transfer cases due to resource constraints.
The government will continue to evaluate, further expansion of visa processing in Havana depending on resources and country conditions.
Additionally, the U.S. Embassy in Havana will continue to offer services for American Citizens and limited emergency nonimmigrant visa processing. For further information please review the embassy’s website for updates at https://cu.usembassy.gov/consular-services-available-at-u-s-embassy-havana/.
In this blog post, we share with you new immigration updates including major steps being taken by the Biden administration to support the people of Cuba, and the recent suspension of the NVC public inquiry telephone line.
Biden Administration Measures to Support the Cuban People
The Biden administration has taken new measures to provide relief to the people of Cuba as they face a humanitarian crisis. Among the major announcements, the government has said that it will be reinstating the Cuban Family Reunification Parole (CFRP) program to promote family reunification and increase capacity for consular services at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba.
On April 7, 2022, the United States Citizenship, and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated its Policy Manual on the interview waiver criteria for family-based conditional permanent residents filing to remove the conditions on permanent residence on Form I-751 Removal of Conditions.
Under the law, those who attained their permanent resident status (green card) based on a marriage that was less than 2 years old at the time of approval, receive a conditional green card, also known as “conditional permanent residency.”
This conditional green card is issued for a 2-year period. Prior to the expiration of the 2-year green card, the applicant must file Form I-751 to remove their conditions on permanent residence within the 90-day window before it expires.
The Immigration and Nationality Act stipulates that a conditional permanent resident must appear for an in-person interview as part of the I-751 Removal of Conditions adjudication process, so that the immigration officer can verify the accuracy of the information included in the petition and determine whether the conditions on permanent residence should be removed.
The Act also carves out discretionary powers that allow USCIS officers to authorize waiver of the in-person interview.
The April 2022 updated Policy Guidance clarifies that USCIS officers may consider waiving an interview, if, generally, the applicant meets all eligibility requirements for removal of conditions, and the record contains sufficient evidence for approval, and there is no indication of fraud, misrepresentation, criminal bars, or such factors that would require an interview.
The Guidance also eliminates automatic referrals in cases where a conditional permanent resident obtained status by way of Consular processing.
The language of the pertinent section indicates the following:
Volume 6: Immigrants, Part I, Family-Based Conditional Permanent Residents, Chapter 3, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence [6 USCIS-PM I.3]
CPRs who file a Form I-751 must appear for an interview at a USCIS field office, unless USCIS waives the interview requirement. USCIS officers may consider waiving the interview in cases where: