What’s New in Immigration: DHS Announces Family Reunification Parole Program for Immigrant Beneficiaries from Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras


This past week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the implementation of a new Family Reunification Parole (FRP) program for foreign nationals of Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, that falls in line with previous governmental policies aimed at reducing unlawful migration.

The program will benefit nationals of such countries whose family members are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents and have received approval to join their family in the United States.

Nationals of these countries can be considered for parole on a case-by-case basis for a period of up to three years while they wait to apply to become a lawful permanent resident. This means that those who are eligible for parole will have the opportunity to lawfully reside inside of the United States while applying for lawful permanent residence for a period of up to three years.

The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas, said that “These new processes promote family unity and provide lawful pathways consistent with our laws and our values,” and will allow for the expansion of safe, orderly, and lawful pathways to reduce “dangerous, irregular migration to the United States.”

How will the Parole program work in practice?

Certain nationals of Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras who are beneficiaries of an approved Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative may be eligible to be considered for parole under the new Family Reunification Parole program.

Qualifying beneficiaries must be outside the United States, meet all requirements, including screening and vetting and medical requirements, and must not have already received an immigrant visa.

The parole procedure begins with an invitation issued by the Department of State to the petitioning U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family member whose Form I-130 has been approved on behalf of a Colombian, Salvadoran, Guatemalan, or Honduran beneficiary.

The invited petitioner can then initiate the Family Reunification Parole process by filing a request on behalf of the beneficiary and eligible family members to be considered for advance travel authorization and parole into the United States.

Who will the Parole program benefit?

The Family Reunification Parole (FRP) program may benefit beneficiaries awaiting an immigrant visa including certain children and siblings of U.S. citizens and certain spouses and children of permanent residents.

Discretionary Authority

USCIS has made clear that parole will be granted only on a discretionary, case-by-case, and temporary basis. Petitioners must demonstrate urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit and show that the beneficiary warrants a favorable exercise of discretion.

Parole Period and Employment Authorization

Individuals paroled into the United States under these processes will generally be considered for parole for up to three years and will be eligible to request employment authorization while they wait for their immigrant visa to become available. When their immigrant visa becomes available, they may apply to become a lawful permanent resident.


The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security, in his discretion, to parole noncitizens into the United States temporarily on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. The parole authority has long been used to establish FRP processes administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, including the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program, established in 2007, and the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program, established in 2014.

For more information about the Family Reunification Parole (FRP) please click here.

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