On November 21, 2007, the Department of Homeland Security announced a new program, the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program (CFRP), which offers Cuban nationals who are beneficiaries of approved family-based immigrant visa petitions, for which no visa is currently available, an opportunity to come to the United States rather than remain in Cuba to apply for lawful permanent resident status.
Cuban nationals who reside in Cuba and have qualifying family members in the United States are eligible for parole into the United States through the CFRP.
- The purpose of the CFRP is to expedite family reunification through safe, legal, and orderly channels of migration to the United States and to discourage dangerous and irregular maritime migration. The CFRP is one way the United States endeavors to process a minimum of 20,000 travel documents per fiscal year for Cubans.
However, the qualifying relatives in the United States must first submit a family-based immigrant visa petition and then request parole on behalf of their qualified Cuban national family members.
- The process for obtaining parole under the CFRP begins when relatives who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of their Cuban national family members who are in the permitted categories with the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the USCIS approves the Form I-130, but an immigrant visa is not yet immediately available, then the Cuban national can apply for parole under the CFRP.
- The Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC) will mail a written notice to the U.S.-based family members who filed the Form I-130 informing them of their beneficiary’s eligibility to participate in the CFRP program and the procedures for requesting parole. The letter from NVC provides a list of documents that need to be submitted in order to apply for parole.However, participation in the program is voluntary and parole is not necessarily guaranteed in every case. Whether or not the beneficiary decides to apply for CFRP, their petition for an immigrant visa remains active and would only be terminated if parole is granted.
- The beneficiary is interviewed at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana. If the parole is approved, the appropriate travel documents are issued by the Interests Section and the beneficiary can travel safely to the United States to rejoin his or her family members.
- For more information on the CFRP program: please visit the USCIS website: www.uscis.gov, or call the USCIS National Customer Service Center at (800) 375-5283.