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DHS Establishes Humanitarian Family Reunification Permit Process for Ecuador

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services published a notice in the Federal Register on November 15 that implements a new humanitarian family reunification permit (FRP) for Ecuador. This is part of the efforts promoted by the Biden-Harris Administration to expand legal avenues and strengthen law enforcement to reduce irregular immigration. FRP processes promote family unity and are part of global measures announced in April to promote safe and orderly migration pathways, consistent with the objectives of the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection. 

The new FRP process is only available by invitation to certain nationals of Ecuador and allows an eligible beneficiary to be considered for temporary permission to remain in the United States on a case-by-case basis while waiting for their family-based immigrant visa to become available. The process aims to reunify families more quickly and offer an alternative to dangerous irregular migration.

Some Ecuadorian nationals who are beneficiaries of an approved Form I-130, Petition for Foreign Relative, may be eligible to be considered for temporary stay permit under the new FRP processes. Qualified beneficiaries must be outside the United States, meet all requirements, including screening and background requirements and medical requirements, and must not have already received an immigrant visa.

The process begins when the Department of State issues an invitation to certain U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident petitioners of the United States who have an approved Form I-130 on behalf of an Ecuadorian beneficiary. Beneficiaries awaiting an immigrant visa could include certain children and siblings of U.S. citizens and certain spouses and children of permanent residents. The invited petitioner may then submit an application to become a support person for the beneficiary and eligible family members who may then be considered for Advance Travel Authorization and Temporary Remain Permit.

DHS will begin using Form I-134A, Online Petition to Become a Supporting Person and Declaration of Financial Support, for this process on November 17, 2023.

As with all requests for temporary stay permits, under this FRP process for Ecuador, such permit will be authorized only on a discretionary, case-by-case basis and on a temporary basis after determining that there are urgent humanitarian reasons or a significant public benefit to authorize the temporary stay permit and that the beneficiary deserves a favorable exercise of discretion. Noncitizens granted temporary parole to the United States under this process will generally be considered for temporary parole for up to three years and will be eligible to apply for employment authorization while waiting for their immigrant visa to become available. . When their immigrant visa is available, they can apply to become legal permanent residents.

Section 212(d)(5)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act grants the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the discretion to grant temporary permission to applicants for admission to the United States, if applicable. case, for urgent humanitarian reasons or for significant public benefit. Previous secretaries of different administrations have similarly exercised parole authority to establish other humanitarian parole processes for family reunification administered by USCIS, including the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program in 2007 and the Humanitarian Parole Program. of Haitian Family Reunification in 2014. DHS announced new FRP processes for Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras in July and modernized FRP processes for Cuba and Haiti in August.

La Federal Register notice explains the application process and eligibility criteria.

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