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Haiti Liberte: Hebdomadaire Haitien / Haitian weekly news

Edition Electronique

Vol. 8, No. 28
Du  Jan  21  au  Jan 27. 2015

Electronic Edition

Kòrdinasyon Desalin: Conférence de presse


Vol. 8 • No. 18 • Du 12 au 18 novembre 2014


What is the Haitian Family Reunification Parole?
by Dennis Mulligan

Jean Claude Duvalier sera-t-il transféré

Starting in early 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin implementing the Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) program. The purpose of this program is  to expedite family reunification for certain eligible Haitian family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.

HFRP will allow some Haitians living in Haiti to come to the United States before they can actually apply for their green card, if their relatives in the U.S. – either citizens or permanent residents – have petitioned for them to come. If a petition by the relative in the U.S. has been approved but the relative in Haiti has to wait for their visa priority date to become current, they may be eligible to come to the U.S. for up to approximately two years while they wait until they can apply for a green card.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is not yet accepting HFRP program applications, and potential beneficiaries, which number about 112,000, should not take any action at this time. The U.S. government announced that it will provide full program details before the end of 2014.

In early 2015, the National Visa Center (NVC) of the U.S. State Department will begin contacting certain U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents with approved petitions for Haitian family members, providing information about the application process. Under HFRP, Haitians given “parole” will be allowed to enter the U.S. and apply for work permits but will not receive permanent resident status any earlier.

Executive Action on Immigration Reform

 After the recent elections, President Obama again stated that he will announce administrative measures to help some immigrants obtain temporary immigration status in the U.S..  The Administration's announcement is expected before the end of 2014, possibly as early as later this month.

Many reports have indicated that President Obama will announce an expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to include older persons and people who arrived in the U.S. after the original DACA date of June 2007. Many advocates have also asked  the Administration to expand deferred action to adults living in the U.S. who have U.S. citizen children or other "qualifying relatives" and who have lived in the U.S. for some period of time.

Since the eligibility details of the new program are not yet known,  no one should pay money now to begin the application process. However, persons who might be eligible to apply for legal status in the future should always gather and keep documents proving they have lived in the U.S., documents showing their relationship with U.S. citizens and permanent residents, and basic identity documents such as a birth certificate and passport. 

Anyone who has outstanding issues involving criminal charges or criminal issues from the past that can be expunged or vacated should speak to a criminal defense lawyer about getting these issues resolved now.

Any action taken by the Administration would only provide temporary status to eligible persons, not full, permanent legal status. Permanent legal status can only be extended through a new law passed by Congress.

Dennis Mulligan is an immigration attorney based in New York City. He can be reached at dmulliganesq@gmail.com.

Vol. 8 • No. 18 • Du 12 au 18 novembre 2014  

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