DHS Revamps Cuban and Haitian Family Reunification Processes (FRP)

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has taken a significant leap to embrace digital transformation in FRP for Cuban and Haitian family members.

Why This Matters: For countless families separated by borders, the dream has always been reunification. The FRP processes for Cuban and Haitian families have served as a bridge to that dream. However, with changing times and evolving technology, there was an evident need to update and streamline these processes.

The Digital Shift: From August 11, 2023, the majority of the FRP process will transition online. This may be a game-changer. It means less paperwork, reduced travel, and a swifter process overall.

Initiation of the Process: Here’s how it works:

  • The journey begins with the Department of State’s National Visa Center sending an invitation to the petitioning U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family member. This is specifically for those whose Form I-130, a Petition for Alien Relative, has received approval for a Cuban or Haitian beneficiary.
  • Once the invitation is received, the petitioner can spring into action by filling out the Form I-134A. This form, titled “Online Request to be a Supporter and Declaration of Financial Support,” is essential for the principal beneficiary and any derivative beneficiary spouse and children who are hoping to gain advanced travel authorization and parole.

Geographical Flexibility: Earlier, beneficiaries had to be physically present in either Cuba or Haiti. Now, they can be anywhere outside the U.S., offering greater flexibility and inclusivity.

Family First: The essence of these processes is family unity. These updates, derived from extensive feedback, emphasize the importance of keeping families together. It aligns with the broader vision presented in the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection and the shared commitment between DHS and the Department of State.

A Word from the Top: Alejandro N. Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, highlighted the holistic vision behind this update. In his words, it’s about blending “lawful pathways with strong enforcement” and ensuring the new process aligns with our nation’s values.

Safety Still a Priority: While efficiency is crucial, DHS ensures that the integrity of the vetting process remains uncompromised. Each application will continue to undergo robust security checks.

Looking Ahead: This modernization isn’t just about making things easier; it’s about reflecting the values of a nation that respects the importance of family, the potential of technology, and the necessity of lawful migration.

Here’s the link to the official news release.