When it comes to receiving a green card or visa, those who are family members of people with American citizenship often have their applications expedited. That’s because the U.S. government puts particular emphasis on family reunification. The Department of Homeland Security has just announced that it will put the Haitian Family Reunification Parole program into place.
This program will award eligible Haitians with the opportunity to come to the U.S. two years before the priority dates for their immigrant visas become current. To qualify, an applicant must reside in Haiti and be a beneficiary of an approved, family-based immigrant visa petition. The program is scheduled to go into effect in early 2015, when the Department of State National Visa Center will begin sending out letters to eligible beneficiaries. Only those with a letter of eligibility from the center will be able to apply.
In a press statement, Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas discussed the importance of the Haitian Family Reunification Parole program.
“The rebuilding and development of a safe and economically strong Haiti is a priority for the United States,” Mayorkas stated. “The Haitian Family Reunification Parole program promotes a fundamental underlying goal of our immigration system – family reunification. It also supports broader U.S. goals for Haiti’s reconstruction and development by providing the opportunity for certain eligible Haitians to safely and legally immigrate sooner to the United States.”
Mayorkas went on to explain that it is imperative for those seeking visas through this program not to attempt to enter the country legally. Water-bound journeys to the U.S. are not only life threatening but illegal, and those who are caught will be disqualified from the family reunification program and will be returned to Haiti.