Practice Pointer: Parole Programs Available to Cubans Throughout the Years
The Cuban Family Reunification Parole (CFRP) Program allows for a U.S.-based petitioner to file for parole for a family member in Cuba if the petitioner has an approved I-130 petition for that family member, there is no visa number available, and the petitioner has received an invitation from the Department of State’s National Visa Center to participate in the program. The principal beneficiary must be a Cuban national living in Cuba. Once the individual enters the United States on parole and remains physically present for one year, he or she can apply for adjustment of status pursuant to the Cuban Adjustment Act. To qualify for Cuban adjustment as a principal applicant, one must be a native or citizen of Cuba; have been inspected, admitted or paroled; be physically present in the United States for at least one year; and be admissible.
In May 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the resumption of the CFRP program, which had been paused for several years due to the lack of U.S. embassy personnel in Havana. In August 2022, USCIS began mailing CFRP program interview notices to petitioners with instructions for the beneficiary interview. In the same month, the agency began conducting interviews at the U.S. Embassy Havana. Capacity has remained limited and USCIS has not yet issued new invitation letters. However, in April 2023, DHS indicated that it would be “modernizing” its CFRP program, and in June of 2023, USCIS posted an FAQ describing what updates applicants could expect to see. 1 The updated program appears to continue to limit applicants to those who have been invited to participate, but is moving towards a simplified online I-134A application process, and eliminating the need for interviews at Havana or any other consular post. Practitioners should continue to consult the USCIS website for the most up-to-date information.