The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be implementing a new program that will allow relatives of U.S. citizens and permanent residents (Green Card holders) currently in Haiti to come to the United States up to two years prior to their priority dates.
The program—entitled the Hatian Family Reunification Parole Program—is similar to the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program in that it encourages “safe, legal and orderly migration” for the family of Hatian immigrants to the United States.
This program does not automatically grant status to Hatian nationals, and is only available to family members who already have approved Petitions for Alien Relatives (Form I-130).
The USCIS has not yet fully formed the program and potential recipients will receive notice from the USCIS in 2015. Inquiries, requests and applications may not be acceptable to send to the USCIS at this time.
The United States immigration system is different than the immigration systems of many other countries like it in that it values family reunification over other such qualifications, such as economic benefit. The Hatian Reunification Parole Program follows in this tradition of keeping families together and not letting such relationships suffer because of borders.
Recipients of parole will be allowed into the United States and granted work permits (Employment Authorization Documents), but they will not be able to receive permanent residency until their visa priority date becomes current.
The visa priority date is effectively an immigrant’s “place in line” for a Green Card. In much the same way as at a supermarket or a butcher’s one must wait until their number is called before they can get a Green Card.
When one’s priority number becomes current (their number is called) they can then apply for an adjustment of status which will grant them a Green Card.