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FAQs: Family Reunification Parole

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions About Family Reunification Parole

Table of Contents

General Questions

Questions about Form I-134A

Supporter Questions

Beneficiary Questions

Processing Time Questions

Contacting USCIS About FRP

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING FRP

How will USCIS decide who is invited to request to enter the United States under the family reunification parole processes?
This decision will be based on multiple discretionary factors, including the number of requests that can be efficiently processed and the amount of time a beneficiary may need to wait before an immigrant visa becomes available to them. Invitations will be sent on a rolling basis.

Who is eligible for consideration for parole under the family reunification parole processes?
The family reunification parole processes are available by invitation only to certain petitioners whose Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, filed on behalf of principal beneficiaries who are nationals of Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras, have been approved.  Invitations will identify the principal beneficiary and their immediate family members. This process allows U.S. citizen and lawful permanent resident petitioners to initiate a process for their eligible beneficiaries to be paroled into the United States while they wait for their family-based immigrant visas to become available. For more information, see the Eligibility section of www.uscis.gov/frp.

How long is the period of parole under the family reunification parole processes?
Individuals granted parole under these processes will generally be paroled into the United States for a period of up to three years, subject to applicable medical and vetting requirements.

QUESTIONS RELATING TO SUPPORTERS AND FILING FORM I-134A

How are invitations being issued?
The Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC) will email the invitation to petitioners at the email address of record for the approved Form I-130. If there is no email address of record, the NVC will mail the invitation to the petitioner’s mailing address of record. Please make sure the NVC has your current contact information and mailing address. To update your contact information or address, contact the NVC through their Public Inquiry Form. 
 
Invitations will be issued on a rolling basis, based on U.S. government operational capacity, the expected period of time until the principal beneficiary’s immigrant visa becomes available, and consistency to ensure process integrity. If you have not yet received an invitation, you may receive an invitation in the future. 

How can attorneys fill out Form I-134A for their clients who would like to request to be a supporter and initiate an FRP process on behalf of a beneficiary?
There is no option at this time for an attorney or accredited representative to use an online representative account to file Form I-134A on behalf of a petitioner or submit travel authorization information on behalf of a beneficiary after confirmation of a Form I-134A.

I am an attorney assisting a supporter with Form I-134A. If the petitioner fills out the preparer declaration on the form, can I get information about the petitioner or beneficiary?
No. The preparer declaration simply reflects that you helped an individual complete the declaration (form filling). If you are an attorney or accredited representative, you must submit a Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative, to USCIS if you wish to receive information about your client’s (petitioner’s) Form I-134A. We do not currently allow representatives to complete Form I-134A online on behalf of a petitioner using a representative account. However, a representative who has submitted a valid Form G-28 to USCIS separately through a representative account may inquire about their client(s)/supporter(s) case by contacting the USCIS Contact Center.

Can I submit Form I-134A by paper?
No. Form I-134A may only be filed online through your USCIS online account.

Can I submit Form I-134A on behalf of my family member if I live outside the United States?
No. The family reunification parole processes are available by invitation only to petitioners whose Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, filed on behalf of principal beneficiaries who are nationals of either Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras, have been approved. The invitation will list the principal beneficiary and their immediate family members. At this time, invitations will not be sent to petitioners with addresses outside the United States.

Is there a cost to file Form I-134A?
No. There is no fee to file Form I-134A. Neither you nor the beneficiary is required to pay the U.S. Government a fee to file the Form I-134A, be considered for travel authorization, or parole. Beware of any scams or potential exploitation by anyone who asks for money associated with participation in this process.

I want to submit Form I-134A on behalf of a family of 4. Can I file one Form I-134A for the entire family?
No. You must file a separate Form I-134A for each beneficiary, including minor children.

Can I agree to support more than one beneficiary?
Yes. If you received an invitation, you may submit a separate Form I-134A for the principal beneficiary and a separate Form I-134A for each derivative beneficiary. There is no limit on how many beneficiaries you may agree to support, but we will determine whether you have the financial ability to support all beneficiaries you have agreed to support for the duration of their parole period, which is up to three years. Each Form I-134A must be submitted using the petitioner’s same USCIS online account. It is also permissible to have co-supporters join you to support all the beneficiaries. Please see Q17.

What if a derivative beneficiary was not included on the approved Form I-130? Can I submit a Form I-134A on their behalf as a derivative beneficiary?
If a principal beneficiary married or had a child after we approved the underlying Form I-130, you may also file Form I-134A to request to be a supporter and initiate the FRP process for the principal beneficiary’s spouse or child under age 21 (often referred to as add-on derivatives). Certain circumstances may affect eligibility.

The invitation you receive instructing that you may file Form I-134A will not list the add-on derivatives because they were not listed on the underlying Form I-130 you filed and USCIS approved. However, you may still file Form I-134A requesting to be a supporter and initiate the FRP process for the add-on derivatives of the principal beneficiary. As with a derivative who was listed on the Form I-130, you must submit evidence, such as a birth certificate or marriage certificate, as part of the Form I-134A to verify the family relationship between the principal beneficiary and the add-on derivative beneficiary you are requesting to support. The Form I-134A instructs you on how you should upload this evidence. The evidence for both derivative and add-on derivative beneficiaries is uploaded the same way.

Is there a specific income requirement for Form I-134A under the family reunification parole processes?
No. Each potential supporter’s circumstances are unique, and we review financial information provided by them on Form I-134A about all assets and resources. We use the Federal Poverty Guidelines, as outlined by the Department of Health and Human Services, as a general guide in determining the supporter’s ability to support the beneficiary for the duration of the beneficiary’s anticipated period of parole. When we use the Federal Poverty Guidelines, we consider a supporter’s household size to include the beneficiary listed on the supporter’s Form I-134A, even if they do not intend to live with the supporter.

What type of financial proof must I provide? Do I need to provide my tax filings, proof of employment, and bank statement, or can I submit only one of these documents?
Petitioners should determine what financial information they have about their assets that will help USCIS determine their financial suitability. Some examples of financial evidence may include your federal income tax filing; bank statements; Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, from your employer; pay stubs or pay statements from the past few months; and any proof of income coming into your household.

Will the named beneficiary on my Form I-134A be able to see my financial information, including the evidence that I provide?
No. Beneficiaries do not have access to their petitioner’s financial information submitted to USCIS as proof of income and assets.

Does USCIS consider the beneficiary’s income and financial resources in determining whether their Form I-134A is sufficient?
No. When we are determining whether a Form I-134A is sufficient, we do not consider information about the beneficiary’s income or financial resources.

Can I use a co-supporter if I cannot establish that I can financially support the beneficiary?
Yes. If you cannot establish that you can financially support the beneficiary, you may use co-supporters, who do not need to be a family member. If you are filing Form I-134A with a co-supporter, any co-supporter is subject to the same financial evidentiary requirements as the primary Form I-134A filer and should submit financial evidence such as bank statements, a letter from an employer, and income tax returns. A co-supporter will not file their own Form I-134A, but they do have to demonstrate their ability to support the beneficiary for the duration of the parole period. In this case, the petitioner will file a Form I-134A and include supplementary evidence demonstrating the identity of, and resources to be provided by, the co-supporter and attach a statement explaining the intent to share responsibility to support the beneficiary.

QUESTIONS RELATED TO BENEFICIARIES

If I am already in the United States, can I be a beneficiary under these processes?
No. To be eligible under a family reunification parole process, you must be outside the United States. The Form I-134A should record your current physical address outside of the United States.

Can I be a beneficiary under these processes if I am residing outside my country of citizenship (Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras)?
Yes. While you are not eligible for consideration for parole under this process if you are in the United States, you do not have to be residing in your country of citizenship to be considered for parole under these family reunification parole processes.

Can I be a beneficiary under these processes if I am dual national of a country for which DHS does not have an FRP process?
Yes. A principal beneficiary who is a dual national may be considered for parole under these processes as long as one country of which they are a national is Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras. Immediate family members of the principal beneficiary may be considered for parole under these processes even if they are not a national of Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras, as long as the principal beneficiary is a national of one of those four countries.

Does each family member need their own individual USCIS online account, including children under the age of 18?
No, a separate online account is not necessary for a beneficiary to receive authorization to travel to the United States under the parole processes. Principal beneficiaries can add travel group members to their USCIS online account, including their spouses and children under the age of 18, as long as each beneficiary has a confirmed Form I-134A. For example, after we confirm a Form I-134A for a child and a separate Form I-134A for that child’s parent, the parent, as the principal beneficiary, can add the child to their own travel group through the USCIS online account. The principal beneficiary will review and confirm biographic information and complete attestations for travel group members, including the principal beneficiary’s spouse and child(ren). However, once the principal beneficiary completes and submits the attestations to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for all travel group members, including the principal beneficiary, the principal beneficiary cannot add any other travel group members unless the travel group members are under the age of 18 years old.

My passport is expired. Do I need to request an extension, or will my expired passport be accepted?
You must have a valid, unexpired passport. Certified extensions of passport validity serve to meet this requirement. If your government has extended the validity of your passport, the passport expiration date should be the expiration date of the extension. CBP will not authorize travel if your passport or extension has expired.

Can children travel under the passport of their parents?
No. Minor children traveling with their parent must have their own passport and may not be included on a parent’s passport.

Can children under the age of 18 years old be paroled into the United States without their parent or legal guardian under these processes?
No. Children who are under the age of 18 will only be considered for parole under this process if they are traveling to the United States with and in the care and custody of their parent or legal guardian. Parents or legal guardians traveling with a child under the age of 18 should be prepared to provide documentation of their relationship to the child upon arrival to the United States. Evidence of a parental relationship may include a birth certificate for the child that lists the parent’s name and identity documents for the parent or legal guardian. If this documentation is not available, for the protection and welfare of the child, U.S. law may require that the child be placed in the custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Generally, evidence of legal guardianship requires that a legal or administrative process involving the courts or other recognized government entity take place. A power of attorney, written statement, and/or notarized statement is not a formally recognized arrangement and will not be considered sufficient proof of legal guardianship.

If I am a beneficiary, do I have to live with my petitioner after I am paroled into the United States?
No. You are not required to live with the petitioner who submitted the Form I-134A. However, the petitioner is responsible for providing the types of support beneficiaries may need in addition to financial support for the duration of their parole period, including safe and appropriate housing, health care, transportation, obtaining initial basic necessities, assistance with submitting forms such as the employment authorization application, learning English, securing employment, and enrolling children in school.

I (the beneficiary) received an error code in the CBP One mobile app that says, “Record cannot be found: Check your date of birth, passport and A-Number in your myUSCIS account to ensure they are correct.” What do I do?
To address the error and check that your attestations have been properly submitted, you must:

  • Log into your USCIS online account and check that your attestations were submitted to CBP. You should see an alert that says: “Your information and attestations were successfully submitted to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).”
  • Next, select “View your biographic information” and ensure your date of birth is in the mm/dd/yyyy format and that your passport number is correct.

If you need to correct your passport information or date of birth, or if all your information appears correct and you are still unable to proceed, you should use your USCIS account to:

  • Upload a copy of your valid, unexpired passport as Unsolicited Evidence in your Notices tab; and
  • Send USCIS a message from your inbox. In the message, you must identify the information that is incorrect or indicate that your information appears correct, but you are unable to proceed in the CBP One mobile app.

QUESTIONS ABOUT PROCESSING TIMES

How long will it take between the time a petitioner submits Form I-134A and when a beneficiary is granted travel authorization?
Processing times will vary. USCIS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are committed to reviewing and processing cases as thoroughly and expeditiously as possible.

During the process, several steps must be completed and will depend on action taken by petitioners and beneficiaries. In the initial part of the process, we will review and provide responses to the petitioner’s Form I-134A as quickly as possible. Once we confirm the Form I-134A, we will contact the beneficiary via email with instructions for creating a USCIS online account and completing the attestation process and required medical examination by a Panel Physician. In the online account, beneficiaries review their biographic information and complete the necessary attestations for themselves and their children under the age of 18 and submit the information to CBP.

The beneficiary will then receive instructions to download the CBP One mobile app where they will submit biographic information and a live photo. Once the photo has been submitted, CBP will vet the individual to determine whether to issue the beneficiary an advance travel authorization to the United States to seek parole. CBP may then send the advance travel authorization determination to USCIS to be posted to the beneficiary’s USCIS online account. If CBP issues advance authorization to travel, the beneficiaries are responsible for arranging and funding their own travel to the United States. If issued, advance travel authorization is generally valid for 90 days, and will post to the beneficiary’s USCIS online account.

The status of an advance travel authorization may change at any time as a result of the vetting process. Individuals should monitor their USCIS online account frequently for messages and notices from USCIS, and for the most current travel authorization status.

If processing my Form I-134A is taking longer than expected, what can I do?
You can monitor the status of your Form I-134A in your USCIS online account or check your most recent status in Case Status Online. Please note that the USCIS Contact Center cannot provide any additional information on the status of your case.

NOTE: Petitioners cannot submit a duplicate Form I-134A for the same beneficiary. We will not accept a duplicate Form I-134A when a Form I-134A filed by the petitioner on behalf of the same beneficiary is already pending.

QUESTIONS ABOUT CONTACTING USCIS AFTER SUBMISSION

If I need to submit an inquiry on my case, how can I contact USCIS?
The best way to contact us depends on the type of inquiry.

  • Technical Assistance with Online Account Access or a Password Reset – If you have an issue with account access or need a password reset, use our online need help form.
  • Case Status Inquiries – You can monitor the status of your Form I-134A in your USCIS online account or check your most recent status in Case Status Online. Please note that the USCIS Contact Center cannot provide any additional information on the status of your case.

USCIS will only accept a case status inquiry if the Form I-134A filed on your behalf has been pending more than 6 months. This includes inquiries submitted through the secure mailbox in your USCIS online account. Please note this is a default time frame for inquiring, and you should not necessarily expect a decision on your Form I-134A in that time frame.

 How can I withdraw a pending Form I-134A if I no longer wish to pursue family reunification parole for my family member?
If the Form I-134A is still pending, you (the petitioner) should log in to your USCIS online account, go to the Notices tab, and use the Unsolicited Evidence feature to upload a letter you have signed by hand (not electronically). The letter must clearly explain that you would like to withdraw the Form I-134A. You must keep the original signed letter in case we ask for it later. You will not receive a response to your letter from USCIS. However, USCIS will review the withdrawal request when we select the Form I-134A for review.

USCIS has confirmed my Form I-134A, but my beneficiary has not yet been contacted. What should I do?
If your beneficiary has not received the emailed notices, you should review the Form I-134A and check whether you provided the correct email address for your beneficiary. If the email address is correct, the beneficiary should check their spam and junk mail folders. If a beneficiary still cannot find the notice, they should call the USCIS Contact Center. The number for those outside the United States is +1-212-620-3418. Alternatively, you can send USCIS a secure message through your USCIS online account and, after we complete the verification process, we can email the Account Notice to the beneficiary’s email that we have on file.

If the email address is incorrect, log in to your USCIS online account, go to the Notices tab, and use the Unsolicited Evidence feature to upload a letter you have signed by hand (not electronically). The letter should:

  • Explain that the email address for the beneficiary you entered on Form I-134A was incorrect; and
  • Request that USCIS update the beneficiary’s email address and send the USCIS Account Notice to the beneficiary’s correct email address.

Your letter should list both the original, incorrect email address provided on the Form I-134A and the updated, correct email address for the beneficiary. You must also keep the original signed letter in case we ask for it later.

How can I correct information on a Form I-134A that was submitted but is still pending?
If the Form I-134A is still pending, you (the petitioner) should log in to your USCIS online account, go to the Notices tab, and use the Unsolicited Evidence feature to upload a letter you have signed by hand (not electronically). The letter should:

  • Explain what information is incorrect;
  • List both the incorrect information provided on the Form I-134A and the correct information; and
  • Request that USCIS update the incorrect information.

You also must keep the original signed letter in case we ask for it later. You will not receive a response to your letter from USCIS. However, USCIS will review the correction request and letter when we review your Form I-134A to determine whether it is sufficient and can be confirmed. The record will not reflect the correction until the case is confirmed.

 How can I correct information on a Form I-134A that has been confirmed?

If the beneficiary…Then…
Has not submitted their attestationsThe beneficiary can edit certain fields when they complete their biographic attestations. Fields that are editable are:NameDate of Birth
If the passport information is incorrect, the petitioner should log into their USCIS online account to upload a copy of a valid, unexpired passport as Unsolicited Evidence in the Notices tab and send a message from the secure mailbox.The petitioner should select “case already filed online” as the subject of the message and “correcting my biographical information” as the issue. The petitioner must also acknowledge that the evidence has already been uploaded.The Contact Center will respond by email that the issue has been resolved.
If the country of nationality is incorrect, the petitioner should log in to their USCIS online account to upload evidence of the correct country as Unsolicited Evidence in the Notices tab and send a message from the secure mailbox.The petitioner should select “case already filed online” as the subject of the message and “other” as the issue. The petitioner must also acknowledge that the evidence has already been uploaded.The Contact Center will respond by email that the issue has been resolved.

Has submitted their attestations, but the advance travel authorization has not been issued
The petitioner or beneficiary should log into their USCIS online account and use the Unsolicited Evidence feature and, if name, date of birth, or passport information is incorrect, upload a copy of the beneficiary’s passport.The petitioner or beneficiary should then send a secure message from their USCIS online account. The supporter/beneficiary should select “case already filed online” as the subject of the message and “correcting my biographical information” as the issue. The supporter/beneficiary must also acknowledge that the evidence has already been uploaded.
Has been issued the advance travel authorization noticeCorrections cannot be made. The petitioner may file a new I-134A, Online request to be a Supporter and Declaration of Financial Support, on behalf of the beneficiary.

I (the beneficiary) received an error code in the CBP One mobile app that says, “Record cannot be found: Check your date of birth, passport and A-Number in your myUSCIS account to ensure they are correct.” What do I do?
To address the error and check that your attestations have been properly submitted, you must:

  • Log into your USCIS online account and check that your attestations were submitted to CBP. You should see an alert that says: “Your information and attestations were successfully submitted to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).”
  • Next, select “View your biographic information” and ensure your date of birth is in the mm/dd/yyyy format and that your passport number is correct.

If you need to correct your passport information or date of birth, or if all your information appears correct and you are still unable to proceed, you should use your USCIS account to:

  • Upload a copy of your valid, unexpired passport as Unsolicited Evidence in your Notices tab; and
  • Send USCIS a message from your inbox. In the message, you must identify the information that is incorrect or indicate that your information appears correct, but you are unable to proceed in the CBP One mobile app.


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