The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced a significant step in its strategy to provide legal immigration pathways and reduce irregular migration. They have introduced a new process for a humanitarian family reunification permit for certain Ecuadorian nationals. This announcement is part of the effective strategy of the Biden-Harris Administration to combine the expansion of legal immigration avenues with strengthening law enforcement to reduce dangerous migration.
What is the New Process?
The new process is designed for certain Ecuadorian nationals whose relatives are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents and have received approval to reunite with their loved ones in the United States.
Specifically, Ecuadorian nationals and their immediate family members can be considered on a case-by-case basis for a humanitarian permit for a maximum period of three years while waiting to apply for legal permanent residence.
Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, emphasized that "the humanitarian family reunification permit process promotes family unity in accordance with our laws and values. Establishing this process for certain Ecuadorian nationals will ensure that more families can access legal pathways instead of risking dangerous journeys with smugglers. Those who do not utilize the humanitarian family reunification permit or other legal, safe, and orderly pathways and attempt to enter the United States illegally will continue to face severe consequences."
Who is Eligible?
Certain Ecuadorian nationals who are beneficiaries of an approved Form I-130, Foreign Relative Petition, may be considered eligible for the humanitarian permit under the new process.
Qualified beneficiaries must be outside of the United States, meet all requirements, including background checks and medical examinations, and have not received an immigrant visa.
The process begins with the Department of State issuing an invitation to the U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident family member who has submitted a Form I-130 on behalf of an Ecuadorian beneficiary.
Beneficiaries awaiting an immigrant visa could include certain children and siblings of U.S. citizens and certain spouses and children of legal permanent residents.
The invited petitioner can then initiate the process by submitting an application on behalf of the beneficiary and eligible family members to be considered for early travel authorization and the humanitarian permit.
Duration of the Permit and Employment Authorization
It's important to note that the Humanitarian Family Reunification Permit process grants a case-by-case temporary stay permit only if urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit are demonstrated. It's also necessary to prove that the beneficiary merits a favorable exercise of discretion.
Individuals entering the United States under this process will generally be considered for a temporary stay permit of up to three years and may be eligible to apply for employment authorization while waiting for their immigrant visa to become available. Once their immigrant visa is available, they can apply for legal permanent residence.
This announcement is based on the Immigration and Nationality Act, which grants the Secretary of Homeland Security the discretionary authority to grant temporary stay permits for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit to applicants seeking admission to the United States. Secretaries from previous administrations have similarly exercised this authority to establish other humanitarian family reunification permit processes administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, including the Cuban Family Reunification Humanitarian Permit Program in 2007 and the Haitian Family Reunification Humanitarian Permit Program in 2014. DHS also announced new Family Reunification Permit processes for Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras in July, as well as the modernization of Family Reunification Permit processes for Cuba and Haiti in August.
The official notification for this Family Reunification Permit process will be published soon, along with detailed information about the application process and eligibility criteria. This is a significant step towards promoting family unity and security in migration.
Remember that the legal counsel of an experienced immigration attorney can be invaluable in this process. At Canto Legalwe have a team of attorneys specialized in immigration law and can help you navigate the immigration processes. We offer comprehensive legal services and can help you comply with all legal requirements. Call us at +1 667-308-2264,send us a message on WhatsApp at +1 667-444-2320 or email us at [email protected] to schedule a consultation and obtain more information