The U.S. Department of State has announced a special refugee/parole program for minors in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras with parents who are lawfully present in the United States. Information about this program can be found on the State Department’s web site at http://www.state.gov/j/prm/releases/factsheets/2014/234067.htm. Please find a Spanish version of this same information here.
Parents who are in the U.S. in one of the following status categories will be able to file to have their minor children join them through the U.S Refugee Admissions Program. The children will arrive with refugee status and have access to all of the same services and benefits as other refugees. The Qualifying Parent should be lawfully present in one of these categories:
· Permanent Resident Status
· Temporary Protected Status
· Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
· Deferred Action (non-DACA)
· Deferred Enforced Departure
· Withholding of Removal
The Qualifying Child must be:
· the child of the qualifying parent per the Immigration and Nationality Act (biological, step, or legally adopted)
· unmarried and under the age of 21
· a national of El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras
· residing in his or her country of nationality
In addition, other family members of the Qualifying Child may be eligible to join the case including:
· Unmarried children under the age of 21 of Qualifying Child can be included as derivatives
· A parent of the Qualifying Child can be included as an add-on if
o He/she is part of the same household and economic unit as the Qualifying Child, and
o He/she is legally married to the Qualifying Parent at the time the Qualifying Parent filed the request, and
o He/she continues to be legally married to the Qualifying Parent
Access to this program must be initiated by the Qualifying Parent through an existing refugee resettlement agency such as the International Rescue Committee in Charlottesville (IRC). There is no charge for this service. Anyone who wishes to initiate the process of filing a CAM-AOR (Central American Minors – Affidavit of Relationship) should contact Nada Aladhami, Immigration Specialist, at the IRC. She can be reached at Nada.Aladhami@rescue.org or at 434-979-7772 ext. 110. Nada would also be happy to provide additional information to anyone who has questions about the program or who needs additional information.
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