he United States government will begin sending invitations to Ecuadorians who qualify for the new program family reunification later this week, it was announced on Thursday.
About 2,000 invitations will be issued in the first phase of the program’s implementation.
In addition, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published the official announcement of the program in the Federal Register, establishing that it will begin using the I-134A form to prove that you have a sponsor in the USA, starting on November 17.
Citizens of Ecuador who wish to participate in the program must meet the invitation, medical and criminal background requirements.
“This process will allow family members to be reunited with the US while they wait for their immigrant visas to be available. “This process is voluntary and aims to provide an additional legal, safe and efficient pathway for immigration from Ecuador to the United States as an alternative to irregular immigration,” USCIS said in the announcement.
Family reunification begins when the State Department issues an invitation to initiate the process to certain US citizen or permanent resident petitioners who already have an approved Form I-130.
The invited petitioner may then submit an application to support the beneficiary and eligible family members, which may then be considered for authorization of advance travel and parole.
Those granted parole can apply for a work permit for three years, while their immigrant visa can be used.
“The invitation requirement will allow the Department of Homeland Security to adjust the number of invitations issued based on the resources available to process the requests,” the US government said.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas justified the expansion of family reunification to Ecuadorians by ensuring that it is a program that “tests family unity” and “reduces the limits of US resources.”
The State Department estimates that the Ecuadorian child of a US citizen can only have an immigrant visa available if his relative filed a Form I-130 for him more than eight years ago.
“A form filed today will likely have to wait longer,” USCIS said.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) estimates that between 2020 and 2023, meetings with Ecuadorians at the border Southwest reached about 252,389.
“This program is expected to reduce the number of encounters with irregular migrants at the southwest border,” they concluded.