New process for relatives of green card holders
BY JUAN O. TAMAYO
The U.S. diplomatic mission in Cuba on Wednesday unveiled a change in
the way it handles applications for U.S. entry by some relatives of U.S.
green card holders, and said it will not affect the time involved in
processing the cases.
The change affects only spouses or minor children of U.S. residents, now
processed under the Cuban Family Reunification Program (CFRP), the
mission said. They will be processed as regular immigrant visa
applicants beginning Jan. 1.
It will not affect all other categories of applications currently being
processed under the CFRP, said a spokesperson for the U.S. Interests
Section in Havana.
The CFRP was established in 2007 to reduce the long delays that many
Cubans were experiencing in securing visas to enter the United States.
Under the program, Cubans cleared for entry did not have to wait on the
island for their immigrant visas, and were instead ``paroled'' into the
United States and waited there for their green cards.
CFRP was open to the spouses and minor children of Cuban green card
holders as well as three other categories of applicants, such as the
sibling and adult children of Cuban exiles who are U.S. citizens.
The U.S. mission in Havana said the change in the application process
for spouses and minor children, who receive F2A visas, was due to a
decrease in the worldwide demand in that visa category.
Beginning Jan. 1, the mission said, F2A applicants ``will be processed
as immigrant visa applicants and will receive Legal Permanent Resident
(LPR) status upon entry to the United States.''
``This procedural change should not impact visa processing time,'' the
All CFRP F2A appointments scheduled for on or before Dec. 31 will be
handled in Havana, the statement said.