WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the United States is announcing the official launch of an in-country refugee/parole program in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to provide a safe, legal, and orderly alternative to the dangerous journey that some children are currently undertaking to the United States. This program will allow certain parents from one of these three countries who are lawfully present in the United States to request to bring their children to the United States as refugees via the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. Children who are found ineligible for refugee admission but still at risk of harm may be considered for parole on a case-by-case basis. The refugee/parole program will not be a pathway for undocumented parents to bring their children to the United States. Instead, the program will provide certain vulnerable, at-risk children with an opportunity to be reunited with parents lawfully present in the United States.
A fact sheet in English and Spanish describing the program can be found on the Department of State website.
Applications for this program may be initiated by a lawfully present parent in the United States. Form DS-7699 must be filed with the assistance of a designated resettlement agency that works with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration to help resettle refugees in the United States. Parents do not need to pay any fee to file this form or for assistance in completing and submitting the form, but they are expected to cover the initial costs of DNA testing to confirm claimed biological parent-child relationships. Costs of DNA testing are reimbursable under certain circumstances. Form DS-7699 will not be available on the Department of State website to the general public and cannot be completed without the assistance of a Department of State-funded resettlement agency. These nearly 350 resettlement agency affiliates are located in more than 180 communities throughout the United States. Additional information about the program, as well as a list of the resettlement agency affiliates that can assist with filing the DS-7699 can be found at the Refugee Processing Center website.