Minors in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras Eligible to Join Parents in the U.S.

The Central American Minors (CAM) refugee/parole immigration program announced in 2014 allows the children of parents lawfully present in the United States to be provided with safe passage into the U.S. to join them. The program applies to unmarried children under the age of 21 from the countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.

The refugee/parole program addresses children in the following circumstances:

  • Children who qualify for refugee status by the U.S. Department of State (determined on a case-by-case basis by a USCIS officer)
  • Children who do not qualify for refugee status, but who may still be at risk for harm (these cases would be considered for parole on a case-by-case basis)
  • Children living with one parent in their home country who is married to the lawfully present parent in the U.S. (access may apply for this parent as well)

In order to apply for the program, the parent lawfully residing in the U.S. must fill out a DS-7699 form, which is a formal request for refugee resettlement from any one of the aforementioned countries. Since the form is not made available to the public, it must be filled out and overseen by a resettlement agency that works with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (these are located across the country).

Once filed, the child in the home country will be contacted by the International Organization for Migrants (IOM) and preparations are made for the transfer, including pre-screening, DNA relationship testing, and medical clearance, among other precertification requirements.

Do you have a child residing in El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras that may be eligible for passage to the U.S. through the CAM program? Contact Musa-Obregon Law PC for assistance in reviewing your circumstances and eligibility!

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