Although it has not been promoted widely, the Obama administration has created a program that allows immigrants coming from certain countries in Central America and reside legally in the United States to bring certain family members to the U.S. The program is known as “The Central American Minors Refugee/Parole Program” or “CAM” for short. This program will permit certain minors in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras a safe and legal alternative for traveling to the U.S. It is the hopes of the Obama administration that this program will allow minors to avoid dangerous travels to the U.S.
CAM Eligibility and Requirements
The Central American Minors (CAM) Refugee/Parole Program has specific eligibility requirements that applicants must meet. There are specific requirements for qualifying children, family members, qualifying parents and parents of the qualifying child who are not the qualifying parents.
Qualifying Minors in El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras
Qualifying child in El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras must meet certain requirements to receive the benefits of the CAM program. According to USICS, qualifying minors must meet the following:
- The child must have a a qualifying parent according to the Immigration and Nationality Act (biological, step, or legally adopted);
- The child must be unmarried;
- The child must be under the age of 21;
- The child must be a national of El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras; AND
- The child must be residing in his/her country of nationality.
Eligible Family Members
There are some situations in which other eligible family members may have access. This includes:
An unmarried child of the qualifying child who is under 21 years of age. Individuals who fit this descriptions could be classified as “derivatives”.
Parent of Qualifying Child Who is not the Qualifying Parent
Although CAM is designed for qualifying minors, a parent of the qualifying child may be included if they meet the following requirements::
- Parent is part of the same household AND economic unit as the qualifying child,
- Parent is legally married to the qualifying parent when the qualifying parent files the CAM-Affidavit of Relationship.
- Parent remains legally married to the qualifying parent.
An individual who satisfies the criteria for a qualifying parent must meet the following requirements:The qualifying parent may be any individual who is at least 18 years old and have been lawfully present in the United States under one of the following categories:
- Permanent Resident Status
- Temporary Protected Status
- Deferred Action
- Deferred Enforced Departure
- Withholding of Removal
Individuals who have been granted deferred action must have received the permission for a minimum of at least one full calendar year.
Contact Us to Learn More
The Central American Minors (CAM) Refugee/Parole Program is a valuable option for individuals who wish to bring certain family members to the United States using a safe and legal system. It is important to remember that the CAM program is relatively new and that applying for CAM can be complicated. If you are interested in learning more about CAM for yourself or a loved one, call our offices today or send us a message online to tell us about your case. We are ready to help you understand CAM eligibility, prepare and apply for CAM.
Beeraj Patel, Esq.
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