On January 12, 2017, the U.S. and Cuba signed an agreement to further normalize the evolving migration relationship.
Under the agreement, the Department of Homeland Security ended the Cuban Medical Professional Parole (CMPP) Program. The CMPP program was terminated along with the wet foot/dry foot policy for Cubans.
Cuba agreed to accept the return of Cuban nationals who have been ordered removed. Cuba and the U.S. will work to further discourage unlawful migration to the U.S. and promote bilateral cooperation to prevent and prosecute alien smuggling and other crimes related to illegal migration.
On August 11, 2006, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would allow certain Cuban medical personnel in third countries (that is, not in Cuba or the U.S.) to apply for parole at a U.S. embassy or consulate.
Under the CMPP Program, doctors and other professionals in the health field, sent by the Government of Cuba to work or study in third countries, could request parole into the U.S. In addition, the spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 of individuals meeting the program’s criteria could be included in the parole request. The family members could be present with the medical professional in the third country or could be residing in Cuba.
Persons Currently in the Program
In light of the program’s termination, USCIS will process CMPP cases as follows:
- CMPP requests initiated by Cuban medical professionals at a U.S. embassy or consulate before 5 p.m. Eastern time on January 12, 2017, will continue to be processed and adjudicated by USCIS to completion.
- A CMPP principal applicant who initiated a parole request before that time will be able to request parole for an accompanying spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age.
- Once the principal applicant is paroled into the United States, he or she may complete the process by requesting parole under the CMPP Program for spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age as following-to-join beneficiaries, whether in Cuba or in a third country. USCIS will continue to accept CMPP following-to-join requests as follows:
- A medical professional paroled into the United States before January 12, 2017 must file his or her following-to-join requests no later than Wednesday, July 12, 2017.
- A medical professional paroled into the U.S. on or after January 12, 2017, must file his or her following-to-join requests within 6 months after being paroled into the United States. For example, a person paroled on February 24, 2017, must file any following-to-join requests by August 24, 2017.