Following the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, many families were separated. Some family members remained in Haiti while others traveled to the Los Angeles area and the rest of the United States. Many children who were left without parents were adopted by United States citizens. Other families had a mother or father come to the U.S. in hopes of being able to one day bring the whole family here.

There are a large number of people living in Haiti who have already applied for a family-based immigration visa and been approved. There are more than 100,000 who have been approved, but are waiting on documents. This is the case for an 11-year-old boy living in Haiti. His mother came to the U.S. in 2007 to make a better life for herself and her family. She wanted to establish residency and earn some money and then bring her son to live with her.

The boy was living with his mother’s aunt until she died in the earthquake. His mother, who holds a green card, evidently applied for a family-based visa for the boy, because he was approved, but is still waiting for his documents. The wait can take an average of three years.

Many would like to see a Haitian Family Reunification program put into place that would allow people who have already been approved to enter the U.S. and reunite with their family members here. They have sent several petitions and letters to Washington, D.C. in hopes of getting executive approval for the program.

If you are interested in applying for a family-based visa, a good place to start is with an immigration attorney. Meeting with a lawyer can help you get the process started and may allow you to reunite with your family members.

Source: Public Radio International, “Some Haitians left waiting for family-based visas to come to U.S.,” Amy Bracken, Sep. 19, 2013