During the first week of January 2023 and as a response to an unprecedented surge of migrants, particularly at our southern border, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a new legal process for nationals of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.
This new process, referred to as a parole process, mirrors very closely the Process for Venezuelans and the United for Ukraine Program that DHS implemented in 2022, and it is meant to provide a lawful and streamlined way for nationals of the four countries and their immediate family members to come to the United States. DHS has said that our government will accept up to 30,000 individuals per month, from these four countries, if they meet the required criteria.
Through a fully online and free process, individual nationals of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela can be considered, on a case-by-case basis, for advance authorization to travel to the United States and seek a temporary period of parole for up to two years. Individuals participating in this process must have a sponsor in the United States who agrees to provide them with financial support for the duration of their period of stay.
To participate in this process, eligible nationals of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela must:
- Have a supporter in the United States;
- Undergo and clear security vetting;
- Meet other eligibility criteria; and
- Warrant a favorable exercise of discretion.
To be a supporter/sponsor one must:
- Be a U.S. citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident; hold a lawful status in the United States such as Temporary Protected Status or asylum; or be a parolee or recipient of deferred action or Deferred Enforced Departure;
- Pass security and background vetting, including for public safety, national security, human trafficking, and exploitation concerns; and
- Demonstrate sufficient financial resources to receive, maintain, and support the individual(s) they are agreeing to support for the duration of their parole period.
There are various steps that need to be completed before an individual is paroled in the USA for a two-year period.
First Step – Providing Financial Support
The first step is for the U.S.-based sponsor to file online Form I-134A, Request to be a Supporter, and Declaration of Financial Support. The sponsor must complete form I-134A for each beneficiary, including minor children. Individuals can’t apply unless the sponsor in the United States has filed this form and has confirmed the means of financial support.
Even though an individual is required to file, and sign Form I-134A, multiple supporters may join. Organizations, businesses, and other entities can provide support as well during this process.
Second Step – Submitting Biographic Information
After the USCIS approves the sponsor, the foreign national beneficiaries will be contacted and will be required to create a USCIS online account and enter biographic information and confirm eligibility.
Third Step – Submitting Request in CBP One Mobile Application
Next, the beneficiaries will be notified on how to access the CBP One Mobile Application, to confirm biographic information and provide a photo.
Fourth Step – Obtaining Advance Travel Authorization to Come to the USA
The beneficiaries will be notified if they will be issued a travel authorization, valid for 90 days. They must make their own arrangements to travel to the USA within 90 days of the issued travel authorization.
Fifth Step – Seeking Parole at Port of Entry
Once they arrive at any port of entry, a CBP officer will determine on a case-by-case basis if parole pursuant to the new process is warranted for the individuals.
Sixth Step – Being Paroled in the United States
If approved, the individuals will be admitted and issued a Parole for up to two years, and once in the USA they will be eligible to apply for work authorization for those two years, as well as obtain social security number and ID.
More information regarding the New Process for Cubans, Haitians, Venezuelans, and Nicaraguans can be found at: https://www.uscis.gov/CHNV
While the Process for Cubans, Haitians, Venezuelans, and Nicaraguans seems promising and it may help address some of the urgent issues with our southern border, this process alone will not solve all pressing matters within our immigration system. We need a more permanent solution for the immigrants who flee their countries due to despair, and for the ones who are already in our country. Our government needs to commit once and for all to the cause of immigrants, and Congress must pass long-overdue immigration reform.