The USCIS, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, announced a few weeks ago the new parole program for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans. This is a program that allows up to 30,000 nationals from these countries to enter the US each month and live and work for up to two years.

What you should know to apply or sponsor someone

The entire process is done online, and qualified beneficiaries living outside the US will be decided on a case-by-case basis. It is a program set up for Venezuelans living outside the United States who don't have citizenship, residency, or refugee status in a third country. Minor children can also apply and travel with at least one parent or legal guardian.

However, you should take into consideration that if you are Venezuelan and entered Panama or Mexico without a visa after the program was announced on January 5, 2023, you are immediately disqualified from benefiting from this initiative. The same occurs if you crossed the US border without authorization after the said date.

If you were deported from the US in the last five years, you will not be given parole within this program. You also cannot have dual nationality and must comply with vaccination requirements and security check requirements through fingerprinting.

Parolees can also immigrate with their immediate family members, that is, their spouses, and sons and daughters under 21 years of age.

Who can sponsor Venezuelans under this program?

Anyone who wishes to obtain parole needs to have a sponsor in the US who agrees to provide you with housing and cover medical expenses and other costs while you stay in the country. This person can be a relative, a non-relative, or an organization.

The US government also requires you to own a smartphone, have internet access, an email address, a valid passport, and money to pay for a ticket to the US.

Sponsors will need to fill out Form I-134A, and they must be physically present in the US. Also, they must indicate how they plan to support the Venezuelan(s), teach them English or find employment. They will also have to provide evidence of sufficient income and submit a copy of the last federal income tax return.

If you are a US citizen, lawful permanent resident, or hold a lawful status, such as Temporary Protected Status (TPS), asylum, parole, or are a DACA recipient, you can sponsor a Venezuelan national to come to the United States under the parole program.

What can you do in the US with parole?

You can apply for a Social Security card and work permit under this program. Processing times for employment authorization vary depending on the complexity of each case.

People with parole can rent or buy their own place to live and can also travel within the US. However, they will lose the program's benefits if they exit the country during this period. USCIS notes that if someone has been paroled into the United States through this process, parole will be automatically terminated if the individual departs without obtaining advance authorization to travel.

Finally, paroled Venezuelans cannot obtain a REAL-ID-compliant driver's license or identification card since parole is not included in the REAL ID Act. Still, they can get a driver's license.

If you would like more information about this program and how you can benefit, please get in touch with one of our immigration lawyers in Kounsel, who are ready to assist you and answer all your questions at a very fair price, in case you need legal advice.