On October 12, 2022, the U.S. government implemented a new parole process that allows Venezuelans and their immediate family members outside the U.S. to come to the U.S. with the support of someone in the U.S.
On January 6, 2023, this parole process became available for Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans, and their immediate family members outside the U.S.
The parole process alone does not lead to lawful permanent resident status or citizenship. It does, though, allow the paroled beneficiaries to stay in the U.S. for up to 2 years. Paroled beneficiaries will also have the right to apply for work authorization after entering the U.S.
The USCIS (the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service) adjudicates applications on a case-by-case basis. If approved, it will issue an authorization that permits the beneficiary to seek to parole into the U.S. Approval of the travel authorization does not guarantee entry. An immigration officer at the port of entry will ultimately make a decision on whether to parole a beneficiary with an approved travel authorization into the U.S.
Who can be a beneficiary of this process?
– A Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, or Venezuelan national and/or their immediate family member (spouse or common-law partner, their unmarried children under the age of 21) who is outside the U.S.
– The beneficiary must have a passport valid for international travel and meet all other requirements of the parole process (please note that there are exceptions for Venezuelan passports – see below).
Are children under 18 considered beneficiaries under the parole process?
– Yes. But following the approval of the case, they must be traveling to the U.S. with their parent or legal guardian.
Who can be a supporter?
– A supporter can be a U.S. citizen or national, lawful permanent resident, any other individual who holds lawful status in the U.S. or is an asylee, refugee, parolee, or beneficiary of deferred action or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED).
– To qualify, such supporters must pass security and background vetting, and qualify financially to maintain and support the beneficiaries in the U.S. They require the supporter to commit to supporting the beneficiaries for the duration of their stay in the U.S.
Can asylees, refugees, TPS holders, beneficiaries of deferred action (including deferred action for childhood arrivals) or DED be supporters for the purposes of form I-134A?
– Yes, if they meet all other requirements.
Can a legal entity be a U.S.-based supporter?
– No, but an individual can file on behalf of an entity.
I am a potential beneficiary outside of the U.S., and I would like to file form I-134A for myself. Can I do that?
– No, you’ll need a U.S. supporter to file form I-134A for your benefit.
Does a beneficiary and/or U.S. supporter need to pay the USCIS a fee for participating in the process?
What form do I, as a U.S. supporter, need to file?
– Starting January 6, 2023, if you are a U.S.-based supporter, you need to submit Form I-134A, Online Request to be a Supporter and Declaration of Financial Support, for the beneficiary. Please note that before January 6, 2023, the USCIS required supporters to file Form I-134. This is a different form.
I am a U.S. supporter for a Venezuelan beneficiary. Should I submit form I-134A if I already submitted form I-134 as a U.S. supporter before January 6, 2023?
– No, you should not submit form I-134A if you already submitted form I-134. The USCIS will continue to adjudicate your case.
Do the potential beneficiary and immediate family member need to each submit a separate form I-134A?
Can any Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, and/or Venezuelan national and/or their immediate family member be considered for the process?
– No. A potential beneficiary cannot be a permanent resident or dual national of another country, and/or currently hold refugee status in another country unless the U.S. DHS has a similar parole process for the country’s nationals.
– Please note that this requirement does not apply to immediate family members of an eligible national of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and/or Venezuela that they are traveling with.
– Also, the following potential beneficiaries cannot be considered for the process:
- Those who were ordered removed from the U.S. within the prior 5 years;
- Inadmissible potential beneficiaries based on prior removal orders;
- Beneficiaries under 18 years old who are traveling unaccompanied by a parent or a legal guardian;
- Potential beneficiaries who either irregularly crossed the Mexican or Panamanian border or crossed irregularly into the U.S. after this process was announced.
- There are exceptions that may apply – please consult with an immigration attorney.
I am a potential beneficiary from Venezuela with an expired passport. Can I be considered for this parole process?
– It depends. The general rule is that a potential beneficiary should have an unexpired passport. But, DHS considers the following expired Venezuelan passports valid:
- A Venezuelan passport “issued before June 7, 2019 (even if expired before this date), without a passport extension (‘prórroga’), is considered valid and unexpired for five years beyond the expiration date printed in the passport.”
- A Venezuelan passport “issued before June 7, 2019 (even if expired before this date), with a ‘prórroga’ issued before June 7, 2019, is considered valid and unexpired for five years beyond the expiration date of the ‘prórroga.’”
- A Venezuelan passport “issued before June 7, 2019 (even if expired before this date), with a ‘prórroga’ issued on or after June 7, 2019, is considered valid and unexpired through the expiration date of the ‘prórroga’ or for five years beyond the expiration date printed in the passport, whichever is later.’’
- A Venezuelan passport “issued on or after June 7, 2019, without a ‘prórroga’ is not considered valid beyond the expiration date printed in the passport.”
- A Venezuelan passport “issued on or after June 7, 2019, with a ‘prórroga’ issued on or after June 7, 2019, is considered valid and unexpired through the expiration date of the ‘prórroga.’”
Will the U.S. government pay for the beneficiary’s flight to the U.S. if the U.S. supporter’s form I-134A is approved?
– No. The beneficiary will need to cover the cost of commercial travel to an air U.S. port of entry and final destination in the United States.
If the beneficiary receives a travel authorization, will the beneficiary be allowed to enter the U.S. pursuant to the travel authorization?
– Approval of the travel authorization does not guarantee entry. An immigration officer at the port of entry will make a decision on whether to parole a beneficiary with an approved travel authorization into the U.S.
Can a paroled beneficiary travel internationally after obtaining parole and return to the U.S. in the same status?
– No, only if the parole beneficiary has an advance parole document obtained from the USCIS while in the U.S. If the parole beneficiary travels outside the U.S. without the advance parole document, the beneficiary’s humanitarian parole will be automatically terminated.