The US Government recently issued new immigration rules that affect individuals from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. The administration said that the change allows up to 360,000 people from those countries to enter the US and get parole to remain for up to two years. Notably, those individuals would also be allowed to apply for work authorization. However, the option is available only to those who have yet to leave their country. The stated intent of the new rules is to discourage people from trying to enter the U.S. illegally. In November, US Border Patrol officers stopped migrants from those four countries more than 82,200 times, according to the Associated Press. The rules restrict who is eligible and potentially limit options for entering the US.
What is Parole?
Parole is an option that allows certain individuals who may be admissible or otherwise ineligible for admission, to come to the US temporarily. The Immigration and Nationality Act allows Homeland Security to use its discretion to parole any noncitizen applying for admission into the United States for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant health benefit.
The new process, available online, is open to individuals who:
- Are a national of Cuba Haiti, Nicaragua, or Venezuela, or an immediate family member.
- Have a supporter in the US who will provide financial support and has filed a form 1-134A
- Have an unexpired passport for international travel
- Provide their own transportation
- Undergo and pass the required national security for public safety vetting
- Demonstrate that the grant of parole is warranted based on significant public benefit or urgent humanitarian reasons
Individuals who illegally crossed the border into the US or into Mexico or Panama are not eligible.
How much does the process cost?
The process is free. US Immigration officials are warning about scams that ask applicants to pay a fee.
What happens to those who cross the border after the rules went into effect?
The administration stated that it will not allow individuals from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela to remain.
What is the immigration process for individuals who are not from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela?
The US is currently under Title 42 of the Public Health Services Act, which allows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to suspend the entry of individuals into the U.S. to protect public health. The administration is seeking to end Title 42, but the Supreme Court has ordered it to remain at least until legal challenges can be heard, which is expected in February. That means migrants, even asylum seekers, can be turned away at the border.
What happens with those individuals from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela who have already entered the US?
This new regulation applies only to those attempting to enter the country after the order was issued on Jan. 6, 2023. Those who were already in the US will be subject to the previous requirements.
An attorney like Nancy Norman can help you comply with the new rules and determine your best options. If you have questions about the immigration process or need help navigating the immigration system, contact us now.