New DHS Parole Program for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans Allows Work Authorization

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on January 5, 2023, a safe and lawful way for qualifying people from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela with U.S-based supporters to obtain Work authorization to travel by air to temporarily reside in the United States. This humanitarian program is an expansion of the process introduced to Venezuelans in October 2022, based on the Uniting for Ukraine program. Individuals arriving under this new process may also be eligible for work authorization.

Since January 6, 2023, DHS strongly encourages Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans seeking entry in the U.S. who do not have and are not eligible for a visa to instead seek entry via this process. Individuals must be outside of the United States to complete the process and should not approach the border to access this benefit.

The program requires having confirmed supporters in the United States who will provide assistance for the duration of the parole financially as well as with housing and/or accessing education and employment, among other aspects of acclimating to life in the U.S.  Supporters may be individuals who hold lawful status in the U.S, such as, but not limited to:

  • U.S. citizens and nationals;
  • Lawful permanent residents (green card holders), and conditional lawful permanent residents;
  • Nonimmigrants in lawful status (who maintain their nonimmigrant status and have not violated any terms or conditions of their nonimmigrant status).
  • Asylees, refugees, and parolees; or
  • Individuals granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

Beneficiaries of deferred action (including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) or DED may also qualify as supporters.

Through the fully online process, intending beneficiaries with a confirmed U.S.-based supporter 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, provided that they:

  • Be outside the United States;
  • Be a national of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, or Venezuela;
  • Possesses an unexpired passport valid for international travel;
  • Provide for their own commercial air travel to an air point of entry and final U.S. destination;
  • Undergo and pass required national security and public safety vetting;
  • Comply with all additional requirements, including vaccination requirements and other public health guidelines; and
  • Demonstrate that a grant of parole is warranted based on significant public benefit or urgent humanitarian reasons, and that a favorable exercise of discretion is otherwise merited.

Immediate family members (spouse, common-law partner, and/or unmarried child under the age of 21) traveling with an eligible Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, or Venezuelan may also qualify for the program.

Neither the U.S. supporter nor the beneficiary is required to pay the U.S. government a fee for the requisite Form I-134A or for participation in this process.

Up to 30,000 individuals per month will be accepted into the United States. Individuals who attempt to enter the United States at the U.S.-Mexico border will not be eligible for this program and will be denied entry and returned to Mexico.

Cases submitted before January 6, 2023 under the programs Uniting for Ukraine and Process for Venezuelans will continue to process normally.  

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to and cannot substitute the advice of and representation from a competent immigration attorney.