In this blog post, we follow up on our previous reporting relating to a brand-new program launched by the Biden administration that will allow for the admission of up to 24,000 Venezuelans, closely following in the footsteps of the Uniting for Ukraine program.
Today, October 18, 2022, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services updated its “Venezuela” webpage including all the details regarding this new program. Applications are currently being accepted by USCIS.
We break down the details for you down below.
What is this program all about?
USCIS has launched a new process that allows Venezuelan nationals and their immediate family members to come to the United States in a safe and orderly manner.
Like the Uniting for Ukraine program, nationals of Venezuela who are outside the United States and who lack U.S. entry documents will be considered for admission to the United States on a case-by-case basis.
Those who are found eligible, will receive advance authorization to travel to the United States and a temporary period of parole for up to 2 years for urgent humanitarian reasons and significant public benefit.
After being paroled into the United States, beneficiaries are eligible to apply for discretionary employment authorization from USCIS. To apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), applicants must submit Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, using the (c)(11) category code with the required fee or apply for a fee waiver.
Using the same Form I-765 form, applicants can also apply for a Social Security number (SSN) by following the form instructions.
If you request an SSN in Part 2 (Items 13a-17.b) of your Form I-765, and your application is approved, USCIS will electronically transmit that data to the Social Security Administration (SSA), and SSA will assign you an SSN and issue you a Social Security card. SSA will mail your Social Security card directly to the address you provide on Form I-765.
What are the requirements for this new program?
To participate in this new program, Venezuelan nationals who are outside of the United States must:
- Have a supporter in the United States;
- Undergo and clear robust security vetting;
- Meet other eligibility criteria; and
- Warrant a favorable exercise of discretion.
Individuals participating in the process must have a supporter in the United States who agrees to provide them with financial support for the duration of their parole in the United States.
The first step in the process is for the U.S.-based supporter to file a Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, with USCIS for each Venezuelan national or immediate family member they seek to support, including minor children. The U.S. government will then evaluate the supporter to ensure that they are able to financially support the Venezuelan nationals they are agreeing to support.
When will this program start?
USCIS will begin implementing this new program starting today, October 18, 2022. For additional information on the process and eligibility requirements, please see USCIS’ Process for Venezuelans webpage.
Are there any fees to apply?
No. The application process for Venezuelans is free. Neither the supporter nor the beneficiary is required to pay the U.S. government a fee for the application.
Who can be a financial supporter of a Venezuelan?
Any individual who holds lawful status in the United States or is a parolee or beneficiary of deferred action or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) who has passed security and background vetting and demonstrated sufficient financial resources to receive, maintain, and support the individuals whom they commit to supporting for the duration of their stay in the United States.
Examples of individuals who meet the supporter requirement include:
- U.S. citizens and nationals;
- Lawful permanent residents, lawful temporary residents, and conditional permanent residents;
- Nonimmigrants in lawful status (who maintain their nonimmigrant status and have not violated any of the terms or conditions of their nonimmigrant status);
- Asylees, refugees, and parolees;
- Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders; and
- Beneficiaries of deferred action (including deferred action for childhood arrivals) or DED.
Supporters must file a separate Form I-134 for each beneficiary, even minor children. Multiple supporters may join together to support a beneficiary. In this case, a supporter should file a Form I-134 and in the filing include supplementary evidence demonstrating the identity of, and resources to be provided by, the additional supporters and attach a statement explaining the intent to share responsibility to support the beneficiary. These supporters’ ability to support a beneficiary will be assessed collectively.
What is the application process?
Beneficiaries cannot directly apply for this process. A financial supporter must first complete and file Form I-134 with USCIS on behalf of a Venezuelan beneficiary and include information about them and contact details, such as an email address. If Form I-134 is deemed sufficient, USCIS will send the beneficiary information about the next step in the process to be considered for authorization to travel to the United States and parole consideration at an air port of entry.
Once beneficiaries receive their travel authorization, they will arrange to fly directly to their final destination in the United States. Upon arrival at the interior port of entry, individuals will be inspected and considered for parole. Those who attempt to enter the U.S. at land ports of entry will generally be denied entry.
USCIS has outlined 6 key steps in the application process which include:
Step 1: Financial Support
- A U.S.-based supporter will submit a Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, with USCIS through the online myUSCIS web portal to initiate the process. The Form I-134 identifies and collects information on both the supporter and the beneficiary. The supporter must submit a separate Form I-134 for each beneficiary they are seeking to support, including immediate family members and minor children.
- USCIS will then vet the supporter to ensure that they are able to financially support the individual they are agreeing to support and to protect against exploitation and abuse. USCIS, in our discretion, must vet and confirm supporters before they move forward in the process.
Step 2: Submit Biographic Information
- If USCIS confirms a supporter, the listed beneficiary will receive an email from USCIS with instructions on how to create an account with myUSCIS and other next steps. The beneficiary must confirm their biographic information in myUSCIS and attest to meeting the eligibility requirements.
- As part of confirming eligibility in their myUSCIS account, individuals who seek authorization to travel to the United States must confirm that they meet public health requirements, including certain vaccination requirements.
Step 3: Submit Request in CBP One Mobile Application
- After confirming biographic information in myUSCIS and completing required eligibility attestations, the beneficiary will receive instructions through myUSCIS on how to access the CBP One mobile application. The beneficiary must enter their biographic information into CBP One and provide a photo.
Step 4: Advance Travel Authorization to the United States
- After completing Step 3, the beneficiary will receive a notice in their myUSCIS account confirming whether CBP will provide them with advance authorization to travel to the United States to seek a discretionary grant of parole on a case-by-case basis.
- If approved, this authorization is valid for 90 days. Beneficiaries are responsible for securing their own travel via air to the United States. Approval of advance authorization to travel does not guarantee entry or parole into the United States at a U.S. port of entry. Parole is a discretionary determination made by CBP at the port of entry, based on a finding that parole is warranted due to urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.
Step 5: Seeking Parole at the Port of Entry
- When a beneficiary arrives a port of entry, CBP will inspected them and consider them for a grant of discretionary parole on a case-by-case basis.
- As part of the inspection, beneficiaries will undergo additional screening and vetting, to include additional fingerprint biometric vetting consistent with the CBP inspection process. Individuals who are determined to pose a national security or public safety threat, or otherwise not warrant parole as a matter of discretion upon inspection, will be processed under an appropriate processing pathway and may be referred to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Step 6: Parole
- Individuals granted parole under this process generally will be paroled into the United States for a period of up to 2 years, subject to applicable health and vetting requirements, and will be eligible to apply for employment authorization under existing regulations.
- Individuals may request work authorization from USCIS by filing a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. Individuals granted parole and eligible to seek work authorization can apply online.
Where can I find more information about the program?
For more information, please visit the USCIS Venezuela webpage here.
Contact Us. If you would like to schedule a consultation, please text 619-483-4549 or call 619-819-9204.
- USCIS Implements New Process for Venezuelans
- Federal Register Notice: Implementation of a Parole Process for Venezuelans
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- DHS Announces New Migration Enforcement Process for Venezuelans
- TPS Venezuela
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- DOS Youtube Channel
- DOS Visa Services Operating Status Update
- ImmigrationU Membership
- Success stories
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