On Wednesday October 12, 2022, the Biden Administration through the Department of Homeland Security announced a new parole program for eligible Venezuelans. The program will allow up to 24,000 Venezuelans to enter the United States, to live and work, for a period of up to two years. Similar to the program announced earlier this year, Uniting for Ukraine, the program will be capped, and each Venezuelan seeking entry through the program will require a U.S.-based sponsor, either citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident, who will guarantee financial support for the Venezuelan nationals seeking entry.

The program is largely seen as an attempt to stem the rising number of migrants seeking entry at the southern border. Particularly for countries like Venezuela, where more than a quarter of the country’s total population has fled, largely due to deplorable economic conditions and quickly deteriorating country conditions under the Maduro regime.

To qualify for the program, Venezuelan nationals must demonstrate that they meet the following requirements:

  • Have a verified supporter in the United States who will provide financial and other support to them upon entry;
  • Have completed a biometric, national security and public safety review; and,
  • Are up-to-date on vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine, and meet other public health guidelines.

There are several disqualifiers for Venezuelan nationals which bar participation in the program, including:

  • An order of removal from the United States in the previous five years;
  • Evidence of crossing the southern border after the announcement of this program;
  • Evidence of non-authorized entry into Mexico or Panama after the announcement of this program;
  • Evidence of being a permanent resident or dual national of any country other than Venezuela; and
  • Failing to maintain vaccinations and other public health requirements.

USCIS has indicated that additional information about the program will be forthcoming in the next few days. 

The program which will be enforced jointly between the U.S. and Mexico, will return any Venezuelans, “who attempt to cross the southern border” directly to Mexico, and will then become ineligible to enter under this temporary parole at any time in the future. The program, which took immediate effect on Wednesday, is an attempt “intended to address the most acute irregular migration and help ease pressure on the cities and states receiving these individuals.”

Given the success of the Uniting for Ukraine program, the initiation of this program comes as a welcome relief for Venezuelans seeking to escape the difficulties in their country.  If you would like assistance applying for Venezuelan parole program, either as a sponsor or an applicant, please contact Stephen Antwine, Esq. of Green & Spiegel at santwine@gands-us.com or (215) 395-8959.

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