On October 12, 2022, the US government announced the new process for Venezuelans, which allows these national foreigners to come to the United States legally.
Although this process provides an orderly and safe way to enter the US, Venezuelans must first qualify for the immigration program. Therefore, our New Jersey immigration lawyers are ready to help you with your applications.
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The New 2023 Process For Venezuelans Who Want To Migrate To The United States
As part of the hard work of the Biden-Harris administration to establish a safer, more orderly and fair immigration system, the new process for Venezuelans was created. This process is intended for those fleeing the economic and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the implementation of this measure to reduce the number of aliens arriving at the border.
- This is because the number of Venezuelans trying to cross the US-Mexico border was almost 4 times higher than last year. Therefore, the US government developed this measure in order to reduce illegal immigration.
- The program also seeks to reduce the probability that Venezuelans fall into the hands of organizations dedicated to human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
The new process for Venezuelans is based on other successful US programs, such as the Uniting for Ukraine Program.
Who Is Eligible To Apply To The New United States Immigration Process For Venezuelans?
Only Venezuelans who meet the requirements of this program can travel and work in the United States. Those Venezuelans who approach the country through the border and try to cross it without authorization will not be eligible.
Additionally, to qualify for this new immigration process, the Venezuelan must:
- Have a sponsor in the United States who has sufficient financial resources to support you.
- Meet all the eligibility criteria established by the US government.
- Merit a favorable exercise of discretion.
- Submit to a security investigation.
The Venezuelan’s sponsor must agree to provide them with financial support for the entire duration of their temporary permit to stay in the US.
The beneficiary can be a Venezuelan (or their immediate relative) who is outside the US and can be considered for this temporary residence permit. Immediate family members for this process include:
- The spouse or partner of a Venezuelan, and
- Your unmarried children under the age of 21.
If a child is under 18 years of age, they must travel with a parent or legal guardian to use this program.
Below, we will show some individuals in the United States who can be sponsors for the new process for Venezuelans:
- US citizens or individuals who have obtained US citizenship.
- Legal permanent residents. That is, those national foreigners who have obtained the Green Card.
- Conditional permanent residents.
- Legal temporary residents.
- Beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
- Aliens who are refugees or who have obtained political asylum in the United States.
- Aliens with a temporary residence permit (parole).
- Recipients of Deferred Action, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Deferred Enforced Departure.
Several sponsors can come together to support a Venezuelan. If this is the case, a sponsor must include in its application supporting evidence showing:
- The identity, and
- The resources that additional sponsors will provide.
In addition, they must attach a statement explaining the intention to share the responsibility to help the Venezuelan.
Companies, entities and other organizations can help Venezuelans through this new process.
Sponsor Eligibility Considerations
Sponsors must take into account that they have to comply with the following obligations:
- Receive the Venezuelan upon arrival in the US and take them to the initial home.
- Guarantee that the Venezuelan has safe and adequate housing throughout the duration of their temporary residence permit. In addition, they must meet all of his initial basic needs.
- Ensure that all of the Venezuelan’s medical and health care needs are met for the duration of their temporary residence permit.
- Help the Venezuelan to complete all the necessary documents. For example, employment authorization, Social Security Card and other paperwork for which you may be eligible.
- If necessary, help the Venezuelan to access education, learn English, enroll their children in school and/or ensure they get a job.
Who Is Not Eligible For The New Process For Venezuelans?
Not all Venezuelans are eligible for this new program. Among those who do not qualify we find those who:
- Have been expelled or deported from the United States in the last 5 years.
- Have entered Mexico or Panama illegally after the announcement date of the new program for Venezuelans.
- Are permanent residents or have dual nationality in a country other than Venezuela.
- Have not completed the vaccination schedules and other requirements related to public health.
- Are currently refugees in another country.
- Crossed without authorization through the areas located between the ports of entry after the date of announcement of the new program.
Are you inadmissible to the US? You may be able to apply for an immigration waiver of inadmissibility to the United States. Check our article or contact our lawyer for more information on this topic.
Steps To Apply for The New Immigration Process For Venezuelans In The United States
Venezuelans cannot directly apply for this immigration program. Therefore, they first need a sponsor to file the application with USCIS on behalf of the Venezuelan.
Next, we will explain the 6 steps required to request the new immigration process for Venezuelans:
1. Submission Of Economic Sponsorship
The following should be taken into consideration:
- Sponsors must file a separate Form I-134 for each Venezuelan they wish to help. This includes your immediate family members and/or your minor children.
- After the application is filed, USCIS will conduct an investigation of the sponsor to ensure that they can financially support the beneficiary.
- No one under the age of 18 may travel without the care and custody of their parents or legal guardian. In addition, you must provide the appropriate documentation confirming the relationship between them.
- If USCIS considers that the I-134 form is sufficient, it will send the Venezuelan information about the next step to take.
2. Send USCIS The Biographical Information
Once USCIS has confirmed everything, the beneficiary will receive an E-mail on how to create a MyUSCIS account and the instructions required for the next steps.
- The Venezuelans must confirm their biographical information in MyUSCIS and ensure that they meet all the eligibility requirements.
- Additionally, national foreigners must confirm that they comply with public health requirements, including all vaccination requirements.
3. Submit The Request To The CBP One Mobile App
After confirming the biographical information in MyUSCIS and completing the eligibility requirements, the Venezuelan will receive instructions to access the CBP One mobile application. Within this application, the national foreigner must enter their biographical information and provide a photo.
4. Advance Authorization For Travel To The US.
After completing the previous step, the Venezuelan will receive a notification in their MyUSCIS account. This will confirm if the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will grant you advance authorization to travel to the US.
- This notice also tells the aliens if they can seek to obtain a temporary stay permit (parole) in the country.
- If this permit is approved, the authorization will be valid for 90 days.
- Venezuelans will be responsible for guaranteeing their own air travel to the United States.
- The approval of the advance authorization to travel does not guarantee the entry of the Venezuelan to the US. Nor does it ensure that a temporary stay permit will be received upon arrival in the country.
- This permission will be solely at the discretion of CBP at the US port of entry and will be based on public benefit or urgent humanitarian reasons.
5. Obtain Temporary Residence Permit At The US Port Of Entry.
When the Venezuelans have arrived at a US port of entry, they will be inspected by CBP.
- Aliens are subjected to additional investigations and verifications that involve a biometric search of their fingerprints.
- Venezuelans who represent a threat to public or national security, or who do not merit this humanitarian parole, will be prosecuted. Therefore, they could be referred to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE).
6. Remain In The US With The Temporary Residence Permit
All Venezuelans who have obtained a temporary stay permit through this process will receive an authorization to stay in the country for a period of up to 2 years.
Alternatively, these national foreigners may also be eligible to apply for employment authorization under the existing criteria.
Did you know that working in the US without documentation is illegal? You can learn more about this in our article on how to get a job in the US while being illegal.
What Can I Expect After I Have Filed My Form I-134?
After the sponsor files Form I-134, they must wait for USCIS to review their financial situation. USCIS may determine if Form I-134 is sufficient or may require additional evidence.
Next, we will explain what will happen in both scenarios:
- Form I-134 is enough
If this request is more than enough, then the Venezuelan will receive an email from USCIS. This E-mail asks the immigrant to complete the following information:
- A certification of understanding of the family relationship requirements for children under the age of 18.
- Certification that guarantees that you:
- Are not a permanent resident or dual national of a country other than Venezuela.
- Do not have refugee status in another country.
- Are the spouse, partner or unmarried child under the age of 21 traveling with an eligible national of Venezuela.
- A certification that you have successfully completed the immunization requirements or are eligible for an exception. The exception will be for vaccination against:
- The measles.
- The first dose of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) -approved COVID-19 vaccine , or
- A vaccine against COVID-19 on the list for emergency use by the World Health Organization ( WHO ).
In the same way, the Venezuelan must ensure that he has undergone a medical examination against tuberculosis. This includes an interferon gamma release assay (IGRA) test within a 90 day period.
- Form I-134 is not enough
If this form is not sufficient, USCIS will send the Venezuelan an E-mail indicating that the form submitted is insufficient. Venezuelans who have received this notice will not be considered to receive the humanitarian parole.
However, the sponsor may file a new Form I-134 in the name of the same Venezuelan or another Venezuelan national.
What Happens After obtaining The New Process For Venezuelans?
Once the Venezuelans have obtained this new program, they will be able to:
1. Apply For Employment Authorization
After receiving the temporary stay permit in the US, the Venezuelan may request employment authorization at the discretion of USCIS. To do this, he must file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
2. Get A Social Security Number And Card
Venezuelans can request a Social Security Number (SSN) through the I-765 form and following their respective instructions. If the application is approved, USCIS will electronically send that data to the Social Security Administration (SSA).
After this, the SSA mails to the address that was provided on the I-765. In case the Venezuelan does not request an SSN on his Form I-765, they can request it after receiving their employment authorization document (EAD).
3. Update Your Address
If the Venezuelan resides in the US for more than 30 days, they must provide their physical address in the country. You can change your address online and update it on any pending application using the USCIS Address Change Tool .
4. Cancellation Of The Temporary Stay Permit
Venezuelans who have qualified for the program should take into account that their permit will automatically cancel when:
- Leaving the US without first obtaining advance travel authorization, or
- When the temporary stay permit expires.
DHS may also decide to cancel the temporary residence permit of Venezuelans at its own discretion or for other reasons. For example, if the Venezuelan violates any US law.
Similarly, the government hopes that Venezuelans who have an expired temporary residence permit leave the US of their own free will.
Venezuelans who do not leave the country after their permit has been revoked will be placed in deportation proceedings.
Are you worried about being in removal proceedings and not knowing it? Don’t worry, on our blog you will find an article with extensive information where we explain how to know if you have a deportation order in the country.
Do I Need A Valid Venezuelan Passport For The New US Immigration Process?
Venezuelans must have a current and valid passport to apply to the new US immigration program. If the validity of the passport has been extended, the expiration date of the extension should be shown as the expiration date of the passport.
CBP does not allow travel to the US if the Venezuelan passport or its extension has expired.
Passport Extension Considerations
According to the decree of May 21, 2019 of the National Assembly, the interim president of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, extended the validity of Venezuelan passports for a period of 5 years.
This means that certain expired Venezuelan passports continue to be valid if the passport:
- Was issued before June 7, 2019 (even if it expired before that date) without a passport extension. This passport will remain valid and current for 5 years after the expiration date reflected in the passport.
- Was aired starting June 7, 2019 without an extension. It will not be considered valid beyond the expiration date reflected in the passport.
- Regardless of the date of issue with an extension issued before June 7, 2019, the passport will be considered valid and current for 5 years from the expiration date of the extension.
- Regardless of the issue date with an extension issued on or after June 7, 2019, the passport will be considered valid and current until the expiration date of the extension.
Types Of Resources For Victims Of Violence, Exploitation, Or Abuse
Venezuelans are not required to pay, serve, reimburse, compensate, or marry their sponsor in exchange for filing Form I-134. Access to the process is totally free for Venezuelans.
For this reason, Venezuelan nationals are recommended to protect themselves from any type of fraud or scam. In addition, DHS recommends the following actions:
- Avoid individuals who promise to “get the Venezuelan to the US quickly” if you pay a large amount of money.
- Keep your passport and other identity documents in your possession at all times.
- Check with USCIS in case the organization or sponsor is not legal.
There are many forms of exploitation and abuse in the US, so Venezuelan nationals may be exposed to some of these factors. However, US law can help you, regardless of whether you have suffered:
- Domestic violence. Domestic abuse can involve physical, sexual, financial, psychological, or emotional threats. If you are in this situation, you may be eligible for a U visa or a VAWA visa.
- Human trafficking. This involves the exploitation of someone to force them to perform forced labor or a commercial sex act. The law protects these victims through the T visa.
- Forced marriage. All those marriages that take place without the consent of one or both individuals. This usually leads to physical or emotional abuse, deceit, or threats.
Frequently Asked Questions About The New Process For Venezuelans
Venezuelans who have been in Mexico since before the announcement of this program can apply without any problem. The process is online, so they do not need to move to a specific city or seek to get closer to the border.
The process is usually very fast, as it is based on the Uniting for Ukraine Program. According to estimates, there are applications that have been resolved in just under a week. Also, it is possible to get a job almost immediately upon entering the US legally.
The program initially plans only 24,000 places. However, according to an interview with the Acting Undersecretary for Policy and Immigration of the Department of Homeland Security, Blas Nuñez-Neto, he reported that there could be a process to expand this plan.
Venezuelans who are deported to Mexico will be in the hands of the authorities of that country. However, it was reported that there are shelters and other Mexican facilities available to receive these immigrants.
Title 42 will remain in effect for the time being. Therefore, all aliensfound at the land borders will be quickly expelled from the country. Alternatively, the possibility of applying for an exception to this title will be in force.
How Can Our Immigration Attorney Help Venezuelans?
Attorney Carolina T. Curbelo has more than 10 years of experience dealing with multiple immigration cases in the country.
- Regardless of whether the alien is a Venezuelan, a Ukrainian, or any other individual in vulnerable situations, our attorney is ready to help.
- Although applying for this program can be complex for some individuals, our lawyer will help you in everything related to the immigration process.
Call us today or send us an E-mail so that we can advise you on all these complex immigration procedures. If you are already in the US and prefer an in-person consultation, you can schedule an appointment at our office, located in Ridgewood, New Jersey.