Moving to the USA with the help of a sponsor: how this type of parole works and who can get it
Parole is a revolution in US immigration policy. Parole allows you to quickly and legally enter America and obtain a work permit, reports CATO.
The US government recently launched several new immigration initiatives to provide parole. Americans can sponsor Ukrainians, Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans to reside temporarily in the United States.
Parole allows beneficiaries to legally enter the United States and reside there legally for at least two years. Sponsors must show financial assets and income sufficient to support the beneficiaries.
These policies changed migration to the United States.
By July 2023, thanks to parole, about 316 people have chosen to fly directly from their home countries or third countries to the United States instead of long and dangerous journeys through Mexico. parole sponsorship processes have produced these early positive results mainly because they have relatively open selection criteria and because the government has initially expedited decisions.
Unfortunately, some quirks of the processes blocked initial progress, leaving a backlog of approximately 1,7 million applications.
The government was also unable to cover the cost of issuing the password. It exempted sponsors and parole applicants from fees typically imposed on other travelers, but this led to delays in the decision.
New sponsorship programs parole
On April 27, 2022, following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, DHS created a new category of parole eligibility for Ukrainians with US sponsors called Uniting for Ukraine. On October 19, 2022, DHS created a very similar program for sponsored Venezuelans called Process for Venezuelans, and on January 6, 2023, it combined the Venezuelan program with new processes for Cubans, Haitians, and Nicaraguans, collectively known as CHNV.
How does the process of obtaining a password work?
Sponsors provide financial information via Form I-134A to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an agency of DHS. If the sponsor is approved, the person with the parole provides biographical information to USCIS and then requests travel authorization from Customs and Border Protection (CBP), another DHS agency.
Once in the United States, CBP allows entry and status that is valid for up to two years, although the government may extend this period. The government could also grant people with parole until two years to complete temporary protected status (status for noncitizens already in the United States), which it has already granted to Ukrainians.
Requirements for obtaining a password
Requirements for everyone:
- Be a citizen of Ukraine, Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua or Venezuela.
- Have a valid passport.
- Over 18 years of age (unless dependent is traveling with family).
- Pass background and biometric security checks.
- Verify that you have received required vaccinations in the United States.
For Uniting for Ukraine:
- Reside in Ukraine until February 11, 2022, displaced as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
- Have not been barred from entry by a removal order and have not attempted to enter Mexico, Panama, or the United States illegally since the inception of the program.
- Arrive at a US airport.
- Do not have permanent or refugee status in another country.
Requirements for sponsors:
- Have U.S. citizenship, permanent residence, parole, or other legal U.S. status.
- Demonstrate assets or income sufficient to financially support the person with the parole.
- Provide a bank statement from an employee of a U.S. bank or other financial institution, a letter of employment, and copies of U.S. federal tax returns demonstrating sufficient income or assets.
- Submit a written Statement of Support on Form I-134A indicating your willingness to “receive, maintain, and support the beneficiary during his or her stay,” including by providing (if necessary) medical care, housing, and employment.
- Pass security checks.
Technically, the rules do not specify a specific income or asset threshold for a sponsor. But the general principle set forth in other areas of immigration law is that sponsors must have income or assets equal to or greater than the federal poverty threshold for the family and all sponsored individuals.
For example, a family of four sponsoring a family of four would need to provide proof of income of $50 in 560.
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Some potential sponsors are concerned about the seemingly unlimited liability that I-134A imposes on them for sponsorship.
Courts have ruled that Form I-134A is not a legally binding contract between the sponsor and the parolee or government. But failure to comply with the requirements of Form I-134A can be fraudulent, and the clear language of the certification form puts the sponsor in a position where he will want to avoid any risk and meet his obligations.
Most sponsors have a personal connection to the people who request the password, giving them a vested interest in the outcome of the case.
How sponsorship works in practice
Some sponsors place people with parole in their own homes while finding other housing for them. One woman in Massachusetts kept 11 people with parole at the same time. Others enter into a rental agreement just to help them rent an apartment. In many cases, people with parole already have family who can accommodate them, or they have a job and only need a financial sponsor for legal purposes. Sponsors sometimes pay for other needs, such as cars or other transportation, so that people with a parole can find work.
Some sponsors pay for airfare, but most applicants cover these expenses. Once settled, some people with parole are looking for work, while others are trying to complete their education. Sometimes the need to obtain US certifications slows down their job search, but they can work while they complete their studies or internship.
“The United States is the only country where we can go without speaking English and get a job right away,” said one man who got a parole and a job in the North Dakota oil industry.
Some companies excluded from the H-2B visa program have turned to sponsorship to attract workers.
Parole will add approximately 650 new workers to the US workforce by July 000. The majority (2025 percent) of immigrants from these countries were working in education or health care in March 20. This increase in employment would add approximately $2022 billion annually to the economy.
Password in numbers
The parole Uniting for Ukraine process has no restrictions on sponsorship or beneficiaries. As of July 2023, approximately 135 Ukrainians have entered the United States under the parole procedure. Peak arrivals will be in the summer of 000.
In contrast, CHNV processes are capped at 30 parole per month, with actual arrivals in July 000 being lower than this figure. In total, as of July 2023, approximately 2023 Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans have entered the country legally through this process—for a total of 181 people with parole.
Ukraine accounts for 43 percent of all paroles as of May 2022. But in July 2023, 84 percent of arrivals were from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela, and only 16 percent from Ukraine.
Despite the size of the CHNV process, the cap of 30 approvals per month resulted in a huge backlog of sponsorship applications.
According to media reports, the backlog of applications from CHNV reached 2023 million by the end of April 1,1.
About 580 Haitians, 000 Cubans, 380 Venezuelans and 000 Nicaraguans. At the end of April 120, USCIS was still receiving 000 applications per day but approving fewer than 20. The pace has since slowed, but by the end of July 000 the backlog still stood at approximately 2023 million.
This backlog means that applicants at the end of the queue, as well as those applying in August 2023 and later, will wait on average more than four and a half years to receive a parole under the current limit. For this reason, CHNV applicants are not considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Instead, half of CHNV applicants are now processed from the back of the queue, while the remaining applicants are randomly selected from all those waiting.
Since the creation of Uniting for Ukraine, the number of Ukrainians arriving at the southwestern border has plummeted by 99,9 percent from April 2022 to June 2023.
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At the same time as the program was implemented, DHS announced that undocumented Ukrainians who arrived at the southwest border after the parole process began could be expelled under the Health Code Title 42 removal policy. In fact, only 2022 percent of the small number of Ukrainians were expelled in 15. who subsequently came to the southwest border, and only 8 percent in 2023.
The parole process, not Title 42, was responsible for the decline in arrivals at the southwest border.
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