On October 12, 2022, USCIS announced a new program called “Process for Venezuelans,” which allows Venezuelan nationals with an approved sponsor to come to the United States with parole for up to 2 years. Here is what you need to know if you would like to sponsor a Venezuelan.
Do I Qualify to Be a Sponsor to a Venezuelan National?
To be a sponsor, or supporter, of a Venezuelan national you must meet the following criteria:
Have Current Lawful Status in the United States
Examples of people who qualify include:
- U.S. citizens & nationals
- Lawful permanent residents (green card holders)
- Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders
- Recipients of deferred action or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)
Pending status is NOT enough. If you have a pending TPS or asylum application, you do not qualify to be a sponsor. Only those with a current, granted status will be eligible to apply. You do NOT need to be related to the Venezuelan in order to support their application.
Pass a Background Check
You will be required to complete a biometrics screening, meaning you will attend an appointment at a USCIS office where your fingerprints and photo will be taken.
Be Able to Financially Support the Venezuelan through the Parole Period
You must provide with your application proof that you can financially support the Venezuelan during the parole period. To do this you must provide proof of your income and assets, as well as any other income or assets, including the Venezuelan’s, that will be used to support the Venezuelan.
Be Willing to Physically Support the Venezuelan during the Parole Period
As a Sponsor, you agree to:
Immediately. If you and the Venezuelan you would like to sponsor qualify for the program, you need to apply as soon as possible by submitting an I-134 to USCIS. There is no deadline to apply, but only 24,000 Venezuelans will be allowed to enter the U.S. through this program. Over 6,800 Venezuelans have already been approved. Restrictions also apply for the Venezuelan nationals who apply.
- Meet the Venezuelan when they arrive in the U.S. and transport them to their initial housing;
- Ensure that the Venezuelan is safe and has housing and other necessities throughout their parole period;
- As appropriate, help the Venezuelan complete necessary paperwork, such as for employment authorization applications, etc.;
- Ensure the Venezuelan’s health care needs are met during the parole period; and
- Assist the Venezuelan with access to education, learning English, securing employment, and enrolling children in school.
When Do I Need to Apply to Be a Sponsor?
If you think you and your Venezuelan family member or friend are eligible for this program, contact one of our offices for a consultation with an attorney who specializes in USCIS cases. We offer telephonic, video, and in-person consultations at our offices in Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Fresno, Sacramento, and San Francisco, California; Phoenix, Arizona; Salt Lake City and Orem, Utah; and Boise, Idaho.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Carly Huchendorf is an associate attorney for Wilner & O’Reilly in the Salt Lake City office. She earned her Juris Doctorate degree from J. Reuben Clark Law School in Provo, Utah and was admitted to practice law in Utah in 2019. During her time in law school, Ms. Huchendorf was awarded the John S. Welch Award for Outstanding Legal Writing, the Distinguished Clinical Practice Award, and the Faculty Award for Meritorious Achievement and Distinguished Service. She also interned for the Seattle, Washington and Florence, Arizona immigration courts, and worked as a legal fellow for the BYU Community Legal Clinic, where she provided free legal services to low-income community members.
Prior to joining Wilner & O’Reilly, Ms. Huchendorf worked as an Attorney Advisor for the Salt Lake City, Utah immigration court. In that position, she researched and drafted decisions on behalf of the immigration judges regarding complex deportation cases. Ms. Huchendorf speaks Spanish and English.