Beginning on October 18, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began accepting applications for a new humanitarian parole program aimed to assist Venezuelans seeking to flee their country for safety and citizenship within the United States. The Venezuelan humanitarian parole program was modeled on the successful United for Ukraine parole process and in cooperation with other countries such as Mexico.
Venezuelan citizens have been victims of social unrest and political turmoil. A record number of them have chosen to flee their country in pursuit of safer conditions elsewhere. Reportedly, nearly seven million Venezuelans have left their country, making this one of the largest exodus in world history. Many of those are traveling on foot to make the 3,000-mile journey through Central America and Mexico to the southern U.S. border.
Illegal entry into the United States is problematic on many levels. First, those crossing the border without approval and legal processing are a concern to those who live and work near the border with Mexico. Secondly, those seeking refuge in the United States are susceptible to scams, physical injury, and death when legal means of entry are unavailable. For these reasons among others, the Biden Administration felt it was important to offer a legal process to aid hopeful Venezuelan immigrants.
Qualifications for the Venezuelan Humanitarian Parole Program
In order to qualify for this program, applicants must:
- Have a sponsor-supporter in the United States who will provide housing and financial support as needed,
- They must complete background checks such as passing national security and public safety vetting,
- They must purchase their own flight and travel to an interior U.S. port of entry (POE) rather than entering the country at a land POE, and
- They were not removed from the U.S. for illegal entry within the past five years or have not illegally entered the U.S. after the new program rules were published.
Those individuals attempting to enter the U.S. illegally will be subject to immediate expulsion.
More information about the Venezuelan humanitarian parole program and the procedures for application can be found in the Federal Register.
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