Resources on Parole

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This resource addresses frequently asked questions related to opportunities for parole for families separated under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy.

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USCIS and DOS established the CAM refugee and parole program in December 2014 to allow a safe and legal basis for certain unaccompanied minors from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to join qualifying parents in the United States.

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This practice advisory with frequently asked questions provides an overview of the newly announced Afghan re-parole program through USCIS. It also addresses questions about eligibility, the application process, and the intersection of re-parole and other immigration benefits.

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The HFRP program was implemented in 2015 for Haitian nationals who are the beneficiaries of family-based immigrant visa petitions filed by certain family members in the United States. The intent of the program was to expedite family reunification by granting parole to eligible Haitians awaiting visa availability.

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The “Lautenberg Amendment” was enacted in fiscal year 1990 as part of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act.1 Under the Lautenberg Amendment, the Attorney General was required to designate certain groups of individuals from the former Soviet bloc, Vietnam, Laos, or Cambodia who would be subject to a lower standard of proof to evidence their refugee status.

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The Cuban Family Reunification Parole (CFRP) Program allows for a U.S.-based petitioner to file for parole for a family member in Cuba if the petitioner has an approved I-130 petition for that family member, there is no visa number available, and the petitioner has received an invitation from the Department of State’s National Visa Center to participate in the program. The principal beneficiary must be a Cuban national living in Cuba.

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This program, implemented in 2016, made certain beneficiaries of approved I-130 petitions filed by Filipino veterans or their surviving spouses eligible for parole.1 The purpose of this was to alleviate the hardship caused by long backlogs in the family-based preference category for citizens of the Philippines and allow those granted parole to care of their aging veteran family members. All family-based preference categories are included in the FWVP program.

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The advisory also covers various categories of parole and their eligibility criteria, as well as the processes to request these types of parole.

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These FAQs help practitioners and potential sponsors understand the requirements for a financial sponsor for humanitarian parole as well as for a supporter for the Uniting for Ukraine and CHNV parole programs.

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On Jan. 6, 2023, DHS began accepting online applications for the Cuban, Haitian, and Nicaraguan programs. The Venezuelan parole process has been open since Oct. 18, 2022. Under these parole programs, nationals of the four countries who are outside the United States may apply for advance permission to travel to the United States and enter through a grant of parole. DHS has lifted the previous cap of 24,000 Venezuelan beneficiaries and will now provide travel authorization to a total of 30,000 beneficiaries per month across the four countries.

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This document provides answers to frequently asked questions on EADs for Ukrainians who have paroled into the United States pursuant to the Uniting for Ukraine program. It is available in English, Ukrainian, and Russian.

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Afghans paroled into the U.S. pursuant to Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) were in most cases granted parole for a two-year period. They were also issued employment authorization documents (EADs) valid for the duration of the parole period. Because most Afghans evacuated pursuant to OAW entered the United States in August and September 2021, they now have less than a year left on their EAD and must consider other options in order to maintain the continuity of their employment authorization.

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The Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, has announced two new options for Ukrainians who have fled Ukraine or are seeking a safe haven within the United States due to the Russian war on their country. On April 19, 2022, DHS designated Ukraine for Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, which would allow Ukrainians who were physically present in the U.S. on April 19, 2022, and meet other requirements to seek temporary lawful status. On April 25, 2022, USCIS opened a new process, “Uniting for Ukraine,” which allows displaced Ukrainians outside the United States to apply for advance permission to travel to the United States and be paroled. This FAQ addresses commonly asked questions about who qualifies for TPS and Uniting for Ukraine, the respective application processes, and basic strategies for assisting Ukrainian clients.

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The Department of Homeland Security has announced designations for Temporary Protected Status for Afghanistan and Ukraine. While eligible applicants cannot apply until details are published in the Federal Register, here is what we know for now.

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The current public charge standard applies in different ways to Afghans seeking SIV status, humanitarian parole, asylum, and adjustment of status based on a family-based petition. Recent evacuees may also be eligible for a wider range of public benefits, which could complicate their later proving that they are not likely to become a public charge.

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On August 19, 2019, USCIS issued new policy guidance in its Policy Manual on employment authorization for non-citizens who have been paroled into the United States. The policy guidance states that employment authorization for parolees is discretionary and lays out the factors that should be taken into account when determining whether employment authorization should be granted as a matter of discretion.