Haitian Parole Program Fact Sheet: Information on the New Parole Program Available to Haitians Outside the United States

Information on the New Parole Program Available to Haitians Outside the United States

In an attempt to stop people from embarking on dangerous migration journeys over land and by sea, relying on smugglers, and coming to cities along the U.S.-Mexico border, the Biden administration has announced the creation of a new parole program (the “CHNV Parole Program”). The program permits sponsors in the United States to apply for Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, and Venezuelan beneficiaries to fly to the United States and remain in the U.S. for two years. No one may enter under this program except by airplane.

Key Points:

— No one who enters Mexico, Panama, or the U.S. unlawfully after January 9, 2023 will be eligible. This program does not allow for parole through land border ports of entry.
— A U.S.-based sponsor with legal status, and able to financially support the beneficiary for two years, starts the application process; the sponsor can but needn’t be a family member.
— There is no application fee — applying is free of charge, and anyone telling you otherwise is likely trying to take advantage of you.
— Beneficiaries generally can be in any country outside the United States. If beneficiaries are in a country other than Haiti, they are not eligible for the program if they have obtained permanent residence, citizenship, or refugee status in that other country. Those with temporary status or visas in other countries are eligible. Beneficiaries are ineligible if they have been ordered removed from the U.S. within the prior five years.
— To be eligible for parole, each beneficiary needs a valid passport, must pay for their flight to the U.S., and, on arrival, can apply for a work permit and other statuses and relief.
— The primary beneficiary must be a Haitian national but his or her immediate family members (spouse, common law partner, unmarried children under 21) can be nationals of other countries. Unaccompanied children are not eligible for this program. Children under 18 years old must travel to the US with a parent or legal guardian to use this program.  
— If you have a visa application pending, you are eligible for the program and would be able to adjust status after parole, but you should check with an immigration attorney about the impact on your pending case before coming to the U.S. on parole.
— This program does not require an in-person appointment or interview at an embassy.
— The process should take a few weeks from application to authorization of beneficiary to travel to the United States, although we will have to see if the program will be this efficient in practice.
— Up to 30,000 Cubans, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans and Haitians can come to the United States each month through the program. 

The Process:

Participation in the program begins with a supporter or sponsor in the United States in legal status registering to support a Haitian national abroad.  Sponsors can be those with TPS, parole, deferred action,asylum or refugee status,permanent residency, or US Citizenship, and they can be any relative, friend, pastor, or group of people, like several relatives or friends or colleagues,  or a business or a religious or other organization, who can prove that they can financially support the beneficiaries during the two-year parole period. People who have been granted asylum can be sponsors, but people who are asylum seekers with pending cases cannot. People cannot be sponsors if they have not yet been granted initial TPS.

Sponsors must apply for the program using Form I-134A, Online Request to be a Supporter and Declaration of Financial Support available here: https://www.uscis.gov/i-134a  Sponsors should have accurate email addresses for beneficiaries.  Sponsors must submit a separate Form I-134A for each beneficiary they are seeking to support, including Haitians’ immediate family members and minor children. Sponsors generally must show proof of income (through showing tax filings, pay stubs, or bank statements) and be able to house and feed the beneficiary for two years. If a group or organization is supporting the beneficiary, the individual who fills out the form should include a letter of commitment from a representative of the organization or entity describing the monetary or other types of support (such as housing, basic necessities, transportation, etc.) they will be providing to the specific beneficiary. USCIS may request additional evidence to determine if sponsors have sufficient resources.

Once USCIS reviews and approves sponsors’ applications, beneficiaries will get an email informing them how to apply online by creating an online account with myUSCIS. The application will include confirming biographical information and attestation that they meet public health requirements, including certain vaccination requirements. Again, all beneficiaries, including children, need valid unexpired passports.

Next, beneficiaries will receive instructions through myUSCIS for accessing the CBP One mobile registration application. The beneficiary must then enter biographic information into CBP One and submit a live photo.

Next, the beneficiary will receive a notice in their myUSCIS account confirming whether CBP has provided the beneficiary with advance authorization to travel to the United States. This travel authorization is generally valid for 90 days, and beneficiaries are responsible for securing their own travel via commercial air to an interior city of the United States.

Upon arriving at the airport, each individual arriving under this process will be inspected by CBP and considered for a grant of discretionary parole for a period of up to two years. As part of the inspection, beneficiaries will undergo additional screening including fingerprint biometric vetting. 

After beneficiaries are paroled into the United States, they can apply for work authorization from USCIS. To apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), you must submit Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, using the C(11) category code with the required fee or apply for a fee waiver. To file Form I-765 online, eligible applicants will access their USCIS online account at my.uscis.gov.  Applicants who are requesting a waiver of the Form I-765 filing fee or are eligible for a fee exemption must submit Form I-765 by mail.

Importantly, Haitians with parole are also eligible for services which are available to those with Cuban/Haitian entrant status through the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Information about available services is here:  https://www.acf.hhs.gov/orr/fact-sheet/benefits-cuban/haitian-entrants  To enroll in services, you should contact an agency affiliated with a resettlement agency in your state: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/orr/grant-funding/state-florida-programs-and-services-locality

Additional Information:
More information about the parole program is here:  https://www.uscis.gov/CHNV

Answers to common questions about the program can be found here: https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/frequently-asked-questions-about-the-processes-for-cubans-haitians-nicaraguans-and-venezuelans

More information about sponsorship and parole in Haitian Creole is available here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SF44UA8pJIadiHI3vUNxU1sXo37Fwkuc/edit

If you are interested in being a sponsor, Welcome.us has prepared an interactive Sponsorship Training, an I-134 Guide, and a sign-up form to build networks of people to sponsor.

For general questions or inquiries about status of a Form I-134A, you can send a secure message from your USCIS account or call the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833).

Haitians in the United States in removal proceedings can, one sole time, make him- or herself eligible for parole under this program if they voluntarily depart the United States or withdraw their application for admission to the United States. Please consult with an attorney about this if this applies to you. 

Haitians who are near the U.S.-Mexico border can apply for an appointment through an online application called CBP One beginning on January 12, 2023. You need a web-enabled smart device to download and use the CBP One app, which is free and is currently available in English and Spanish.  Appointments to cross will be available at ports of entry in Texas at Brownsville, Eagle Pass, Hidalgo, Laredo and El Paso (Paso del Norte); in Arizona at Nogales; and in California at Calexico West and San Ysidro (Pedestrian West – El Chaparral). It is not possible to pay to “expedite” or secure an appointment, so don’t believe anyone who offers to do that for you. For information about CBP One:
CBP One™ Fact Sheet – English | U.S. Customs and Border Protection
CBP One™ Fact Sheet – Spanish | U.S. Customs and Border Protection
CBPOne Traveler Quick Reference Guide English | U.S. Customs and Border Protection
CBPOne Traveler Guia de referencia rapida en espanol | U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Anyone who thinks they or their relatives or friends may qualify for the parole program is strongly advised to first consult a reputable attorney or organization experienced in assisting Haitians, such as Catholic Charities Legal Services or other established and reputable organizations including for example Haitian Bridge Alliance, which has created an information sheet here (in English) and here (Haitian Creole).

If you have further questions, you can reach out to:  
Yael Schacher at Refugees International, yael@refugeesinternational.org
Steve Forester at IJDH, steveforester@aol.com, 786-877-6999
Clarel Cyriaque at his Law Office, clarelcyriaque@netscape.net