Biden Administration Announces “Process for Venezuelans” While Expanding Use of Title 42 at the Southern Border

October 19, 2022

On October 12, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security announced a new pathway for eligible Venezuelan nationals to request travel authorization to the United States due to urgent humanitarian reasons. On October 18, 2022, USCIS provided additional details about the application process. If approved, Venezuelan nationals would be permitted to fly to the U.S. to seek admission at an airport U.S. port of entry for a temporary period of parole for up to 2-years. After entering the U.S., beneficiaries of the program may also apply for employment authorization.

To be considered for advance authorization to travel to the United States under this process, a beneficiary must:

  • Be a national of Venezuela or be an immediate family member (spouse, common-law partner, or unmarried child under the age of 21) of an eligible Venezuelan and traveling with them;
  • Possess a passport valid for international travel;
  • Be outside the United States;
  • Have a U.S.-based supporter (holding a lawful status in the U.S.) who filed a Form I-134 on their behalf that USCIS has vetted and confirmed;
  • Provide for their own commercial travel to a U.S. airport and final U.S. destination;
  • Undergo and clear required screening and vetting;
  • Not be a permanent resident or dual national of any country other than Venezuela, and not currently hold refugee status in any country;
    • This requirement does not apply to immediate family members (spouse, common-law partner, or unmarried child under the age of 21) of an eligible national of Venezuela who they are traveling with.
  • Not be an unaccompanied child;
    • Children under the age of 18 must be traveling to the United States in the care and custody of their parent or legal guardian.
  • Not have been ordered removed from the United States within the past 5 years or be subject to a bar based on a prior removal order;
  • Not have crossed irregularly into the United States, between ports of entry, after Oct. 19, 2022;
  • Not have unlawfully crossed the Mexican or Panamanian borders after Oct. 19, 2022; and
  • Comply with all additional requirements, including vaccination requirements and other public health guidelines.

The October 12th announcement from DHS also emphasized that this new program was contingent upon the expanded and continued cooperation with Mexico to use Title 42 to expel Venezuelan nationals attempting to enter the U.S. at the Southern border back to Mexico. Title 42 is a controversial policy, originally implemented early in the Covid-19 pandemic by the Trump Administration, which invokes U.S. health law to expel migrants on public health grounds without a hearing and greatly curtails the ability of migrants to seek asylum at the border—which would be otherwise permitted under U.S. law.  Although the Biden administration previously sought to end the use of Title 42, a court order has held the program in place. With the announcement of this program, the Biden administration now seems to embrace this controversial policy.

If you would like assistance in filing as a Beneficiary or U.S.-based support in the Process for Venezuelans program, please contact us to schedule a consultation.


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