Oct 24, 2022 Immigration Law

USCIS Introduces New Process to Sponsor Venezuelans

On October 18, 2022, the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) implemented a new program for Venezuelans seeking parole in the United States. The program, which is fully online and free of charge, will allow up to 24,000 Venezuelans to be legally admitted to the US for a 2-year period, during which they will be eligible to apply for work authorization. Each applicant will need a US sponsor with lawful status who can demonstrate the ability to financially support the applicant. Applicants must also pass background checks and comply with vaccination and public health requirements. The process is modeled on the Biden Administration’s Uniting for Ukraine program, and may be expanded in the future if it is deemed successful.

At the same time, the Biden Administration has announced that Venezuelans who enter the US without authorization will be returned to Mexico and made ineligible for the new process. Likewise, anyone who enters the US, Mexico or Panama without authorization after October 12, 2022, and anyone who is a dual resident of another country or currently holds refugee status in another country will not be eligible to partake in the program.

I-9 Flexibilities Extended Through July 31, 2023

 The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending the Form I-9 compliance rules that were first announced in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The policy is now in place until July 31, 2023, and permits employers who are operating remotely to examine I-9 identity and work authorization documents over video, fax or email. For more details on the current I-9 policies, please contact your KM&M attorney.