United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently updated its rules and requirements for processing immigration applications in the U.S. for citizens of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.
“We are updating the review process because the number of supporters who have submitted Form I-134A, Online Request to be a Supporter and Declaration of Financial Support, is significantly higher than the 30,000 monthly travel authorizations available,” the USCIS wrote in a recent announcement.
So, what are the new USCIS immigration rules for citizens from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela? Who’s eligible, and who does not qualify? The new regulations are very complicated. The Indiana immigration attorneys at Hocker Law in Indianapolis are here to help break down what you should know.
What are the new U.S. immigration rules for citizens of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela?
Effective May 17, 2023, the United States government decided to grant advance travel authorization for up to 30,000 noncitizens each month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela who want to come to the United States on a case-by-case basis.
This particular program is important since the additional 30,000 noncitizens authorized to travel to the United States from these four countries would otherwise be inadmissible or ineligible to enter the United States.
Which immigration applications will be reviewed first?
The new USCIS rules also include rules for handling immigration applications, such as which will be reviewed and processed first from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. First, USCIS will randomly select half of the entire Form I-134A applications – regardless of when they were filed – to determine whether to approve those application requests.
Afterward, USCIS will review the remaining Form I-134A applications from citizens from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela based on when the forms were submitted, a review process known as the first-in, first-out method, which gives older Form I-134A applications priority.
Who qualifies for this adjustment of immigration status?
The new USCIS rules clearly state the requirements under the new immigration review process:
- Citizens of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.
- Immediate family members (spouse, children under 21 years old) traveling with an eligible citizen of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.
- Have a valid passport from one of these four countries.
- Currently living outside the United States.
- Have a qualified immigration supporter in the United States.
- Pass a USCIS security screening.
- Have the financial resources or arrange to pay for your flight to the United States.
- Have the appropriate vaccinations and meet other USCIS medical requirements.
Who does not qualify for this adjustment of immigration status?
Immigrants from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela who do not qualify under the new USCIS rules include:
- Anyone who received a deportation order from the U.S. in the previous 5 years.
- Entered the U.S. without authorization after January 5, 2023.
- Anyone who entered Mexico or Panama without authorization after January 5, 2023.
- Cubans or Haitians who attempted to enter the United States by sea.
- Have dual nationality or permanent residency in any other country.
- Have refugee status in any country.
How can an immigration attorney help?
There are many other new rules and regulations that apply to citizens of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela who want to move to the United States legally. This is why it’s critical that you have an experienced, knowledgeable immigration lawyer familiar with the latest rules and regulations that apply to immigrants from these four countries.
Our Indianapolis-based immigration attorneys at Hocker Law thoroughly understand these rules and regulations. Our Spanish-speaking law firm also knows how the immigration application process works and can help you every step of the way.
Put your trust in a law firm that puts your needs first. Contact us and schedule a free consultation with an experienced immigration lawyer you can count on when it matters most. We have Spanish-speaking staff members and three offices conveniently located in Indiana, including two in Indianapolis.