On January 6, 2023, the U.S. government announced a new advance parole process for people from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela who hope to come to the United States and apply for asylum.
Asylum vs. Refugee Status
NOT the same!
Often, the concept of “asylum” gets confused with the term “refugee”. However, these are actually two completely different processes when it comes to immigration law in the United States.
The key difference is that you must apply for refugee status OUTSIDE of the United States in a designated refugee country, while you must be INSIDE the U.S. to apply for asylum. If you are looking for information on the new refugee program in 2023, please click here.
However, Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans and Venezuelans CANNOT apply to come to the United States as refugees.
“Reasonable Fear of Persecution”
In order for anyone to apply for asylum in the U.S., they must be able to show a “reasonable fear of persecution”. This will be decided by a U.S. Immigration Officer or judge. This “reasonable fear of persecution” must be based on one or more of the following:
- Political Opinion
- Particular Social Group
If you are able to prove a “reasonable fear of persecution” successfully to an Immigration Officer, there is still the issue of Title 42, a series of Public Health and Welfare laws. Due to COVID-19, the U.S. government has been using Title 42 to prevent people from entering the United States and applying for asylum.
Title 42 is set to end in May 2023, but this does NOT necessarily mean you will be able to enter the United States at that time. The government has stated it will still turn away migrants at the border with new laws.
NEW Advance Parole Process
Therefore, the safest way to come to the U.S. and apply for asylum is via the new advance parole process. The new system is an extension of the parole system used with Venezuelans in late 2022, but there are some differences.
Previously, the United States limited how many Venezuelans could come to the United States at 24,000 per year. However, the United States will now allow 30,000 people total EACH MONTH between the four countries of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela to enter the United States via this new advance parole program.
Please follow these links below to learn more about the new 2023 advance parole program for Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
Last updated: 04-05-2023
Immigration law is always changing. We will do our best to keep our website as up-to-date as possible, but the latest information might be more readily available at USCIS.gov. These pages were written to help you better understand your legal options, however, none of the information published by Catholic Charities Milwaukee should be considered legal advice. If you plan to open your own immigration case, hire an immigration attorney to consult you personally.