December 2, 2022

How to apply for a place in the new US immigration program for Venezuelans, how long you can stay and other key questions

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(CNN Spanish) — The United States advances details of its plan to allow the legal entry of Venezuelans into its territory through a program similar to the one it created to address the situation of Ukrainians who left their country escaping from the war. Here, the answer to eight key questions.

The Joe Biden administration outlined two key changes to its policies regarding Venezuelans traveling north. On the one hand, it decided that those who “enter the border irregularly will be immediately returned to Mexico,” as Blas Núñez-Neto, Acting Undersecretary for Border and Immigration Policy of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), explained in dialogue with journalists. for its acronym in English).

In return, it will enable a process to allow the entry of “those who are willing to wait and apply to come to the United States legally.” Day by day more details of this process are becoming known, although there are still unanswered questions.

1. How should applications be made?

As the DHS advanced, for a Venezuelan to apply for legal entry through this new plan, they must have the support of a person or organization in the country that has the financial means to support them.

For this reason, the first thing that the US authorities will do is confirm that the sponsors who agree to support a Venezuelan who wants to go to the United States actually have the financial capacity to do so.

Once this is confirmed, the beneficiary will have to make their own application in which personal data and a photo will be included. From there, a review process will begin in the National Security and Public Security databases, as well as Health, to define the travel authorizations.

The application process has no cost for the sponsor or the beneficiary, but the person who supports the arrival of the Venezuelan citizen “will have to prove that he has the financial means to be able to support and sustain the person who is going to benefit. during his stay in the United States,” Núñez-Neto clarified.

The process will be done entirely online and, if your application is approved, the beneficiary must enter by air.

2. What should you NOT do if you want to be able to apply to the plan?

Venezuelans who have entered Panama or Mexico irregularly after the announcement by the United States on October 12 will not be able to apply to the plan, so if you want to apply to the plan and have not crossed into one of those countries, do not do it.

3. What happens if you have been in Mexico for a long time?

If you arrived in Mexico before the announcement of the plan, you can apply from wherever you are. The process is totally on-lineso it is not necessary for you to move to a specific city or seek to get closer to the border.

4. How long can the process take?

The process can be “very fast,” said Núñez-Neto, referring to the program aimed at Ukrainians. In that case, according to the chief, there are applications that have been resolved in less than a week. He also said work authorization can come “almost immediately after entering the United States” legally.

5. How long can you stay in the United States legally?

The program provides that accepted Venezuelans can work in the United States legally for two years.

6. What will happen when the 24,000 places are exhausted?

The program initially foresees 24,000 places, which can be considered few if the figures provided by the DHS itself on the migration of Venezuelans are taken into account. In the fiscal year that recently ended, which ran from October 2021 to October 2022, there were more than 180,000 encounters between Venezuelans and agents at the border, which represented a nearly fourfold increase.

Núñez-Neto explained that the process will be closely monitored to determine its effectiveness and that if it has the expected effect, there will be a process to “increase and expand” the plan. However, he did not give specific figures or dates.

7. What about the title 42 exceptions process?

Title 42, a rule created by the Donald Trump administration that allows migrants to be quickly expelled at land borders, will remain in force for the time being and by judicial decision. That authority, which is Public Health, “has priority” over the immigration authorities, explained the DHS chief.

What will also remain in place is the possibility of applying to an exception to Title 42 provided for people in vulnerable situations, which has already been operating at the border for many months.

8. What happens if you are deported to Mexico?

The US chief insisted that questions related to the situation of Venezuelans in Mexican territory should be addressed to the country’s authorities. However, he said that State Department officials are in close contact with international organizations for the establishment of shelters and other facilities that can receive Venezuelans.

This Friday, one of the international bridges on the border between Tamaulipas, Mexico, and Texas, United States, was closed as part of a protest by dozens of Venezuelan migrants who had been deported to Mexico on Thursday and claimed to be removed from the country. , one of them told a CNN crew in the area.

With information from Fidel Gutiérrez of CNN.



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