Overview: A year after the launch of an immigration parole program by the Biden administration, allowing 30,000 people per month to enter the U.S. from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, challenges related to work permits are surfacing. Asylum seekers must wait 180 days before becoming eligible for work permits, creating stress and financial difficulties for them and their sponsors. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) aims to expedite this process, but some issues persist.
Asylum Seekers’ Waiting Period: As per legal requirements, asylum seekers must endure a 180-day waiting period before they qualify for a work permit upon arrival in the U.S.
DHS Efforts to Accelerate Work Permits: The DHS is working on expediting the process for parolees to obtain work permits, aiming to reduce the median wait time from 90 days to 30 days for those using the CBP One mobile app. This app is used by parolees to request Advance Travel Authorization to the U.S.
Need for Clarity on Work Permits: Some individuals may not realize they can apply for a work permit if they’ve received parole, leading to unnecessary delays. Clarification is required to ensure eligible individuals understand their options.
Legal Challenge and Immigration Reform: Florida is among the states that have filed a lawsuit against the parole program, alleging executive overreach. DHS emphasizes that the parole process is case-by-case, with independent evaluations. It calls on Congress to address the broader immigration system, which remains in need of reform.
While the immigration parole program streamlines entry for thousands, addressing work permit delays remains a priority as the DHS strives to strike a balance between facilitating entry and strengthening enforcement.