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On February 9, 2023, the United States welcomed 222 individuals who had been imprisoned by the Government of Nicaragua for exercising their fundamental freedoms and endured lengthy, unjust detentions (from here on “parolees”).  Below is a compilation of information and resources to help parolees and the community around them navigate frequently asked questions related to their adjustment status. Please note that this information is specific to the group of 222 Nicaraguan parolees and may not be applicable to other individuals paroled into the U.S. under other programs. Please see Appendix 1 for an Overview of the Nicaragua Operation, and the distribution of the Nicaraguan community across states.

Part 1: Frequently Asked Questions for Parolees

Question 1: I am in urgent need of care – what do I do?

Please call the below National Emergency Hotlines based on your needs:

Question 2: What does “parole” mean?

Parole allows individuals who may not otherwise be allowed into the United States to enter the United States legally and stay temporarily, even if they are inadmissible or ineligible for other reasons.

black and white icon of an exclamation point in a text bubble

If you seek to travel internationally you will need to request advance parole.  Learn more about requesting advance parole .

Question 3: Do I automatically get a parole in the U.S.?

Yes, all Nicaraguan parolees were granted a two-year humanitarian parole into the U.S. However, to maintain your parole you will need to meet the following medical and legal conditions:

  • Within 14 days of being granted parole: If you did not receive a measles, polio, or COVID-19 vaccine prior to arriving to the United States, you must be vaccinated against measles, polio, and COVID-19 (if age-eligible, and have no medical contraindications for these vaccines available in the US).[1]
  • Within 90 days of being granted parole: You must undergo tuberculosis screening starting with an IGRA (interferon-gamma release assay) blood test. You must take appropriate isolation and treatment measures if the tuberculosis screen is positive.
  • You must notify USCIS of every change of address within 10 days of moving, and no later than 30 days from each change of address by following these instructions: How to Change Your Address | USCIS  

Note: You must also comply with all public health directives, comply with requests for additional information from the Department of Homeland Security and other federal law enforcement, and comply with local, State and Federal laws and ordinances.  You may also be subject to additional conditions of parole on a case-by-case basis.  For more information, please visit cdc.gov and cdc.gov/publichealthgateway/healthdirectories/index.html.

Asylum
black and white icon of a cupped hand facing up holding a simple depiction of a person, a heart shape floats in the top left Generally, individuals applying for asylum must apply within one year of their arrival to the United States, with limited exceptions.   If you do not file for asylum before your parole expires, you may still qualify for an exception to the One-Year Filing Deadline if the delay in filing is reasonable.

Find more information on asylum .

To apply for asylum, file Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal (Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal | USCIS ).  There is no fee to file Form I-589.

If you do decide to apply for asylum, please notify the Department at WHACoordination@state.gov so we can engage with USCIS regarding your application.

For more information, please see Appendix 2: Information Sheet for Individuals Paroled into the United States.

Question 4: I am missing some of my vaccines – where do I get them?

You are responsible for arranging the vaccinations and tuberculosis screening on your own.

  • Nicaraguan parolees who have opted for support will be assigned a case manager from the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT). CVT case managers will work to connect parolees with relevant resources at the state and local level, including locations for vaccinations and tuberculosis screening  and treatment services.
  • Pharmacies offer a wide-spectrum of immunization, including for COVID-19, measles, and polio.  COVID-19 vaccines  are free of charge.
  • If you are unable to cover the immunization costs, try contacting your local health department or nearestCommunity Health Center  in your state. (If you don’t know how to locate your local health department, contact your state immunization program  for help.) Community Health Centers provide comprehensive medical care, low-cost dental care, vision, and pharmacy.  Their services include vaccinations, teeth cleaning, gynecological care, prenatal and perinatal services, checkups, as well as preventive screenings.

Question 5: Who and what is a case manager?

black and white icon of two hands graspingThe Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) has been contracted to provide trauma-informed case management services to all parolees who consented to have their information shared with CVT. This does not include providing financial assistance and related forms of direct support to address immediate needs. For information on the availability of financial assistance from non-governmental sources, please contact your CVT case manager. For more information, please see Appendix 2: CVT Overview.

black and white icon of a analog clock in top left, a message bubble with three dots in the top right, an arrow pointing to the right runs through three circles across the bottomBy now, all parolees who consented to services should have been matched with an individual case manager. The case manager will provide one-on-one services starting with a comprehensive needs assessment, which will review medical, mental health, legal, housing, transportation, education, employment, and community support needs.

black and white icon of a clip boardThe case manager will work closely with you to identify community resources, communicate with community agencies, and connect you to community-based services. This includes coordinating appointments, interpretation, and transportation, as well as assisting with client education and virtual accompaniment when necessary. CVT has not been contracted to directly assist you with identifying and paying for housing; paying medical costs; or otherwise providing financial support for related immediate needs. The purpose of CVT’s case management services is to ensure stable connection to local care and serve as a bridge from arrival to integration in the destination community. CVT can also connect parolees to mental health and psychosocial support services as needed.

black and white outline of a buildingCVT will work with you to apply for assistance from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) funded Survivors of Torture (SOT) centers in your communities. For more information on SOT centers, you can visit Services for Survivors of Torture (SOT). Please note, the 222 released Nicaraguan Political prisoners have been determined to be eligible for the ORR SOT Program, authorized by the Torture Victims Relief Act of 1998, as their experience presumptively satisfies all elements of the definition of torture. However, at this time, their immigration status does not provide eligibility for other ORR refugee program assistance. For information about eligibility for ORR refugee program services, see ORR Policy Letter 16-01, Documentation Requirements for The Refugee Resettlement Program.

Question 6: I want to find a job in the U.S. – what do I need to do?

Parolees who want to work in the U.S. must apply for employment authorization by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization .

Employment Authorization Applications (Form I-765s) for this group of Nicaraguan parolees must be submitted via paper copy (not online) and add the code NICPAR with pen on the upper right corner of the form.  The fee has been waived and processing will be expedited.  Applications must be sent to:

USCIS
ATTN: NICPAR
10 Application Way
Montclair, CA 91763-1350

**Applicants need to include a copy of their I-94 with their paper application.

Helpful Filing Notes for the I-765:

  • The relevant parole category for this group is (c)(11)
  • This group does not yet have an A-number (the eleven-digit number on the I-94 is not an A-number)

If USCIS approves your Form I-765, they will mail your Employment Authorization Document to you at the address you list on your application, unless you thereafter update it by filing a Form AR-11 to change your address.  As a condition of parole, you must notify USCIS of an address change within 10 days each time you move, even if you are moving to a temporary location, and no later than 30 days from each change of address.  USCIS must have your current mailing address to send you notices and documents without delay.  You can change your address online and update your address on any pending applications and petitions at the same time using the USCIS Online Change of Address system at CoA – Change of Address (uscis.gov)  or by visiting Alien’s Change of Address Card | USCIS .

Question 7: I want to bring my family in the U.S. with me – what do I need to do?

The U.S. government has announced processes through which eligible nationals of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela, and their immediate family members, may come to the United States for a temporary period of parole for up to two years (the CHNV program).

Potential beneficiaries seeking parole under these processes must:

  • Be outside the United States;
  • Be a national of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, or Venezuela, or be an immediate family member (spouse, common-law partner, or unmarried child under the age of 21) of, and traveling with, an eligible Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, or Venezuelan;
  • Have a U.S.-based sponsor[2] who filed Form I-134A, on their behalf and has the Form I-134A confirmed by USCIS;
  • Possess an unexpired passport valid for international travel;
  • Be traveling with a parent or legal guardian if under 18 years old; and
  • Comply with all requirements, including vaccination and other public health guidelines.

Eligibility Requirements – U.S.-based sponsors must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident, in a lawful immigration status in the United States, or a parolee or beneficiary of deferred action or Deferred Enforced Departure;
  • Pass security and background vetting; and
  • Demonstrate sufficient financial resources to receive, maintain, and support the proposed beneficiary for the duration of the beneficiary’s parole period.

Please note that, under these processes, USCIS is the federal agency that confirms a potential sponsor’s ability to financially support a beneficiary, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the federal agency that will determine if a potential beneficiary is approved for advance travel authorization.  If approved by CBP, the beneficiary will receive a travel authorization that is valid for 90 days.

  • Approval of advance travel authorization to the United States does not guarantee parole into the United States, which is a discretionary determination made by CBP at the U.S. port of entry.

Find more information about these processes and the eligibility requirements to be a sponsor or beneficiary . On this webpage, under the section called, Related Links, you will also find informational flyers that outline the key steps in these processes.


black and white icon of an envelope with a bubble i in a message bubble

I want to sponsor my family member through these processes, but I need financial assistance. What can I do?

Multiple sponsors or individuals may join together to financially support a beneficiary.  However, one individual must sign the Form I-134A.  If you want to sponsor an eligible family member through these processes and have multiple supporters who would like to contribute financially, submit Form I-134A and include supplementary evidence identifying the other supporters and what they will provide. You should also provide a statement explaining the intent to share financial responsibility.

Organizations, businesses, and other entities can play a critical role in providing sponsorship to beneficiaries arriving under this program.  Although an individual sponsor is required to file and sign the Form I-134A, they can do so in association with or on behalf of an organization, business, or other entity that will provide some or all of the necessary financial support to the beneficiary.  USCIS has provided detailed information about how you can sponsor a beneficiary in association with or on behalf of an entity .  

Organizations outside of the government may be able to help potential sponsors and beneficiaries to prepare their application. The following resources may assist you in how you may form a group of sponsors to share financial responsibility.

  • Welcome.us  provides information on welcoming and supporting newcomer populations. Their platform, Welcome Connect , provides the space to connect sponsors and beneficiaries who do not already know each other. These connections result in supporting beneficiaries under the CHNV program. The platform opens for registration for potential beneficiaries every month on the 15th at 10 am Eastern. Potential sponsors can register at any time.
  • Community Sponsorship Hub  has established the Sponsor Circle Program , which can provide resources and ongoing guidance to supporters.

My family member does not have a valid, unexpired passport and therefore is not eligible to seek parole through the CHNV program. What options are available to them to come to the United States?

black and white icon depicting a man and woman holding a small child in the airWe understand that many family members may not currently hold a valid, unexpired passport, including several Nicaraguans.  These individuals are not eligible to seek parole through the CHNV program.  If your family member has unsuccessfully applied for a passport with Nicaraguan officials or is afraid to do so, they may be eligible for other options, such as humanitarian or significant public benefit parole through the filing of a Form I-131, Application for Travel Document .

black and white outline of three hands forming a triangle connected with circular linesFor information about requesting parole through the filing of a Form I-131, which is different from the processes for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans, please see the following USCIS resources:

Please note that when requesting humanitarian or significant public benefit parole through the filing of Form I-131, the Form I-131 must be submitted along with a Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, and all required evidence and supporting documentation.

  • The Form I-134 is not the same form as the online Form I-134A which is used for the CHNV program. Form I-134 may only be filed by paper with the appropriate fee.

black and white message bubbles with a question markFrequently Asked Question for Nicaraguan parolees whose family members do not currently hold valid Nicaraguan passports and are ineligible for the CHNV program:

Question 1: Is there a fee associated with applying for the Form I-131 humanitarian or significant public benefit parole request?

Yes, there is a fee of $575, but individuals may be eligible for a waiver of this fee by submitting the Form I-912, Request for a Fee Waiver  and supporting documents as part of the application package.

Question 2: When an individual completes a Form I-131, to request humanitarian or significant public benefit parole, who can be the sponsor who fills out the Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, on behalf of the beneficiary? Who can be my sponsor and fill out the I-134 form on my behalf as part of the humanitarian parole program?
  • Beneficiaries may complete the Form I-134 themselves if they can demonstrate that they are financially self-sufficient, or
  • An organization or another individual can also complete Form I-134 and act as the financial sponsor for the beneficiary. Multiple sponsors may also join together to support a beneficiary, with the filing of more than one Form I-134 for a particular beneficiary, and these supporters’ ability to support the beneficiary will be assessed collectively.

For any questions or concerns related to family reunification please email NicaFamilia222@state.gov with your full name and receipt number in the subject line (ex/ Subject: Jones, Mike, Receipt #A12345678).

Question 8: I need legal support with my employment authorizations, citizenship documents, family reunification paperwork, or other considerations – what do I do?

CVT and Human Rights First (HRF) will work to match interested members of the 222 Nicaraguans with individual legal support.  CVT or HRF case managers will provide the contact details of the legal providers once the matches have occurred.  Please coordinate closely with your CVT case managers on efforts to obtain legal representation.

For any legal questions related to filing employment authorization and / or family reunification paperwork please reach out to nicaragua@humanrightsfirst.org.

Question 9: I want to apply for Spanish citizenship – what do I need to do?

NOTE: Parolees should seek legal advice on their options as one choice may affect their ability to maintain parole or qualify for other immigration benefits, including asylum, in the U.S.

Note from the Embassy of Spain
black and white message bubbles icon The Embassy of Spain is at your disposal for any clarification or additional information regarding the offer to grant the Spanish nationality, which the Government of Spain has made to all the members of the group.  Those who have travelled to other States may request the same information from the relevant Spanish General Consulate.

Find contact information .

You may also write to the following address in the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs: consular@maec.es, indicating in the subject line NICARAGUA NACIONALIDAD ESPAÑOLA.

Part 2: How Can You Support the 222?

Thank you for your interest in supporting the community of 222 Nicaraguan political prisoners released to the U.S. on February 9, 2023.  We appreciate all the support that you can provide to facilitate their legal and social adjustment in the U.S.

black and white icon of papers with a dollar sign circled on the page and a gavel resting on topLegal Services

If you would like to provide legal services to one or more parolees from the group of 222 Nicaraguan released political prisoners please reach out to Human Rights First (HRF) at nicaragua@humanrightsfirst.org; HRF will provide you more information on legal assistance needs and match you with Nicaraguan parolees for interviews.

Other Community Support

We are collecting offers of support, in the areas of legal, health, long-term shelter, and employment.  If you/your organization wish to offer support in these areas, please fill out a quick survey .

black and white icon of two hands flanking a heart shape with a stem and two leaves growing out of the top, a heart beat line appears on top of the heartSurvivors of Torture (SOT) Centers

The Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) has prepared a memo for Survivors of Torture (SOT) Centers receiving funding from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to include in each parolees’ case file to show SOT program eligibility. ORR considers the memo sufficient to show Survivor of Torture (SOT) program eligibility for each of the Nicaraguan political prisoners. ORR strongly encourages all SOT programs to determine eligibility for applicants from this group as quickly as possible, so that they may quickly begin to receive the services and assistance that will help them in their adjustment to their new home.  Please see memo in Appendix 4: ORR Memo for Nicaraguan SOTs.

black and white icon of a cup hand facing up with a gift floating above itCash Assistance

As the Federal Government, we cannot accept donations or gifts. However, the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) is assisting these individuals. You can contact CVT .


DISCLAIMER: This is a living document – we will continue to update this resource library as additional information comes available.
As of March 8, 2023


[1] History of a severe (anaphylactic) reaction to a previous dose or to any component of the vaccine (such as gelatin or neomycin). Measles vaccine is contraindicated if pregnant, known severe immunodeficiency, or immediate family history of congenital or hereditary immunodeficiency. Find additional information about measles vaccine . Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) and COVID-19 vaccines are not contraindicated for pregnant women, please discuss with your clinician. Find additional information about polio vaccine . Find additional contraindications for COVID-19 vaccination . [back to 1]

[2] If you are a Nicaraguan parolee who entered the United States on Feb. 9, 2023, you may be eligible to support a family member under these processes if you meet the necessary requirements. Please note that a U.S.-based financial sponsor under these processes does not need to be related to the individual who is coming to the United States. [back to 2]

U.S. Department of State

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