In the past year, USCIS has implemented various Parole programs for certain countries, allowing individuals of those countries and their immediate family members to come to the United States and stay temporarily for a period of 2 years. The first program of this kind was Uniting for Ukraine but was later expanded a new Process for Venezuelans, Cubans, Haitians and Nicaraguan nationals. These programs require nationals of those countries to have a US based financial sponsor to agree to provide them financial support throughout their 2-year temporary stay in the US.
Since the new parole programs were announced, USCIS has seen an increase of individuals from these countries being targets of scams and predatory behavior. USCIS is warning potential sponsors and beneficiaries of these programs to be cautious.
Some common ways scammers are targeting individuals include:
People posing as USCIS officials – USCIS will only contact individuals through official government channels. They will never contact you via social media.
Misleading offers to support – Beware of offers to provide financial support! Beneficiaries are not obligated to repay, reimburse, work for, serve, marry, or otherwise compensate their supporter in exchange for the potential supporter.
Scam websites – Make sure your information is from uscis.gov, dhs.gov, or is affiliated with uscis.gov. The website address should end with .gov.
Payments by phone or email – USCIS will never request payment via phone or email. Payments for these programs are completed via the USCIS online portal only!
Notarios – Only an attorney or an accredited representative working for a Department of Justice (DOJ)-recognized organization can give you legal advice.
If you have any questions or concerns, you can always contact Knudson & Associates.