Cuban Adjustment Act Eligibility

May 4, 2023 by Rachel Chappell Chauvin

Cuban Adjustment Act Eligibility
The Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA) is a law enacted in 1966 that allows Cuban nationals or natives to adjust their status to lawful permanent residents of the United States. To qualify for CAA, an individual must be a Cuban national or a native of Cuba and have been physically present in the United States for at least one year. They also must not be excludable or deportable for any reason under INA 212(a) or INA 237(a).

When a person arrives in the United States and is deemed inadmissible at a port of entry, they may be placed under "parole" to enter the country.

A parole under the Immigration Nationality Act (INA) (212d)(5) is commonly associated with the Cuban Adjustment Act. Under this policy, an individual who does not qualify for a visa or other immigration status can still be admitted to the US on humanitarian grounds. This policy is often referred to as “parole.” Parole under INA 212(d)(5) is not a permanent status, but it does allow an individual to legally enter the US.

Another commonly seen parole is one under INA 236, which has been expanded to include various humanitarian, medical, and public interest reasons. However, a parole under INA 236 does not automatically qualify a Cuban National for the Cuban Adjustment Act. 

In February of 2022, USCIS issued a new Policy Memorandum. 
The USCIS policy memorandum regarding INA 236 parole has not changed the eligibility requirements for CAA. However, the memorandum could impact the number of Cubans who are able to apply for CAA by adding a new layer of scrutiny to their entry into the US. Cuban nationals who are granted INA 236 parole are not considered to have entered the US legally, which is a requirement for CAA eligibility. Therefore, if someone uses INA 236 parole to enter the US, they will need to carefully review their eligibility for CAA once they reach the one-year physical presence requirement.

If you are a Cuban national and are concerned about your eligibility for CAA, it is important to reach out for legal advice. A qualified immigration attorney can review your case and help you understand the impact of the USCIS policy memorandum on your eligibility for CAA. It is important to remember that CAA eligibility is based on continuous physical presence in the US, and any time spent in detention or under INA 236 parole will need to be considered carefully.

The Cuban Adjustment Act has been an important source of relief for Cuban nationals seeking to establish permanent residency in the US. However, the recent USCIS policy memorandum regarding INA 236 parole has raised some concerns about its impact on CAA eligibility. It is important for Cuban nationals to understand the details of the CAA and to seek legal advice if they have concerns about their eligibility. We hope that this blog post has been informative and helps you better understand the intricacies of the CAA and the USCIS policy memorandum.

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