Cuban or Haitian Entrant
(01/01/22 - 12/31/22)
A Cuban or Haitian Entrant is an individual who has fled to the United States (U.S.) from either Cuba or Haiti to escape oppression, persecution, national distress, or environmental disasters.
Noncitizens classified as Cuban or Haitian Entrants under Section 501(e) of the Refugee Education and Assistance Act (REAA) of 1980 are considered qualified noncitizens. There is no 5-year waiting period for potential eligibility. This law defines a Cuban or Haitian Entrant as one of the following:
Any individual granted parole as a Cuban or Haitian Entrant (Status Pending) or granted any other special status. The status is established under the immigration laws for nationals of Cuba or Haiti, regardless of the status of the individual at the time of assistance or when services are provided.
Any other national of Cuba or Haiti who:
Was paroled into the U.S. and has not acquired any other status under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)
Is the subject of removal proceedings under the INA
Has an application for asylum pending with the INA
Cuban or Haitian entrants are treated the same as refugees. As qualified aliens, they are potentially eligible for NA benefits indefinitely without a waiting period.
Cuban or Haitian Entrants may also qualify for benefits provided by the Refugee Resettlement Program. Cuban or Haitian Entrant cases must be seen by the FAA Refugee Offices during their first 12 months in the U.S. After the first 12 months are completed, Cuban or Haitian Entrant cases must be processed at any FAA office.
The refugee office staff are the only staff that key the RE Citizenship code on IDCI. In order to keep track of these cases, they also set a free form ACTS Alert for the month after the end of the 12th month. After 12 months, the refugee office staff change the citizenship code for Cuban or Haitian Entrants to EA and move the case out of their caseload.
NOTE These noncitizens are not work eligible and therefore exempt from CA Jobs Program requirements.
Cuban or Haitian participants can provide different documents as proof of their immigration status. See Qualified Noncitizen Documents- Overview for a list of documents for Cuban or Haitian entrants.
The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) established an electronic phone system to provide EOIR's customers with ready access to immigration court information. When additional information regarding the participant’s continued eligible status is needed, contact the EIOR automated immigration court information system at (800) 898-7180.
A Cuban or Haitian entrant who is later granted Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status is potentially eligible for NA and CA based on their previous eligible status.
Cuban or Haitian nationals who are not classified as Entrants are granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS). An individual who is on TPS is permitted to remain temporarily in the US. On 05/22/2021, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) granted TPS for Haitian nationals who reside in the US as of 05/21/2021. Cuban or Haitian nationals who are granted TPS are not eligible for NA or CA, until they have been in a qualified status for 5 years or unless they meet other qualifying criteria. (See Qualified Noncitizens)
NOTE The Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program (HFRP) allows Haitian beneficiaries of family-based immigrants the opportunity to apply for a grant of parole for approximately two years while residing in the U.S. with their family. Those approved for the HFRP are paroled into the U.S. as Cuban-Haitian entrants. This allows them to be eligible for NA benefits without a waiting period.