On Monday, March 8, 2021, the White House announced that it would be granting Temporary Protective Status (TPS) to Venezuelans living in the U.S. Beginning on March 9, 2021, nationals of Venezuela are eligible to apply for permission to remain in the U.S.
What is TPS?
Created by Congress in 1990, TPS is a temporary immigration status provided to nationals of specifically designated countries that are experiencing problems that would make it unsafe for them to return to their home country. Venezuela received TPS designation due to the political and economic crisis it is experiencing, which includes widespread hunger and malnutrition, a growing influence and presence of non-state armed groups, repression, and a crumbling infrastructure. TPS status protects individuals from being deported from the U.S., and allows them to obtain a work permit and travel authorization. However, TPS is a temporary status and does not lead to a permanent immigration status.
What are the General Eligibility Requirements?
To qualify for TPS, an individual must (1) be a national from Venezuela (or if stateless, the individual last habitually resided in Venezuela); (2) demonstrate that s/he has continuously resided in the U.S. since March 8, 2021; and (3) demonstrate that s/he has been continuously present in the U.S. since March 9, 2021. The initial registration period begins on March 9, 2021, and the deadline is September 5, 2021.
For how long is the TPS status?
The initial TPS status for Venezuela nationals is for 18 months, from March 9, 2021 through September 9, 2022. However, if conditions in Venezuela do not improve, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has the discretion to extend TPS designation. If TPS designation is extended, applicants will need to re-register and may need to renew their work permit.
What if I have previously benefitted from DED?
In January 19, 2021, a presidential memorandum was issued establishing Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Venezuelan nationals for 18 months, through July 20, 2022. Like TPS, DED also provides Venezuelan nationals protection from being deported and enables them to apply for work authorization. The Federal Register Notice issued by the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides instruction on how to apply for a work permit under DED. USCIS notes that since DED authorization expires on July 20, 2022, individuals should apply for TPS during the registration period in case they are not eligible for TPS late initial filing after the expiration fo their DED. However, individuals who receive TPS and have DED do not need to apply for a work permit under both programs.
When to call us:
If you are a Venezuelan wanting to explore options for TPS, please call us ASAP at (512) 215-5225 to schedule a consultation with a TPS immigration lawyer to review your case.