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Venezuelans can apply for TPS status immediately with USCIS

by | Mar 9, 2021 | Immigration |

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas is designating Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, until September 2022. This new designation of TPS for Venezuela enables Venezuelan nationals (and individuals without nationality who last resided in Venezuela) currently residing in the United States to file initial applications for TPS, so long as they meet eligibility requirements.

Only individuals who can demonstrate continuous residence in the United States as of March 8, 2021 are eligible for TPS under Venezuela’s designation. For their own health and safety, individuals should not believe smugglers or others claiming the border is now open. Due to the pandemic, travel and admission restrictions at the border remain in place.

Individuals desiring TPS must file an application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services within the 180-day registration period. They may also apply for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) and for travel authorization. All individuals applying for TPS undergo security and background checks as part of determining eligibility.

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

  • TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of a country designated for TPS under the INA, or to eligible persons without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country.
  • During the TPS designation period, TPS beneficiaries are eligible to remain in the United States, may not be removed, and are authorized to obtain EADs so long as they continue to meet the requirements of TPS.

  • TPS beneficiaries may also apply for and be granted travel authorization as a matter of discretion. Upon return from such authorized travel, TPS beneficiaries retain the same immigration status they had before the travel.

How will I know if I am eligible for employment authorization under the DED Presidential Memorandum for eligible Venezuelans?

The procedures for employment authorization in this notice apply only to noncitizens who are Venezuelan nationals, and persons without nationality who last habitually resided in Venezuela, who are present in the United States as of January 20, 2021, and except for noncitizens:

  • Who have voluntarily returned to Venezuela or their country of last habitual residence outside the United States;
  • Who have not continuously resided in the United States since January 20, 2021;
  • Who are inadmissible under section 212(a)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)) or removable under section 237(a)(4) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(4)) (dealing with terrorism and espionage);
  • Who have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States, or who meet the criteria set forth in section 208(b)(2)(A) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1158(b)(2)(A));
  • Who were deported, excluded, or removed, before January 20, 2021;
  • Who are subject to extradition;
  • Whose presence in the United States the Secretary of Homeland Security has determined is not in the interest of the United States or presents a danger to public safety; or
  • Whose presence in the United States the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds to believe would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States.
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