On March 8, 2021, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security declared Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) for Venezuela. Consequently, Venezuelan citizens currently residing in the United States who can demonstrate they arrived here on or before March 8, 2021 and have been physically present here since March 9 until the date their application is filed, are potentially eligible for TPS.
A grant of TPS is intended to be temporary and traditionally lasts between six to eighteen months at a time; TPS designations can be extended.
Applicants must register during the initial 180-day registration period to be eligible. Unlike asylum, Venezuelans who have citizenship in another country are potentially still eligible to apply for TPS, even if they entered the United States on a non-Venezuelan passport.
It is important to note that TPS is separate and distinct from Deferred Enforced Departure or DED. Former President Trump granted DED to all Venezuelan citizens in the United States on January 20, 2021. Although DED allows Venezuelan citizens to potentially obtain a work permit, the permit is of limited duration and DED offers no other benefits. If a Venezuelan citizen has already applied for a work permit under DED, they are also able to register for TPS and are allowed to renew their work authorization for the full period of the grant, which is currently September 7, 2022.
What are the requirements for TPS?
- Applicants for TPS must show that they are Venezuelan citizens or have habitually resided in Venezuela;
- Arrival in the United States on or before March 8, 2021;
- Complete and submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status with $50 fee;
- Depending on the applicant’s age, they might be required to submit biometric information and pay a fee of $85.
What might prevent an applicant from being granted TPS?
- Failing to file during the initial registration period of March 9, 2021 to September 5, 2021.
- A criminal record in the United States, Venezuela, or another country.
- Not paying the required fees or submitting biometric data.
What are the benefits of TPS?
- Ability to immediately apply for a work permit;
- Some TPS applicants are eligible to apply for travel documents to be allowed to leave the United States.
- Applicants granted TPS cannot be deported from the United States unless they violate their status by committing crimes.
What type of documents do applicants need to gather?
- A copy of a Venezuelan passport or birth certificate for each applicant
- Evidence that applicants entered the United States on or before March 8, 2021;
- Evidence that the applicants remained in the United States after they entered, such as a travel record, rental agreement, bills, bank statement, or other similar documents;
- All court documents and police reports if applicants have been arrested, cited, or charged with a crime.
While TPS does not, on its own, give applicants a path to permanent residency, most Venezuelan citizens are encouraged to apply for TPS during the initial registration period to preserve any future opportunities that might be connected with it.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
MALLORIE MECHAM – ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY – SALT LAKE CITY
Mallorie A. Mecham is an associate attorney at the Wilner & O’Reilly Salt Lake City Office and her practice focuses primarily on family-based and removal defense cases. She was admitted to the Utah Bar in 2018. During her time in law school, Ms. Mecham had the unique opportunity to work as a student volunteer, and later as a teaching assistant, with the Refugee and Immigration Initiative in Dilley, Texas. While in Texas, she worked to prepare detained women and children for their credible fear interviews as part of their asylum applications. In her final year at BYU Law, Ms. Mecham served as the vice president of students of the Student Bar Association, the president of the American Constitution Society, and as a member of the Trial Advocacy Board. For her service, Ms. Mecham received the J. Reuben Clark Award for academic excellence and service as well as the Distinguished Clinical Practice Award for exceptional commitment and dedication to clinical practice.
RICHARD M. WILNER – FOUNDING PARTNER
Richard M. Wilner is a founding member of Wilner & O’Reilly, APLC, and is Board Certified by the State Bar of California as a Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law. He is admitted to practice law in the State of California and before the U.S. District Courts for the Central, Northern and Southern Districts of California, the Northern District of Texas, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.Mr. Wilner has received the coveted Martindale-Hubbell AV Rating, the highest legal and ethical rating that one can receive from one’s peers in the legal community. Similarly, he has been awarded the title of Super Lawyer from 2007 to the present. He is best known for his work in advising Fortune 500 companies, middle and small market businesses, entrepreneurs, and foreign nationals of extraordinary ability in athletics, arts, and sciences in the complex area of U.S. Immigration and Nationality Law.