The Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, has recently announced significant news that impacts the Venezuelan community in the United States. The Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuela has been extended and redesignated for an additional 18 months due to the ongoing extraordinary and temporary conditions in Venezuela.
What is Temporary Protected Status?
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status provided to nationals of designated countries experiencing unsafe or extraordinary conditions such as ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary situations that temporarily prevent the country's nationals from returning safely.
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has the authority to designate a country for TPS under provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Once a country receives TPS designation, its nationals who are already in the U.S. can apply for this status.
Beneficiaries of TPS are generally not removable from the United States, can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD), and may be granted travel authorization. However, TPS does not lead to permanent resident status (green card). When the Homeland Security Secretary terminates a TPS designation, beneficiaries return to the same immigration status they maintained before the TPS designation (unless that status had since expired or been terminated) or to any other status they acquired while registered for TPS.
Each TPS country designation is made for a specific period, typically 6, 12, or 18 months, and can be extended if conditions in the country remain unsafe. DHS reviews conditions in each designated country before each designated TPS period ends to determine whether to extend or terminate the TPS designation.
What You Need to Know About the Recent Temporary Protected Status Extension
It's important to note that only individuals who are nationals of a designated country and who are already in the United States may be eligible for TPS. Eligibility is also subject to meeting other criteria, which may include continuous residence in the U.S. since a specific date, successful security checks, and the absence of disqualifying factors.
What you need to know about the most recent TPS Extension regarding Venezuela:
- The Rationale for Extension and Redesignation: After a thorough review of Venezuela's current conditions and consultations with interagency partners, Secretary Mayorkas determined that the instability and lack of safety in Venezuela due to enduring humanitarian, security, political, and environmental conditions call for an 18-month TPS extension and redesignation. This redesignation offers temporary protection from removal and employment authorization for Venezuelans already present in the United States before July 31, 2023. "Temporary protected status provides individuals already present in the United States with protection from removal when the conditions in their home country prevent their safe return," said Secretary Mayorkas. However, it is crucial to note that Venezuelans who arrived in the U.S. after July 31, 2023, are not eligible for this protection and will be removed if they do not have a legal basis to stay.
- Eligibility and Application Process: Applicants for TPS under this redesignation must prove that they are Venezuelan nationals (or individuals without nationality who last habitually resided in Venezuela) and have been continuously residing in the United States since July 31, 2023. They must also meet other eligibility criteria, which will be outlined in a forthcoming Federal Register notice. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will continue to process pending applications filed under the previous TPS designation for Venezuela. Individuals with a pending Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, or a related Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, will not need to reapply if USCIS approves their applications. Eligible individuals who do not have TPS may submit a Form I-821 during the initial registration period specified in the forthcoming Federal Register notice. Applicants can also apply for TPS-related Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) and travel authorization.
- Current and Potential Beneficiaries: There are approximately 242,700 TPS beneficiaries under Venezuela’s existing TPS designation. An additional estimated 472,000 nationals of Venezuela may be eligible under the redesignation. The forthcoming Federal Register notice will provide detailed information about the eligibility criteria, timelines, and procedures necessary for current beneficiaries to re-register and renew EADs and for new applicants to submit an initial application under the redesignation and apply for an EAD.
If you or someone you know needs help understanding or applying for TPS, please don't hesitate to contact the legal team at Angel Law. We are committed to serving our neighbors and communities in and around Orlando. Our legal team is here to help navigate these changes and provide legal assistance to those affected by this redesignation.
Contact the temporary protected status lawyers at Angel Law today at (407) 337-8799 for assistance with your TPS filing.