Here are is some key information that was provided in our “TPS for Venezuelans” workshop. For more in-depth and specific information related to your specific immigration background and circumstances, please contact us to schedule a consultation or assessment.
What is TPS?
Temporary Protected Status is a designation intended to protect individuals, already in the U.S., who are not US citizens, that are facing dangerous situations in their home countries that temporarily prevent them from returning. The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. These conditions include:
- Ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war)
- An environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane), or an epidemic
- Other extraordinary and temporary conditions
Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS. Once granted TPS, individuals who are TPS beneficiaries cannot be detained by DHS on the basis of their immigration status in the United States.
What are the registration requirements for TPS for Venezuela?
- TPS Designated through: 9/9/2022
- Registration Period: 3/9/2021 – 9/5/2021
- Continuous Residence in US Since: 3/8/2021
- Physical Presence in US Since: 3/9/2021
- TPS Designation Date: 3/9/2021
How do you apply for TPS?
To apply for TPS, you need to fill out Form I-821, complete and sign it, pay the filing fee if applicable, and submit it along with all required evidence and any supporting documents needed. You may also apply for work authorization, a travel permit, and a waiver of inadmissibility.
What are the fees?
If filing the I-821 only:
• Under 14 – $50
• 14-65: $135
If filing the I-821 and EAD:
• Under 14 – $50
• 14-65: $545,
• 66 and older: $135
Who is eligible for TPS?
To be eligible for TPS, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be a national of a country designated for TPS, or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country;
- File during the open initial registration or re-registration period, or you meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of your country’s TPS designation (Late initial filers see ‘Filing Late’ section below);
- Have been continuously physically present (CPP) in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation date of your country; and
- Have been continuously residing (CR) in the United States since the date specified for your country. The law allows an exception to the continuous physical presence and continuous residence requirements for brief, casual and innocent departures from the United States. When you apply or re-register for TPS, you must inform USCIS of all absences from the United States since the CPP and CR dates. USCIS will determine whether the exception applies in your case.
Note: If applying with family, you cannot derive family status and each family member must apply individually for TPS.
For information about your specific eligibility based on your current immigration status, contact us to do an assessment.
Who is ineligible? In what situations would someone need a waiver in order to apply?
- You are ineligible if you:
•Convicted for 2 misdemeanors or one felony
•(But if municipal ordinances, citations, you can argue they are not misdemeanors for TPS purposes, and try to get a felony reduced to a misdemeanor);
•Are found inadmissible as an immigrant under applicable grounds in INA section 212(a), including non-waivable criminal and security-related grounds;
•Are subject to any of the mandatory bars to asylum. (Participating in the persecution of another individual or engaging in or inciting terrorist activity);
•Fail to meet the continuous physical presence and continuous residence in the United States requirements.
•Fail to meet initial or late initial TPS registration requirements; or
•If granted TPS, you fail to re-register for TPS, as required, without good cause.
What waiver can you apply for if needed?
In some situations, you may be eligible for a I-601 Waiver if you are otherwise ineligible to apply for TPS. You will need to show that granting you the waiver would serve humanitarian purposes, family unity, or be in the public interest.
What evidence must be submitted with the forms?
When filing an initial TPS application, you must submit the following:
- Evidence to prove your identity and nationality
- Evidence to prove your date of entry into the United States
- Evidence to prove your residence in the United States
- Court disposition records (if you were ever arrested, charged, or convicted for a criminal offense)
What are the benefits you have under TPS?
If you are granted TPS, you will not be removable from the US, you can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD), and you may be granted travel authorization. You also cannot be detained by DHS on the basis of your immigration status.
Do you have to apply for the work permit with the TPS? Can you apply for it later?
You do not have to apply for a work permit with TPS, but you can apply for an EAD or for other types of work visas that you may be eligible for. TPS enables you to apply for an EAD but doesn’t require it.
Can I travel if I have TPS?
If you have TPS and wish to travel outside the United States, you must apply for travel authorization. Travel authorization for TPS is issued as an advance parole document. This document gives you permission to leave the United States and return within the specific time period. If you leave the United States without requesting advance parole, you may lose TPS and you may not be permitted to re-enter the United States.
What if you were born in Venezuela but have dual citizenship with another country? Can you still get TPS as a Venezuelan?
You are not barred from applying for TPS if you have dual citizenship with another country. However, you must meet all of the requirements for TPS.
What is Dual Nationality?
Dual nationality is when you owe allegiance to more than one state, usually when you have two passports. You must establish that you have the nationality of a TPS country or if stateless, habitual residence in a TPS country. Dual nationality doesn’t preclude satisfying nationality requirement for TPS, but firm resettlement is often an issue.
What is “firm resettlement” for TPS? What are the exceptions?
Firm Resettlement is when you have settled and established ties to another country before entering the U.S. Usually this involves permanent residence and citizenship. These are the exceptions to Firm Resettlement:
- Demonstrate that your entry into the country was a necessary consequence of flight from persecution, and you remained only as long as necessary to make further travel arrangements and have no significant ties; or
- Restrictive Conditions: Condition of residence were so “substantially and consciously restricted” that you did not resettle.
Can you have other petitions pending while you are on TPS? Or apply for TPS while another petition is pending?
You are welcome to apply for asylum, nonimmigrant status, adjustment of status based on an immigrant petition, a student visa, and any other immigration benefit or protection for which you may be eligible while you apply for TPS. However, you will need to meet the requirements of both TPS and any other immigrant status you are applying for, and you will have to apply separately for each.
To learn more about specific requirements and consequences of applying for TPS while you have another petition pending, contact us to make an appointment.
How do you renew?
You have to re-register during each re-registration period in order to keep the benefits, regardless of whether you were granted TPS by USCIS, an Immigration Judge, or the BIA. This process will include all of the components that the initial registration process uses.
What happens if the government does not renew TPS for a country?
Once TPS is no longer renewed for a country, beneficiaries will either have to explore legal alternatives to continue residing in the US or leave to avoid unlawful presence.
What is Deferred Enforcement Departure?
Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) is a form of relief for foreign nationals living in the United States. DED is not a specific immigration status. However, individuals covered by DED are not subject to removal from the United States, usually for a designated period of time.
Contact us to learn more about DED, the differences between DED and TPS, and how to apply for DED.