Effective March 9, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has temporarily conferred Venezuelan citizens with eligibility to file for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) through September 5, 2021. TPS designation runs through September 9, 2022. The Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) program for eligible Venezuelans expires July 20, 2022.

TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of countries designated under the Immigration and Nationality Act — or eligible persons without nationality who last resided in a designated country — and allows them to remain in the United States, assures that they are not removed, and authorizes them to obtain employment authorization so long as they continue to meet TPS’s threshold requirements. TPS beneficiaries may also apply for travel authorization at USCIS’s discretion. TPS beneficiaries are presumed to return to the United States in the same status they had before travel.

TPS does not lead to permanent resident status, but individuals with TPS status may be eligible to adjust their status to permanent residency based on traditional permanent residency processing requirements.

Reasons for Granting TPS to Venezuelans
USCIS furnished several reasons for granting TPS to Venezuelans present in the United States as of March 9, 2021, including that the country continues to face:

  • Severe economic and political crises
  • Deterioration of democratic institutions and threats to freedom of speech and press
  • Health crises
  • Food insecurity
  • Lack of access to basic services including electricity, water, and gas
  • Increasing incidents of crime

How to File for Temporary Protected Status
TPS applicants may file Form I-821 along with a filing fee that varies based on age. Applicants may include a request for employment authorization on Form I-765 with their TPS designation request, as well. A grant of TPS and employment authorization is valid through the program’s September 2022 end date.

Deferred Enforced Departure and How It Affects Venezuelans
DED is an administrative stay of removal ordered by the President. DED may also allow a beneficiary to apply for employment authorization or travel permission. DED directives are issued per presidential directives not to remove particular individuals, rather than applying to a specific immigration status, like TPS. There is no specific form for this request or designation. Such a benefit would be sought in administrative proceedings, and the supplemental employment authorization request would be submitted per the USCIS instructions at www.uscis.gov.

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