On March 8th of 2021, the Secretary of Homeland Security designated Venezuela as a country for TPS, Temporary Protected Status. Temporary Protected Status is something that the Secretary of Homeland Security can decide to designate a country with temporary protected status if there are events in that country like natural disasters or a civil war or other issues that are happening in that country that make it unsafe for individuals who are currently here in the United States to return.
We know that there is so much going on in Venezuela. There are a lot of individuals in the United States that are from Venezuela that have pending asylum applications because of things that are going on in their country. Our heart goes out to you, we know that that’s an extremely difficult position to be in and hopefully, this temporary protected status will also provide you with some additional relief.
Our firm is dedicated to assisting couples through the immigration process and so, when we’re helping couples to the immigration process, it’s always important for us to be zealous advocates and look at other options an individual can also have in addition to their marriage-based case.
For any individuals who are here in the United States from Venezuela, it’s really important to pay attention to this information and see if this is a benefit that you should apply for. It’s important to know that you can have more than one immigration application pending.
We get a lot of questions about, “Do I have to pick a certain option and stick with that option? Am I allowed to have more than one application?” Yes, you can if you have more than one option available to you and you can have more than one application pending with immigration. Sometimes it makes sense to do that and sometimes it doesn’t. But it’s good to have more than one option.
Who is eligible for TPS?
You have to be a citizen of Venezuela or you have to have last habitually resided in Venezuela. It has to be the last place that you were living in. Talk to an immigration attorney to confirm if you are considered to have been habitually residing in Venezuela to be able to apply.
You also have to be physically present in the United States as of March 8, 2021. You can only apply during the registration period. It’s a 180-day window, so it’s time sensitive. It’s important that you take action right away if you’re eligible for this benefit.
The enrollment period to file for TPS is March 9th of 2021 through September 5th of 2021. Make sure that you file during that time because if you don’t, you will lose out on that opportunity to receive the TPS benefit.
The other requirement is that you have to be eligible for the benefit, that means that you can’t have certain criminal history. You can have certain immigration violations and so again, it’s important to speak with an immigration attorney to make sure you’re eligible for this benefit.
What is the benefit of applying for TPS?
If you are approved for TPS, it will give you 18-months, through September of 2022, protected status lawful status in the United States. You can receive a work permit, a Social Security card, the ability to drive and work and live here during that time without the risk of being deported or removed from the United States. That means you’re actually allowed to remain here, work and live during that time.
It’s not a permanent status, only temporary just as it sounds. It’s not a pathway to a green card but it’s a temporary status for that 18 months. At the end of the 18 months, the Secretary of Homeland Security can decide that if conditions have not improved, they could decide to extend it. At that time, an individual that has TPS would be able to renew.
It is very important that if you think you’re eligible, take action immediately to talk to an immigration attorney and to file your application right away if you are eligible to get the application filed in that 180-day window.