On March 9, 2021, the Biden Administration designated Venezuelan citizens physical present in the United States with eligibility to file for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This has been a long awaited and much deserving immigration benefit and protection for the Venezuelan people considering the financial turmoil and political instability of the country. Many Venezuelans will qualify for TPS, but some will not or may lose out on their opportunity to file if not done correctly. That said, these are the 3 most important things to know about Venezuelan TPS:
- The TPS registration period for Venezuelans currently in the U.S. begins March 9, 2021 and ends September 5, 2021. This provides Venezuelans exactly 180 days to file their applications for TPS. If an applicant fails to file their application within the designated registration period, they will find it very difficult to get approved as there are limited exceptions for late filing;
- Regardless of an individual’s country of birth, this designation allows eligible Venezuelan nationals (and noncitizens having no nationality who last habitually resided in Venezuela) who have continuously resided in the United States since March 8, 2021, and have been continuously physically present in the United States since March 9, 2021, to apply for TPS. The important thing to note here is that one does not have to be a citizen of Venezuela to apply for TPS if you can demonstrate you have habitually resided in Venezuela before arriving to the U.S.; and
- While you can apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) at the same time you apply for TPS, you are not required to do so. There are a lot of Venezuelans who already have an EAD through a pending asylum case and are not in need of an employment authorization card. This is an expense they can avoid temporarily as they can wait to file for an EAD after they are approved their TPS or they can file later once their asylum based EAD is to expire. Also, should an applicant be in financial need, they may apply for a fee waiver for both the TPS and EAD applications. Please note that if an applicant chooses to file a fee waiver it is recommended, they file as soon as possible to avoid issues with a denial of the fee waiver and the possibility of running out of time to refile for TPS within the designated registration period deadline, September 5, 2021.
While the eligibility requirements are the same for all Venezuelans, every case is different and a grant of TPS is a discretionary benefit. Accordingly, it is highly recommended an applicant for TPS seek the assistance of a qualified immigration attorney to ensure eligibility and the timely filing of their application before the September 5, 2021 deadline. Our attorneys at Colombo & Hurd, PL have vast experience in representing clients seeking TPS. If you would like more information on whether you qualify for TPS and what steps need to be taken to file before the deadline, please contact our office at 407-478-1111. In observance of the global Coronavirus pandemic, we are also available via WhatsApp and Zoom video conferencing for your convenience.