In March of 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas designated Venezuelan nationals Temporary Protected Status. This status gives Venezuelans in the U.S. the ability to work and immunity from deportation. The status is currently slated to last 18 months, ending in September of 2022.
Generally, the U.S. grants this status to nationals whose countries are involved in armed conflict, facing environmental crises, or have “extraordinary and temporary conditions.” It could be argued that Venezuela is currently facing most, if not all, of those criteria. Armed groups unaffiliated with the country have been causing havoc. The very infrastructure of the country is in serious danger, making simple travel life threatening.
To be eligible for TPS, people must be able to show that, first, they are Venezuelan nationals, or at least residents. Then they must show that they have taken long-term residence in the U.S. as of March 8, 2021.
Anyone interested in filing needs to act fast. The registration period lasts only 180 days (6 months) from March 9, 2021 to September 5, 2021. This is also the time to file for Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) and for travel authorization. All applicants must undergo security checks and background searches.
Talk to an Immigration Lawyer
If you or someone you know is taking refuge in the States, reach out to an attorney experienced in immigration law. Although the process may seem simple, it is often more complicated than filling out a form. Lawyers can keep track of paperwork and follow up, making sure it is going through the proper channels.