On Monday, March 8 the Biden Administration announced a new designation of Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, for Venezuela for 18 months, until September 2022.
“The designation is due to the extraordinary and temporary conditions in Venezuela, which is one of the statutory bases for it. Because of conditions there, it is not safe for Venezuelans to return,” said a senior Biden Administration official.
The new designation enables Venezuelan nationals currently residing in the United States to file initial applications for TPS, so long as they meet eligibility requirements. Venezuela becomes the first new country to be designated for TPS in six years, providing TPS access to an estimated 320,000 Venezuelans.
Erik Omar, Executive Director of Immigrant Legal Center said: “It is an historic moment to have a new TPS designation. We are pleased that the Biden Administration has provided Venezuelans with access to TPS protections. Venezuela is experiencing a humanitarian crisis due to a collapsed economy; and severe shortages of food, medicine, medical supplies, and fuel, all exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. By designating Venezuela for TPS, the Biden Administration is safeguarding an already vulnerable population.”
The TPS program, a humanitarian form of lawful immigration status, has been in place since the 1990s, providing safety for disaster-displaced immigrants and enriching our communities. Secretaries of Homeland Security may extend TPS eligibility to people from designated countries in which conditions prevent citizens from returning safely. While the conditions affecting safety may be temporary, the program allows for TPS protections to be extended for as long as dangerous conditions persist.
The Legal Aid Society released fact sheets with eligibility information for Venezuelan nationals to apply for TPS. To view the fact sheet in English click here, for Spanish click here. Qualifying Venezuelan nationals residing in the United States without permanent immigration status may be able to obtain TPS, allowing them to live and work legally in the United States for as long as Venezuela is designated a TPS country.
Immigrant Legal Center encourages Venezuelan nationals considering applying for TPS to consult with an immigration attorney. If this news impacts you, consider calling the Nebraska Immigration Legal Assistance Hotline (NILAH). NILAH offers free, confidential intakes, for consultations and referrals call 1-855-307-6730.