TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS FOR VENEZUELANS (TPS)

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On March 8, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas designated Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, until September 2022. This new designation of TPS for Venezuela enables Venezuelan nationals (and individuals without nationality who last resided in Venezuela) currently residing in the United States to file initial applications for TPS, so long as they meet eligibility requirements.

New Designation Allows Eligible Venezuelans to Apply for TPS and Employment Authorization Documents: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2021/03/08/secretary-mayorkas-designates-venezuela-temporary-protected-status-18-months

When can I apply for TPS? 
If you are applying for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under Venezuela’s designation, effective March 9, 2021, you must register during the 180-day registration period that runs from March 9, 2021, through Sept. 5, 2021. We encourage you to register as soon as possible within the 180-day registration period.
The requirements for TPS would be similar to the current TPS requirements for other designated countries and would be as follows;
  • Be a national of Venezuela or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in Venezuela;
  • File during the open initial registration period;
  • Have been continuously physically present in the U.S. since the effective date of the most recent designation, which is to be announced by the Biden Administration;
  • Have been continuously residing in the U.S. since the date to be specified by the Biden Administration;
  • Have not been convicted of any felony or two (2) or more misdemeanors in the U.S.;
  • Not be subject to any of the mandatory bars to asylum or inadmissible as an immigrant under applicable grounds in INA section 212(a).

As part of our dedication and promise to support our clients and friends, we have developed the following questionnaire with the objective of analyzing your personal information to best determine your eligibility for this benefit. Once we have reviewed the questionnaires, our office will contact potential applicants within 48 hours to inform them of their eligibility as well as discuss any other options they may have in their case.

VENEZUELAN TPS FAQS:

What is TPS?

The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately.  USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States.  Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.

Who is eligible?

 To be eligible for TPS, you must:

  • Be a national of a country designated for TPS, or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country;
  • File during the open initial registration or re-registration period, or you meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of your country’s TPS designation (Late initial filers see ‘Filing Late’ section below);
  • Have been continuously physically present (CPP) in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation date of your country; and
  • Have been continuously residing (CR) in the United States since the date specified for your country. (See your country’s TPS web page to the left). The law allows an exception to the continuous physical presence and continuous residence requirements for brief, casual and innocent departures from the United States. When you apply or re-register for TPS, you must inform USCIS of all absences from the United States since the CPP and CR dates. USCIS will determine whether the exception applies in your case.

You may NOT be eligible for TPS or to maintain your existing TPS if you:

  • Have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States;
  • Are found inadmissible as an immigrant under applicable grounds in INA section 212(a), including non-waivable criminal and security-related grounds;
  • Are subject to any of the mandatory bars to asylum. These include, but are not limited to, participating in the persecution of another individual or engaging in or inciting terrorist activity;
  • Fail to meet the continuous physical presence and continuous residence in the United States requirements;
  • Fail to meet initial or late initial TPS registration requirements; or
  • If granted TPS, you fail to re-register for TPS, as required, without good cause.

How is TPS different from Asylum?

TPS is a temporary benefit that does not lead to lawful permanent resident status or give any other immigration status. However, registration for TPS does not prevent you from:

  • Applying for nonimmigrant status
  • Filing for adjustment of status based on an immigrant petition
  • Applying for any other immigration benefit or protection for which you may be eligible

Asylum grants an applicant authorized stay, so long as the applicant does not work without authorization during the pendency of the asylum application.

Lawful immigration status is distinct from being in a period of authorized stay. Periods of authorized stay are only relevant when determining an alien’s accrual of unlawful presence for inadmissibility purposes. Although an alien in a lawful immigration status is also in a period of authorized stay, the opposite is not necessarily true. Those in a period of authorized stay may or may not be in a lawful immigration status.

Officers consider the difference between lawful immigration status and a period of authorized stay when determining whether an alien is in lawful immigration status for purposes of the INA 245(c)(2) adjustment bar.

When can I apply for TPS? 

If you are applying for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under Venezuela’s designation, effective March 9, 2021, you must register during the 180-day registration period that runs from March 9, 2021, through Sept. 5, 2021.  We encourage you to register as soon as possible within the 180-day registration period.

I am in U.S., but my family is not, can they still qualify for TPS if I apply?

All applicants must have continuous residence in the U.S. since March 8, 2021 and continuous physical presence in the U.S. since March 9, 2021.

How long will TPS last? 

The designation of Venezuela for TPS is effective on March 9, 2021, and will remain in effect for 18 months, through September 9, 2022.

If I apply for TPS when will I get my work authorization?

If USCIS approves your TPS registration application and you filed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and paid the fee for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) (or if USCIS approved your fee waiver request), USCIS will issue you an EAD with an expiration date of Sept. 9, 2022.

What forms do I need to fill out to apply for TPS myself and we here can I find it?

To register or re-register for TPS you must file Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status

When filing an initial TPS application or re-registering for TPS, you can also request an employment authorization document (EAD) by submitting a completed Form I-765, Request for Employment Authorization, at the time of filing Form I-821. You may also file your Form I-765 request separately at a later date.  Filing Form I-821 with Form I-765 may help you receive your EAD more promptly if you are eligible.

When you apply, if you are aware that a relevant ground of inadmissibility applies to you and you need a waiver to obtain TPS, please include a Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, with your TPS application package. However, you do not need to file a new Form I-601 for an incident that USCIS has already waived with a prior TPS application. USCIS may grant a waiver of certain inadmissibility grounds for humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, or when it is in the public interest.

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What documents will I need to apply?

When filing an initial TPS application, you must submit:

  • Identity and Nationality Evidence: to demonstrate your identity and that you are a national of a country designated for TPS (or that you have no nationality, and you last habitually resided in a country designated for TPS).
  • Date of Entry Evidence: to demonstrate when you entered the United States.
  • Continuous Residence (CR) Evidence: to demonstrate that you have been in the United States since the CR date specified for your country (see your country’s TPS web page to the left).

Any document that is not in English must be accompanied by a complete English translation. The translator must certify that:

  • He or she is competent both in English and the foreign language used in the original document; and
  • The translation is true and correct to the best of his or her ability, knowledge, and belief.

How much is USCIS charging for TPS?

Please see the chart below for fee information.

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What does Canero Lammers charge to process TPS?

Canero Lammers will charge $1,500 plus government fees to prepare and file your TPS and Employment Authorization applications. To apply for TPS, Employment Authorization, and Advance Parole, Canero Lammers will charge $2,000 plus government fees. Rush fees may apply and are determined on a case-by-case basis.

How long will it take to receive my employment authorization document (EAD)?

Our target filing dates for TPS applications is 30-60 days, and per USCIS timelines, they are currenting taking about 3.5 months to adjudicate TPS EADs. Please note, these timelines are always subject to change.

If I get TPS, can I apply for change of status or adjustment of status?

Yes, certain employment and family immigrant visa categories if you entered with inspection and maintained lawful status. And even if you did not maintain status or entered without inspection, you may be eligible to adjust status or change status in the U.S. if you live in one of the following states where TPS is considered grant of admission:

  • Arkansas
  • Iowa
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Ohio
  • Tennessee
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Guam
  • The Northern Mariana Islands

We also anticipate that with TPS we can adjust the status of long pending asylum applicants through employer sponsored petitions. Please contact our office for a consult about your options.

Can I travel with TPS?

If you have TPS and wish to travel outside the United States, you must apply for travel authorization. Travel authorization for TPS is issued as an advance parole document if USCIS determines it is appropriate to approve your request. This document gives you permission to leave the United States and return during a specified period of time. To apply for advance parole, you must file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. If you are filing Form I-131 together with Form I-821, send your forms to the address listed on the linked page above for your country. If you are filing Form I-131 separately based on a pending or approved Form I-821, check the Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-131 page.

If you leave the United States without requesting advance parole, you may lose TPS and you may not be permitted to re-enter the United States.

If USCIS is still adjudicating your TPS application, you may miss important USCIS notices, such as Requests for Additional Evidence, while you are outside the U.S. Failure to respond to these requests may result in the denial of your application.

We encourage you to read and understand the travel warning on Form I-131 before requesting advance parole, even if you have been granted TPS. If you have been unlawfully present in the U.S. for any period of time, you may want to seek legal advice before requesting advance parole for travel.

Avoid Scams

Please be aware that some unauthorized practitioners may try to take advantage of you by claiming they can file TPS forms. These same individuals may ask that you pay them to file such forms. We want to ensure that all potential TPS applicants know how to obtain legitimate, accurate legal advice and assistance. A list of accredited representatives and free or low-cost legal providers is available on the USCIS finding legal advice webpage.

We don’t want you to become a victim of an immigration scam. If you need legal advice on immigration matters, make sure the person helping you is authorized to give legal advice. Only an attorney or an accredited representative working for a Department of Justice (DOJ) recognized organization can give you legal advice. Visit the Avoid Scams page for information and resources.

CANERO LAMMERS IMMIGRATION LAW GROUP

1101 Brickell Avenue, South Tower, Suite 700
Miami, FL 33131
Telephone:   305-579-9218
FAX:   305-579-9219
E-mail:  Canero Lammers Immigration Law Group