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Individuals from Venezuela currently have an additional option for remaining in the United States, regardless of their status, thanks to an extension on the temporary protected status designation for Venezuela. Critically, to qualify for Venezuelan TPS, applicants must register by September 9, 2022. 

But what does temporary protected status mean, and how does it impact individuals from Venezuela and other protected countries? 

From our team of New Orleans immigration attorneys at Pelton + Balducci, here’s what you need to know about the definition of temporary protected status, why Venezuela is covered under temporary protected status, and how temporary protected status works for immigrants.

What Is Temporary Protected Status?

Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) was introduced with the Immigration Act in 1990. It is a tool that allows the U.S. to protect citizens of countries that are unsafe and unable to receive their citizens currently abroad.

It is NOT a way for people who are not yet in the U.S. to gain admission. Rather, it is only available to those in the U.S. at the time of their country’s TPS designation. TPS can even protect individuals who are threatened with deportation or already have a removal order, so long as they meet all the requirements.

Temporary Protected Status is granted by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to countries due to specified man-made or natural conditions.

Some of these include:

  • There is an ongoing armed conflict in the protected country. This is one possible reason for a country to be designated for TPS, as the conflict poses a significant threat to people returning. 
  • Natural disasters: If there is a significant natural disaster that damages infrastructure or otherwise creates hazardous conditions where the country cannot handle returning citizens, this is another reason a country may be designated for TPS. As an example, Haiti was initially designated for Temporary Protected Status after the devastating 2010 earthquake.
  • Extraordinary Circumstances: this is a broad category that can include a lot of potential reasons, or which can be used to justify granting Temporary Protected Status for a combination of reasons.

Why Has Venezuela Been Given Temporary Protected Status?

Venezuela has been given temporary protected status due to several different problems the country is facing, and the fact that infrastructure and economic failures are causing malnutrition and other significant humanitarian crises for nationals. 

Because the country cannot handle an influx of returning nationals from other countries, including those Venezuelan citizens currently in the United States, the Biden Administration not only offered temporary protected status but has also extended that status an additional 18 months beyond the original designation. 

Under the recent extension, Venezuela who apply will continue to benefit for Temporary Protected Status until March 10th, 2024.

What Does Temporary Protected Status Mean For Venezuelan Immigrants?

Venezuelan nationals who receive temporary protected status need to apply to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services during the registration period tin order o be protected.

The vast majority of individuals who miss the registration period will be ineligible for TPS, so it is extremely important to register on time. The registration period for Venezuela TPS ends on September 9, 2022. So if you are eligible and have not yet registered, you should do so NOW!!

If the TPS application is approved, Temporary Protected Status provides a range of important protections and benefits for Venezuelan nationals  in the United States, including:

  • Protection from detention or removal  from the United States due to lack of status
  • Eligibility for work authorization. 
  • Eligibility for travel authorization.
  • NOTE: You must apply for work and travel authorization in addition to TPS, using separate forms. These are not automatically conferred upon TPS approval.

When To File For Temporary Protected Status?

If you are eligible for Temporary Protected Status in the United States under the declaration of Temporary Protected Status for Venezuela or this most recent extension, but have not yet applied to receive protected status, you should apply as soon as possible. 

The deadline for temporary protected status for Venezuela under the current status and extension is September 9, 2022. Early applications are encouraged.

Need An Immigration Attorney In New Orleans?

Securing immigration protections, even under Temporary Protected Status protections, can be complicated. If you need help navigating the system and securing protected status, a qualified immigration attorney can help. 

At Pelton and Balducci Immigration Lawyers we have a proven track record of success helping our clients with their immigration cases. Even if your situation is complicated, we may be able to help. 

Contact Pelton and Balducci Immigration Lawyers to get started as soon as possible.

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