Eligible Venezuelans in the United States may now apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) according to an announcement made this week by Alexajandro Mayorkas, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). TPS is granted to individuals who cannot return to their home countries safely.  In the case of Venezuela, Secretary Mayorkas stated that the country has been in the midst a “severe political and economic crisis for several years” including a deterioration of democratic institutions, a health crisis, food insecurity, increase in crime and lack of access to basic services. As of now, the TPS designation will last for 18 months until September 9, 2022 and could be extended depending upon the in-country conditions at the time of the next assessment.

Those who wish to apply should do so during the initial registration period: March 9, 2021 through September 5, 2021. Among other elements of eligibility, applicants must meet two specific residency requirements:

  • Continuous residence in the United States since March 8, 2021; and
  • Continuous physical presence in the U.S. since March 9, 2021.

Applicants are also eligible to apply for travel authorization and employment authorization (EADs) that will be valid through September 9, 2022. Full instructions on the applications process can be found in the Federal Register.

One of Donald Trump’s last acts during his administration, on January 19, 2021, was to grant Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for certain Venezuelans. DED beneficiaries are not subject to removal during the designated time period, and in this case, were eligible to apply for EADs. The DED benefit applied only to individuals who were physically present in the United States on January 20, 2021 and was valid for 18 months until July 7, 2022.

Venezuelans who entered the United States after January 20, 2021 are only eligible for TPS. DHS is encouraging even individuals who already have DED EADs to apply for TPS and TPS EADs during the registration period because TPS will last longer than DED and they may not be able to timely apply for TPS when DED expires.

According to DHS, approximately 323,000 Venezuelans currently in United States are eligible for TPS.  TPS does not lead to legal permanent residence or citizenship.  However, a path to citizenship is one of the things that the Biden Administration has proposed for all TPS beneficiaries.

For questions regarding TPS eligibility and work or travel authorization, Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to assist you. You may also use our online tool to assess TPS eligibility and corresponding eligibility for employment authorization.

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Photo of Forrest G. Read IV Forrest G. Read IV

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice…

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice focuses on assisting employers in obtaining employment-based nonimmigrant visas (e.g., H-1B, L, O, TN) for foreign national employees and work-related immigrant (green card) visas, including PERM Labor Certifications, and advising employers on compliance with U.S. immigration laws and regulations. He has broad experience in advising large, mid-size and small employers on their various immigration needs and developing strategies to help them navigate through complex immigration issues. He also has particular experience in counseling employers in the health care industry and addressing immigration-related issues that arise for their broad range of health care professional employees (including advising on and obtaining employment authorization for medical residents and fellows and obtaining J-1 visa waivers for foreign national physicians completing their medical training in the United States). His immigration practice also includes defending employers in connection with Department of Labor H-1B and H-2B investigations.

Mr. Read’s employment law experience includes representing management, particularly academic medical centers in the GME context, in a wide array of workplace disputes and litigation before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, including matters related to discrimination, retaliation, harassment, disability, family and medical leave, various wage and hour issues, contracts, and intentional torts. He advises academic medical centers on the interplay between applicable academic law and employment law and the ramifications of what are divergent legal requirements and standards. Mr. Read also provides counsel with respect to the legal impact of competency standards for residents and trainees in GME, including situations involving discipline, remediation, and dismissal. He provides advice and guidance in the peer review process, including provision of verification and assessment of training in response to third party inquiries.

As a member of the Firm’s Corporate Diversity Counseling group, Mr. Read also has experience in providing assessments and making recommendations to corporate and institutional clients with respect to diversity and inclusion policies and initiatives, conducting related internal investigations, and shaping, developing and enforcing effective policies and initiatives to ensure consistency with client values and in furtherance of business goals and objectives.