On March 9, 2021, the TPS for Venezuelans (Temporary Protected Status) who are in the United States on that date, entered into force.
Likewise, the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) benefit that had been granted by Donald Trump’s administration for the next 18 months has been regulated. Both are temporary protection mechanisms in addition to asylum that have been approved due to the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and offer protection against possible deportations, albeit on a temporary basis.
In turn, the TPS for Venezuelans will allow those who request and qualify to obtain a work permit and a travel and re-entry permit (advance parole) to be able to leave the country momentarily.
However, those interested should remember the following key dates and meet certain requirements to apply for both benefits:
TPS for Venezuelans
|Must prove continuous residency in the U.S. from:||8/MAR/2021|
|Continuous physical presence in the U.S. from:||9/MAR/2021|
|Registration period||9/MAR/2021 to 5/SEP/2021|
|End date of designation and duration of the work permit:||9/SEP/2022|
What is the basis of the approval of the TPS for Venezuelans?
The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may designate a foreign country as a TPS beneficiary due to specific conditions occurring in that country (whether due to armed conflict)
Benefit period: 20/JAN/2021 to 20/JUL/2022.
End date of designation and duration: 20/JUL/2022.
Payments to be made to the U.S. government
TPS: $545 (For those between the ages of 14 and 65)
DED: $410 (fingerprinting fee may be required in addition)
Benefits from TPS for Venezuelans
During the designated period of protection, TPS beneficiaries or who have been preliminarily found eligible will obtain the following benefits:
- They will not be able to be deported from the United States.
- They will be able to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (“EAD”).
- They will be able to obtain travel authorization.
- Once TPS is granted, they cannot be detained by DHS because of their immigration status in the United States.
It is important to note, however, that TPS is a temporary benefit that does not lead to lawful permanent resident status or confer any other immigration status. This may be accomplished by filing an adjustment of status application for residency based on a family-based petition or applying for any other immigration benefit or protection for which you may be eligible.
Generally speaking, to be eligible for TPS, individuals must:
- Be a national of a TPS-designated country, or a person without nationality whose last habitual residence was in the designated country.
- File the application during the initial registration or re-registration period, or if eligible for a late application.
- Have been continuously physically present in the United States since the effective date of the designation date.
- Have continuously resided in the United States since the date specified for your country. (The law allows an exception to the continuous physical presence requirement and the continuous residence requirement in cases of short, casual, and innocent departures outside the United States.)
Certain grounds that do not make you eligible to obtain or maintain TPS status
- Having been convicted of a felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States.
- Being found inadmissible as an immigrant under the applicable grounds in section 212(a) of the INA, including criminal or security-related grounds for which there is no waiver.
- Be subject to any of the statutory bars to asylum. These include, but are not limited to, engaging in the persecution of another person or engaging in or initiating terrorist activity.
- Failing to meet the requirements of continuous physical presence or continuous residence in the United States.
- If granted TPS, failing to re-register for TPS as required without good cause.
What is DED and how is it different from TPS?
It is an administrative suspension of deportation that does not grant status. On January 19, 2021, then-President Donald Trump issued a memorandum to defer for 18 months the deportation of any national of Venezuela or persons without nationality whose last habitual residence was Venezuela and who were present in the United States as of January 20, 2021. Those who will not qualify are those who:
- Had voluntarily returned to Venezuela or their country of last habitual residence outside the United States.
- Have not continuously resided in the United States since January 20, 2021.
- Were inadmissible under section 212(a)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) or subject to deportation under section 237(a)(4) of the INA (both of which refer to national security grounds).
- Had been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States under INA section 208(b)(2)(A) (relating to crimes of persecution, serious crimes constituting a risk to American society, crimes committed before coming to the United States, among others).
Had been deported, excluded or removed before January 20, 2021.
- Are subject to extradition.
- Whose presence is not in the interest of the United States or presents a risk to public safety, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security.
- The Secretary of Homeland Security has reasonable grounds to believe that their presence in the United States would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States.
It is understood that DED was automatically conferred for those present in the United States on January 20, 2021, although it is only now that USCIS has issued guidelines for obtaining work authorization.
María Herrera Mellado is an attorney in the U.S.