U.S. grants TPS to nationals of Venezuela: How to apply for TPS?
On March 9, 2021, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) designated Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) until September 9, 2022. Because Venezuela received TPS status, nationals of Venezuela who are in the United States and meet the requirements are now able to apply for TPS, work authorization and travel permit and live and work in the United States until September 9, 2022 and may not be removed or deported from the U.S. while they hold TPS status. While at this time USCIS has granted Venezuela TPS status until September 9, 2022, it is possible for USCIS to extend the period for TPS beyond the expiration date.
If you are a national of Venezuela or have no nationality and resided last in Venezuela, and are currently residing in the USA as of March 8, 2021, then you can apply for temporary protected status (TPS) and employment authorization EAD card during the initial registration period.
Separately from individuals who are nationals of Venezuela, those individuals who do not have any nationality (persons without nationality) and who resided last in Venezuela and are physically present in the United States as of March 8, 2021 can apply for TPS and live and work in the United States until September 9, 2022 and cannot be removed or deported while holding TPS status.
Initial Registration Period for TPS Venezuela
The initial registration period to apply for TPS and EAD work authorization under the TPS Venezuela designation is open for a period of 6 months (or 180 days) between March 9, 2021 and September 5, 2021. The TPS and EAD applications must be filed with USCIS as discussed below.
If you believe you may qualify for temporary protected status, you should apply for TPS and EAD work authorization as soon as possible because the initial registration period is only open for a limited time between March 9, 2021 to September 5, 2021.
While USCIS granted Venezuela TPS status until September 9, 2022, eligible applicants are only able to apply during the registration period between March 9 and September 5, 2021 and if approved, their protected status and work authorization in the USA will be valid until September 9, 2022, subject to USCIS extensions. It is recommended to apply as soon as possible for the TPS status and employment authorization card.
Individuals who apply for and receive TPS and who are also covered by Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) do not need to apply for work permits (EAD cards) under both programs. USCIS recommends that those who are eligible for both programs apply for TPS ONLY during the initial registration period in case they do not qualify for TPS late filing after DED has expired.
Requirements to apply for TPS
In order to be eligible for TPS under the USCIS Venezuela TPS designation, you must meet all of the following requirements:
- You must be a national of Venezuela or a person without nationality who had his or her last residence in Venezuela. To meet this requirement you must provide a passport, birth certificate, national identity card or another document as proof of your identity.
- You must be continuously residing in the USA since March 8, 2021. To meet this requirement you must provide proof such as utility bills, lease agreements, school records, medical records or other similar documents. There is an exception to continuous residence requirements for brief, casual and innocent departures from the United States.
- You must have been continuously physically present in the United States since March 9, 2021. Evidence to show you were physically present in the US on March 9 2021, can include your I-94 record or passport stamps showing date of entry into the United States, pay stubs, letters from employers, IRS income tax returns or other similar documents. USCIS in its discretion can make an exception to the continuous physical presence in the United States for short, casual and innocent departures from the US.
- You must file for TPS during the initial registration period between March 9 2021 to September 5 2021, or otherwise, meet the requirements for the late initial filing. With your filing, you must also provide court records for any arrests, charges or convictions, if applicable to you.
Steps to apply for TPS
To apply for TPS under Venezuela’s designation, you must follow certain steps to submit your TPS application with USCIS. Each member of your family must file a separate application for TPS as there is no dependent or derivative status for TPS applications. This means that if for example, you are a family of 4 (husband, wife and two children) then you must submit 4 applications with USCIS and pay the required fees – each adult and child must file for TPS status a separate application.
The steps to apply for TPS under Venezuela’s designation are:
- File the TPS application (Form I-821) with USCIS for each qualifying individual.
- Pay the filing fee to USCIS or request to waive the filing fees. To submit a fee waiver request with your TPS application you can attach Form I-912.
- The USCIS filing fee for applicants under the age of 14 is $50 and no biometrics fee $85 unless the applicant applies for EAD (there is no fee for EAD).
- The USCIS filing fee for applicants 14-65 years old is $50 plus biometrics fee $85 plus $410 for EAD (if requested)
- The USCIS filing fee for applicants 66 or older is $50 plus a biometrics fee of $85 and no fee for EAD.
- If you would like to apply for work authorization for the United States (EAD) you can submit a work permit application (Form I-765) at the same time when you file your TPS application. You can also apply for work authorization after you submit your TPS application as long as you have a pending TPS application or you were granted TPS. The filing fee for employment authorization (EAD) is $410.
- If you would like to apply for advance parole to travel outside of the United States and re-enter you can submit your application for travel authorization (Form I-131) together with your TPS application or you can submit it at a later time as long as you have a TPS pending or you have received the TPS. The filing fee for advance parole for TPS is $575 and there is no fee for biometrics. If you travel outside of the U.S. without requesting advance parole you can lose your TPS and may not be able to return to the United States. More information on travel is provided below.
- Send your TPS application package to the following address based on your state of residence
- For residents of Florida filing via U.S. Postal Service (USPS): USCIS, Attn: TPS Venezuela, P.O. Box 20300, Phoenix, AZ 85036.
- For residents of Florida filing via FedEx, UPS or DHL: USCIS, Attn: TPS Venezuela (20300), 1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S, Suite 100, Phoenix, AZ 85034.
- For residents of any other state filing via U.S. Postal Service (USPS): USCIS Attn: TPS Venezuela, P.O. Box 805282, Chicago, IL 60680
- For residents of any other state filing via FedEx, UPS or DHL: USCIS, Attn: TPS Venezuela (805282), 131 South Dearborn—3rd Floor, Chicago, IL 60603-5517
Travel on TPS
After you apply and receive TPS you can apply for a travel authorization in order to be able to travel outside of the US. The travel authorization for TPS is an advance parole travel document that is issued by USCIS in its discretion if USCIS determines that it is appropriate to approve the request. If advance parole is approved you can travel outside of the United States and re-enter during the approved period of time.
You can apply for advance parole to travel at the time you file your TPS application or after as long as the TPS application is pending or the TPS was approved. If you, however, travel outside of the United States without first requesting advance parole (travel authorization), then you can lose the TPS, miss important USCIS deadlines and may not be able to come back to the US. Moreover, 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.
How can Malescu Law assist?
Our dedicated immigration lawyers in Miami, Florida USA can assist individuals qualifying for TPS under Venezuela’s designation with preparing and filing the TPS application, EAD work authorization and travel document together with the required evidence.
Malescu Law P.A. – Immigration Lawyers