On March 8, 2021, the Biden Administration designated Venezuelans as eligible to apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). You can find the information on this new program at the website of the USCIS. Registration for the program began on March 9 and will continue until September 5, 2021. Those who are eligible will receive temporary immigration status until at least Sept. 9, 2022. This status includes work authorization and it may be extended by the Biden Administration next summer.
According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS): “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.”
To be eligible, a person must generally be a citizen or national of Venezuela who was living in the United States on March 8, 2021. Persons who meet that criteria should not leave the United States prior to being granted Temporary Protected Status. Once granted TPS, a person should obtain “Advanced Parole” before travelling outside the United States.
Certain applicants may be ineligible for TPS if they:
- 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.
Long Island non-profits that complete TPS applications for a low fee include:
CARECEN (Hempstead) 516-489-8330
CLA (Garden City) 516-210-6763
CARECEN (Brentwood) 631-273-8721
Catholic Charities (Amityville and Other Locations) 631-789-5210
Those wishing to apply should avoid scams frequently engaged in by “Notarios.” They should seek help at one of the non-profits named above or from a private lawyer. There may also be self-help workshops offered, but right now none are scheduled.