Migrants From Venezuela Get Temporary Protected Status From Biden Administration

Just this past month, migrants from Venezuela get temporary protected statue from the Biden Administration. March 2021, President Biden made good on his campaign promise and granted temporary protected status (TPS) to the more than 300,000 Venezuelans currently living in the United States. Venezuela has been in political and economic turmoil since current president Nicolas Maduro took over in 2013. The government in Venezuela is regarded as corrupt and crime and poverty are rampant. People have been fleeing the country in huge numbers. In fact, about 5 million of the country’s 28 million people have already left and the situation doesn’t look to get better any time soon.

Persons in the United States from Venezuela who are eligible for TPS have until September 5, 2021 to register for relief with the government. Applicants must show they have been physically present in the United States since March 9, 2021. TPS will be good through September 9, 2022.

What Is Temporary Protected Status?

Application for temporary protected

Temporary protected status is an immigration status granted to migrants giving them temporary legal immigrant status. TPS offers safety in the US for those that have fled deplorable conditions in their own countries.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has the authority to designate countries eligible for TPS. Countries can be designated for TPS if they are experiencing an armed conflict, have had some kind of environmental disaster, or are undergoing other very dangerous though temporary conditions that make the safe return of nationals unlikely.

The US has currently granted TPS to persons from 12 countries:

  • Burma (Myanmar)
  • El Salvador
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen

What Rights Do You Have With Temporary Protected Status?

If you register for and are granted TPS, you receive documentation that you are legally in the US and cannot be deported during the TPS period. You can receive work authorization. And you may also be eligible to travel in and out of the US.

How Long Does Temporary Protected Status Last?

TPS designations can be for 6, 12, or 18 months and can be extended indefinitely. The decision to extend or terminate a TPS designation must be published in the Federal Registrar at least 60 days before the expiration of the TPS. If the decision is not published in a timely manner, the designation is automatically extended for 6 months.

Once TPS has ended, nationals return to their original immigration status unless they have acquired a different status. Nationals that are undocumented will be subject to deportation.

Can Temporary Protected Status Lead to Permanent Residency?


TPS is not intended to be a way to gain another legal immigrant status in the US. The reason is that many nationals who achieve TPS were not legally in the US to begin with. Federal circuit courts that had decided the issue were split on whether TPS recipients who were not documented could be eligible to become permanent residents.

The US Supreme Court recently decided the issue determining that undocumented TPS recipients must leave the US and then re-enter by going through proper channels if they want to become licensed permanent residents (LPR).

Is “Deferred Enforced Departure” The Same as Temporary Protected Status?

Like TPS, deferred enforced departure (“DED”) also protects foreign nationals from being deported and can provide the right to work in the US. However, the power to issue a deferred enforced departure designation is an executive function of the President and is not based on immigration law.

There are currently 2 countries covered under DED:

  • Liberia \u2013 effective October 1, 2007, by George W. Bush \u2013 extended through June 30, 2022
  • Venezuela \u2013 effective January 20, 2021, by Donald J. Trump \u2013 expires July 20, 2022

How to Get Temporary Protected Status

In order to obtain TPS, a person must meet specific eligibility requirements. These include the following:

  • Be a national (or habitual resident) of a TPS designated country
  • Register during the appropriate registration period
  • Have a continuous physical presence in the US since the most recent effective date of the TPS designation
  • Have been continuously residing in the US since the date specified for your country
  • Not have engaged in certain criminal activities or other prohibited conduct

If eligibility requirements are met the TPS applicant files form I-821 along with all supporting documentation and the appropriate fee. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) reviews the application, may schedule an interview, and will then render their decision to grant or deny TPS.

Temporary Protected Status Is Only Temporary

People discussing

It’s important to understand that TPS is a humanitarian offering by the US to help undocumented people from other parts of the world that are unable to be safe in their own countries until such time as they may safely return. Thus, TPS provides only temporary relief for immigrants who might otherwise be required to leave the US. When the Department of Homeland Security determines that there is no longer the need for TPS, a TPS recipient will lose protected status and be subject to other applicable immigration laws which may include deportation.

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