Did you know that last three years more people have applied for asylum from Venezuela than from any other country on earth?

And, this week, the Department of Homeland Security under the new direction of Biden’s appointed Secretary of DHS Alejandro Mayorkas, announced Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuela. This is fantastic news for immigrants of that country, whether or not they have filed for asylum.

What is Temporary Protected Status? Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status provided to nationals of certain countries experiencing problems that make it difficult or unsafe for immigrants of that country to be deported there. Common examples that cause a country to be designated for TPS include: An ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or other extraordinary or temporary conditions.

For more on this, please watch our video here:

How to apply for TPS?

To apply for TPS, you must complete and file form I-821. For Venezuela, there is a time limit – applicants must apply by September 5, 2021. Other requirements include: (1) you must have been physically present in the US on March 8, 2021; (2) you must not have any felony or two or more misdemeanors; (3) you must not trigger certain inadmissibility grounds under 212(a) (e.g. for criminal or security-related issues); (4) you must not be subject to any of the bars to asylum (e.g. participating in the persecution of others or in terrorism).

What benefits come with TPS?

Basically the benefit is a work permit that is valid for a specific period of time. For Venezuela, this initial TPS will grant work authorization until September 9, 2022. At that time, the Department of Homeland Security can decide whether or not to extend TPS and allow people to “reregister.”

How does TPS affect pending asylum applications?

Many of our clients are calling asking about their pending asylum applications and whether or not they should apply for TPS. Let me be clear: it is OKAY to file for BOTH asylum and TPS. A TPS application does not cause a problem for an asylum application. In fact, if you have a pending asylum application, I would still strongly recommend that you apply for TPS. That way, if your asylum case were denied for whatever reason, you still have some protection from deportation and work authorization in the form of TPS.

If you have specific questions about this, and if you would like help applying for TPS, please feel free to give our immigration law firm a call at (510) 491-0291 and see how our immigration attorneys can help you!