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Secretary Mayorkas Designates Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status for 18 Months

On March 8, 2021, Secretary Mayorkas of the Department of Homeland Security designated Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, until September 9, 2022. Under this new designation, Venezuelan nationals (and individuals without nationality that last resided in Venezuela) residing in the United States can apply for TPS if they meet the eligibility requirements.


For a Venezuelan national (or individual without nationality that last resided in Venezuelan) to be eligible for TPS, he or she must be able to demonstrate continuous residence in the United States as of March 8, 2021. Individuals who wish to apply for TPS must do so within the 180-day registration period. They may also apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and for travel authorization. All individuals applying for TPS undergo background checks as a part of determining eligibility.


An individual may be barred from eligibility for TPS if they:

  • Have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States

  • Are found inadmissible under INA 212(a) (including health-related grounds, criminal grounds, and security and terror-related grounds)

  • Are subject to any of the mandatory bars to asylum (including a conviction of a “particularly serious crime” or a finding that the individual poses a danger to the security of the United States)

Additionally, Venezuelans may apply for an EAD through Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), based on a January 19, 2021 presidential memorandum. DED and associated employment authorization will end on July 20, 2022. Venezuelan nationals are eligible for an EAD under DED if they:

  • Are present in and have continuously resided in the United States as of January 20, 2021

  • Have not voluntarily returned to Venezuela or their country of last habitual residence

  • Are not inadmissible under INA 212(a)(3) (security and terror related grounds) or removable under INA 237(a)(4) (security and terror related grounds)

  • Have not been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors

  • Were not deported, excluded, or removed from the U.S. before January 20, 2021

  • Are not subject to extradition

  • Are determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security to not present a danger to public safety

  • Will not present potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States by being present in the United States

Individuals are encouraged to consult a reputable and qualified immigration attorney before filing for TPS, DED, an EAD, or other immigration benefits.


Original DHS Announcement: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/03/08/u-s-department-of-homeland-security-secretary-mayorkas-designates-venezuela-for-temporary-protected-status-for-18-months/


Federal Register Notice: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/03/09/2021-04951/designation-of-venezuela-for-temporary-protected-status-and-implementation-of-employment


Original Memorandum on DED: https://trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov/presidential-actions/memorandum-deferred-enforced-departure-certain-venezuelans/

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