DHS Designates Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status

March 10, 2021

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced an 18-month period of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuela. TPS is a temporary immigration status which allows nationals of a designated country to remain in the U.S. and obtain employment authorization.


TPS Eligibility: Venezuelan nationals (as well as individuals without a nationality who last habitually resided in Venezuela) who have continuously resided in the U.S. since March 8, 2021 and have been continuously physically present in the U.S. since March 9, 2021, are eligible to apply for TPS, as well as employment authorization, during the initial registration period. The initial registration period for submitting TPS applications under the Venezuelan designation begins today, March 9, 2021, and ends on September 5, 2021. The current TPS designation for Venezuela will expire on September 9, 2022, but may be extended at the discretion of the Secretary of Homeland Security.


DHS also provided additional information regarding employment authorization for those individuals covered by Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Venezuela which was announced on January 19, 2021. DED does not provide an individual immigration status but does temporarily suspend removal from the United States. DED for Venezuela is scheduled to expire on July 20, 2022. In the meantime, those Venezuelan nationals (and individuals without a nationality who last habitually resided in Venezuela) covered by DED may be eligible to apply for employment authorization through USCIS, except for those:

  • Who have voluntarily returned to Venezuela or their country of last habitual residence outside the United States;
  • Who have not continuously resided in the United States since January 20, 2021;
  • Who are inadmissible under section 212(a)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)) or removable under section 237(a)(4) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(4));
  • Who have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States, or who meet the criteria set forth in section 208(b)(2)(A) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1158(b)(2)(A));
  • Who were deported, excluded, or removed, before January 20, 2021;
  • Who are subject to extradition;
  • Whose presence in the United States the Secretary of Homeland Security has determined is not in the interest of the United States or presents a danger to public safety; or
  • Whose presence in the United States the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds to believe would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States.

As always, we recommend that you consult with an immigration attorney to discuss your individual case. Our firm would be happy to schedule a consultation appointment with you to review your eligibility for TPS, DED employment authorization and/or other immigration benefits.



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