(CNN Español) — The Government of President Joe Biden granted Temporary Protected Status to hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans, with which it is expected that some 300,000 people will apply and can remain legally in the United States, for at least 18 months.
Venezuelans in the United States will have the opportunity to apply for Temporary Protected Status, a form of humanitarian aid that can be granted when it is deemed unsafe to return to their country of origin.
These are some key points of what you should know about TPS for Venezuelans.
What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?
Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, is a form of humanitarian aid that can be granted when it is deemed unsafe to return to your home country. Therefore, this type of protection is limited only to people (in this case Venezuelans) who are already in the United States.
How many Venezuelans will benefit from the special protection status?
The United States government estimates that there are about 320,000 Venezuelans eligible for special protections. The protections apply only to Venezuelans already in the United States.
Who is eligible for TPS and how long does it last?
Venezuelans in the United States will have the opportunity to apply for TPS, as this form of humanitarian aid can be granted when it is considered unsafe to return to their country of origin.
The TPS designation allows both Venezuelan nationals and Venezuelan nationals to people without nationality whose last habitual residence was Venezuela, file applications for TPS.
People who demonstrate continuous residence in the United States as of March 8, 2021, are eligible. according to a government official. Anyone arriving after March 8 does not qualify for TPS designation.
The Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, will designate Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status for 18 months, until September 2022, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Although TPS has a deadline, it can be extended at the discretion of the US government.
How to apply for TPS?
Venezuelans who want to apply for TPS must submit an application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within the next 180 days.
All people applying for a TPS will need to undergo a security and background check to determine if they are eligible, the White House said.
“Only people who can demonstrate continuous residence in the United States as of March 8, 2021 are eligible for TPS under the designation of Venezuela,” says a statement from the White House. “For their own health and safety, people should not believe smugglers or others who claim that the border is now open. Due to the pandemic, travel and admission restrictions at the border remain in effect.
“The USCIS encourages people who believe they are eligible for TPS to apply during the initial registration period announced in the Federal National Register (FRN) even if they are covered by Deferred Forced Departure, in case they do not qualify for a presentation late initial to TPS after DED has expired, “the White House added in a statement.
What are the fees to apply for TPS?
According to a government official who spoke to journalists, the application for temporary protection status costs US $ 50. A biometric fee of US $ 85 will also have to be paid. And if a work authorization is required, it would be US $ 410. In total, applying to TPS would have a cost of US $ 545. For children under 14 years the cost is US $ 50.
Why did Biden grant the benefit to Venezuelans?
This designation is due to “extraordinary and temporary conditions” in Venezuela, which include widespread hunger and malnutrition, a growing influence and presence of non-state armed groups, repression and a dilapidated infrastructure, the Department of Homeland Security said.
“Living conditions in Venezuela reveal a country in crisis, incapable of protecting its own citizens,” said the secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “It is in times of extraordinary and temporary circumstances like these that the United States steps forward to support eligible Venezuelan nationals currently present in the United States as their home country seeks to recover from current crises.”
President Joe Biden “has made it very clear that Nicolás Maduro is a dictator, and the May 2018 elections were fraudulent and illegitimate,” a senior administration official said Monday.
In a call with journalists, a White House official said the appointment is due to “the extraordinary and temporary conditions in Venezuela that prevent the nationals there, who are here, from returning safely.” The official pointed to the humanitarian crisis that Venezuela is experiencing – something that the government of the questioned President Nicolás Maduro denies – pointing out “generalized hunger, malnutrition, growing influence and the presence of non-state armed groups, an infrastructure that is crumbling.”
What other protections do Venezuelans have in the US?
On his last day in office, President Donald Trump issued a memorandum offering protections for Venezuelans known as deferred forced departure. Trump’s appointment remains in effect. However, TPS has a legal basis.
CNN previously reported that a growing group of Venezuelans who fled to the United States are in legal limbo. Lawmakers previously weighed options to temporarily protect Venezuelans from deportation.
According to the official who spoke to reporters on Monday, the presidential memo that granted them deferred forced departure is “not very unusual” and is issued by the decision of the US president and “generally based on foreign policy issues.” But TPS “is a very strong platform, so to speak, for this type of action, where people will have the opportunity to apply, if they qualify, to obtain a work authorization,” the official said.
What other countries have TPS in the United States?
A dozen countries have Temporary Protected Status in the United States due to conditions in those countries that make the return of nationals to those countries unsafe. The reasons may be armed conflict, natural disasters, or extraordinary temporary conditions.
Currently these citizens of these countries have TPS in the US:
- The Savior
- South Sudan
Formerly the citizens of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone they had temporary protected status.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism