WASHINGTON—The Department of Homeland Security today published a Federal Register notice (FRN) announcing extensions of the registration periods from 180 days to 18 months for initial (new) applicants for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under the designations of Venezuela and Burma, and the redesignation of Syria. This notice also provides certain specific corrections to the FRN regarding Venezuela (86 FR 13574).
After reevaluating the 180-day registration periods for initial TPS applicants announced for the designations of Venezuela and Burma and the redesignation of Syria, DHS has determined that limiting the registration period to 180 days may place a burden on initial TPS applicants who are unable to timely file but would otherwise be eligible for a grant of TPS. Extending the registration period does not extend or alter the expiration date of an applicant’s TPS, which remains the same regardless of date of registration. In addition, this extended registration period is in keeping with the humanitarian purpose of TPS and advances the actions outlined in President Biden’s Executive Order 14012.
This filing extension will allow individuals to submit an initial Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, and an application for an Employment Authorization Document (if desired) at any time during the 18-month designation or redesignation periods for these three countries.
The 18-month registration period for initial applications under the TPS designation of Venezuela now runs through Sept. 9, 2022.
The 18-month registration period for initial applications under the TPS redesignation of Syria now runs through Sept. 30, 2022.
The 18-month registration period for initial applications under the TPS designation of Burma (Myanmar) now runs through Nov. 25, 2022.
On March 8, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas designated Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, until September 2022. This new designation of TPS for Venezuela enables Venezuelan nationals (and individuals without nationality who last resided in Venezuela) currently residing in the United States to file initial applications for TPS, so long as they meet eligibility requirements.
New Designation Allows Eligible Venezuelans to Apply for TPS and Employment Authorization Documents: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2021/03/08/secretary-mayorkas-designates-venezuela-temporary-protected-status-18-months
As part of our dedication and promise to support our clients and friends, we have developed the following questionnaire with the objective of analyzing your personal information to best determine your eligibility for this benefit. Once we have reviewed the questionnaires, our office will contact potential applicants within 48 hours to inform them of their eligibility as well as discuss any other options they may have in their case.
Q1. Do I need to file any documents to receive DED?
A1. Individuals covered by DED are not required to file any applications; however, they must submit Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, if they want to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
Q2. Do individuals who have not applied for TPS or DED Employment Authorization Documents accrue unlawful status while DED is still in place?
A2. If you are covered by DED, you will not accrue unlawful status during the DED period.
Q3: How do DED and TPS differ?
A3: DED is an administrative stay of removal that the President can make for a group of individuals in his constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations. TPS designations can be made in the Secretary of Homeland Security’s discretion, if he determines that conditions in the country satisfy the statutory standard. Unlike TPS, DED has no statutory basis. Although individuals covered by a grant of DED will not be removed from the United States, they are not considered to have an immigration status.
General TPS Background
Q4. What proof of my TPS status will I receive?
A4. If USCIS approves your initial TPS application, USCIS will send you an approval notice with an I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, which is evidence of your TPS. If you filed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, USCIS will also send you an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), if you did not receive an EAD before this step. For more information on the TPS application process, visit the TPS page on the USCIS website. (See the section Application Process.)
Q5. What are the expected processing times for Form I-821, Form I-765 and Form I-131?
A5. The processing time for initial Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, is approximately 6 months; the processing time for Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, is approximately 3 months; the processing time for Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, is approximately 6 months. Note that these are approximate times and that processing time for each case may vary depending on its complexity. For more information on processing times, visit the Check Case Processing Times page on the USCIS website.
Q6. Are there any exceptions to the firm resettlement bar to TPS?
A6. As defined in 8 CFR 208.15, an applicant is considered to be firmly resettled if, prior to arrival in the United States, they entered into another country with, or while in that country received, an offer of permanent residence status, citizenship, or some other type of permanent resettlement, unless they establish:
• That their entry into that country was a necessary consequence of their flight from persecution, that they remained in that country only as long as was necessary to arrange onward travel, and that they did not establish significant ties in that country,
• That the conditions of their residence in that country were so substantially and consciously restricted by the authority in the country that they were not in fact resettled.
Q7. What happens if I have dual nationality and I entered the United States with a visa granted to my other nationality?
A7. Irrespective of whatever additional foreign citizenships individuals may hold, they are eligible for TPS if they establish that they are a national of the TPS country and meet all other eligibility requirements.
As long as the applicant can provide sufficient evidence that they are a Venezuelan national (e.g., passport, birth certificate and photo identification, and/or any national identity document from country of origin bearing a photo and/or fingerprint), then the applicant should be able to meet the nationality requirement. The applicant may also provide secondary evidence of nationality if they do not have primary evidence. USCIS may require the applicant to submit additional evidence or attend an interview if the evidence submitted is insufficient to demonstrate Venezuelan nationality.
Being a dual national of Venezuela and another country does not automatically prevent an applicant from meeting the nationality requirement for TPS. However, having another citizenship in addition to being Venezuelan could indicate that the applicant may be ineligible for TPS because of the firm resettlement asylum bar that also applies to TPS. In order for USCIS to determine whether the bar applies, which must be done on a case-by-case basis, dual citizens of Venezuela and another country are encouraged to submit as much evidence as possible regarding when and how they obtained their non-Venezuelan citizenship, the nature of their family and other ties to the non-Venezuela country, whether they have lived in the other country, when and how long; whether and when they have visited the other country of citizenship; and any other information that the applicant believes may be relevant to the firm resettlement issue.
Q8. Could you provide a link with specific information about “firm resettlement” for TPS (not asylum or refugees)?
A8. Whether you are applying for asylum or TPS, the definition of firm resettlement remains the same. If you are firmly resettled, you are not eligible for asylum or for TPS. The asylum section of the Firm Resettlement Lesson Plan applies to TPS.
Q9. What absences are considered brief and casual?
A9. When determining continuous physical presence (CPP) and continuous residence (CR), USCIS must consider your time outside of the United States after March 9, 2021. The law allows an exception to the CPP and CR requirements for brief, casual and innocent departures from the United States. When you apply for TPS, you must inform USCIS of all absences from the United States since the CPP and CR dates. An absence such as a temporary trip abroad required by emergency or extenuating circumstances outside your control will not break continuous residence. USCIS will determine whether the exception applies in your case.
Q10: What is the definition of habitual residence with respect to TPS? How would someone be eligible for TPS based on having last habitually resided in Venezuela?
A10: TPS is a country-specific program. Based on the Secretary’s designation, USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries and to eligible individuals without nationality (stateless) who last habitually resided in the designated country before residing in the United States. A TPS applicant who claims to be stateless has the burden to establish that they are not a national of any country. Individuals may submit an affidavit explaining why they have no lawful nationality (that is, why they are stateless) with as much supporting documentation as possible. Examples of documentation include a government order taking away their prior nationality; a copy of legislation that deprived them of their nationality; evidence that their previous country of nationality has ceased to exist without a successor country that recognizes them as its national; a written document from a court or government entity stating that they are stateless and therefore have no nationality; or any other evidence supporting their claim that they do not have a nationality.
Individuals who are claiming that they do not have any nationality and are stateless must also demonstrate that they last habitually resided in a TPS-designated country before they came to live in the United States. Examples of documentation include evidence of established residence in the TPS-designated country, such as documentation that they rented or owned a home during the period they lived there; employment and/or school records; address(es) where they lived; medical records; phone or utility records from the period they lived there; or at least two affidavits from persons who knew them when they lived in the TPS-designated country that describe their relationship to them, how long they have known them, how they know that they lived in the TPS-designated country before coming to live in the United States, and their address and contact phone numbers. Individuals may also provide any other documents that demonstrate that they lived in the TPS-designated country immediately before coming to the United States to live. If they lived in any other country between the time that they lived in the TPS-designated country and the time that they came to the United States, they must provide evidence of residence in that other country or countries.
TPS – How to Apply
Q11: Over the past years, there has been an inconsistency regarding indications of the correct I-765 EAD code for initial TPS EAD applications: (c)(19) or (a)(12). What is the correct
code to use for an initial TPS registration I-765 application?
A11: The correct code for an initial TPS Employment Authorization Document is A12. We recommend that TPS registrants (that is, individuals applying for TPS for the first time) answer A12 to question No. 27 on Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. USCIS will not reject a Form I-765, category C19, that is properly filed (with fees or fee waiver request, signatures, etc.).
Q12: May people in immigration detention apply for TPS?
A12: USCIS may consider TPS applications from individuals who are currently in immigration detention. An individual in removal proceedings, at the time of the foreign state’s designation, may submit an application to USCIS. If an individual is in removal proceedings and the basis of the Notice To Appear (NTA) is a mandatory ground for TPS ineligibility, EOIR would have jurisdiction to adjudicate the TPS application. See 8 C.F.R. 244.7(d).
Q13: When a family is applying for TPS, do you recommend that every family member apply simultaneously?
A13: TPS is an individual benefit and provides no benefit to derivatives. Family members may apply for TPS simultaneously or individually provided that each individual meets the eligibility criteria for TPS independently. USCIS encourages each family member file their own application with a separate payment.
Q14: Are TPS applicants who are subject to certain waivable inadmissibilities required to submit Form I-601 waiver applications with the Form I-821, or can they submit them at a later
A14: TPS applicants may submit Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, with their initial TPS package; however, USCIS will give applicants the opportunity to submit this form later if they did not submit it their initial package. For more information, visit the TPS page on the USCIS website.
Q15: Are people with Venezuelan residency (like Venezuelan green card holders) able to apply for TPS Venezuela?
A15: Not unless they are a Venezuelan national or an individual without nationality who last habitually resided in Venezuela. Eligible nationals of Venezuela (or individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Venezuela) may submit an initial registration application under the designation of Venezuela for TPS and apply for an Employment Authorization Document.
Q16: May a person who was born in a third country, who lived all their life in Venezuela but never obtained Venezuelan citizenship apply for TPS?
A16: No. Only eligible nationals of Venezuela (or individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Venezuela) may submit an initial registration application under the designation of Venezuela for TPS and apply for an Employment Authorization Document.
TPS – Filling out the Application
Q17. Does the applicant have to put all the countries they resided in before coming to the United States in general, or just those they visited in the time between leaving Venezuela
and his last entry to the United States?
A17. TPS applicants should list all countries they entered while traveling to the United States, including countries where they resided as well as those where they transited through. In Part 11, Additional Information of Form I-821, TPS applicants may provide the dates when they were in those countries and any immigration status they may have had while in those countries.
Q18: How should I respond to the question about my current immigration status if I have applied for asylum?
A18: Please provide your current immigration status (or lack of status). For example, visitor, student, visa overstay or no status.
Q19. For Part 6 of the Form I-821 (Children), can you confirm that this section should only be completed if filing a late application?
A19. Yes. Part 6 Information About Your Children (if any) of Form I-821 should be completed only if you are filing a late initial application for TPS. The TPS registration period began on March 9, 2021 and will end on Sept. 5, 2021. There is no late initial filing during an initial designation for TPS.
TPS – Documents
Q20. Should I submit my entire passport along with my TPS application (Form I-821)?
A20. TPS applicants who are submitting a copy of their passport to establish nationality and identity and also to show their entry into the United States should include all of the pertinent pages that evidence that information, for example, the Visa Page, admission stamp, etc.
Q21: Are expired passports acceptable forms of identification for establishing nationality and identity?
A21: Expired passports are acceptable to establish nationality and identity.
Q22: Is a Venezuelan nationality certificate, issued by the embassy in the United States for the express purpose of seeking TPS, an acceptable way to establish nationality?
A22: Any national identity document from the country of origin bearing a photo and/or fingerprint is acceptable.
General TPS Questions
Q23. If I am granted TPS, can I still apply for a B2 tourist visa and/or travel to another country (besides Venezuela)?
A23. Registration for TPS does not prevent individuals from applying for or maintaining a nonimmigrant status, such as a tourist visa; however, they should submit Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, and obtain a travel document before travelling outside of the United States.
Q24. If an applicant is out-of-status or entered the US illegally, are they still entitled to apply for TPS?
A24. Yes, applicants who are out of status or entered the United States without being inspected and admitted may apply for TPS provided that they meet all other eligibility requirements.
Q25. If I have an employment authorization based on my pending asylum application (category C8), could I apply for employment authorization based on TPS (category A12)?
A25. While individuals who already have an EAD are not required to apply for a TPS-based EAD, category (a)12, they are permitted to request one at the time of filing Form I-821 or at a later date.
Q26. If a student applies for TPS, does the student lose his or her F-1 student status? What happens if the TPS period is not extended?
A26. Registration for TPS does not prevent individuals from applying for or maintaining a nonimmigrant status, such as F1 academic student. As stated in the Designation of Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status and Implementation of Employment Authorization for Venezuelans Covered by Deferred Enforced Departure FRN (see 86 FR 13574), at least 60 days before the expiration of a country’s TPS designation or extension, the Secretary, after
consultation with appropriate Government agencies, must review the conditions in the foreign state designated for TPS to determine whether the conditions for the TPS designation continue to be met. See INA section 244(b)(3)(A),
8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A). If the Secretary determines that the foreign state continues to meet the conditions for TPS designation, the designation will be extended for an additional period of 6 months or, in the Secretary’s discretion, 12 or 18 months. See INA section 244(b)(3)(A), (C), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(A), (C). If the Secretary determines that the foreign state no longer meets the conditions for TPS designation, the Secretary must terminate the designation. See INA section 244(b)(3)(B), 8 U.S.C. 1254a(b)(3)(B).
Q27: Can I apply for TPS without affecting my asylum claim? Would I have to pay for a work permit and to be fingerprinted again?
A27: Individuals with a pending or approved asylum claim may also apply for TPS and for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) based on TPS. Applying for TPS will not affect your asylum claim. All TPS applicants must pay the required fees or submit a Form I-912, Request for a Fee Waiver. USCIS also collects the photograph, signature, and/or fingerprints (that is, the biometrics) of every TPS applicant over 14 years old, as needed. Biometrics are required for identity verification, background checks, and the production of your EAD, if you requested one and are eligible. As part of the processing of your TPS application, USCIS will send you an appointment notice to have your biometrics captured at an Application Support Center (ASC). For more information on the TPS application process, visit the TPS page on the USCIS website (see “Step 3, USCIS Contacts You” in the section “Application Process”).
Q28. Would having TPS ease waiving the J-1 two-year home residency requirement if one applies for a waiver based on fear of persecution or hardship?
A28.The granting of TPS, in and of itself, does not release a J nonimmigrant from the INA
212(e) two-year foreign residence requirement. The J nonimmigrant would still need to apply for
the waiver, provide evidence supporting their reasons for seeking the waiver, and be granted
a waiver of the two-year requirement if they wish to change to a different nonimmigrant status (other than certain limited nonimmigrant categories) or seek immigrant status.
Eligibility for TPS is based on whether the applicant is an eligible national of the designated country (or a person having no nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country). Therefore, the underlying basis for a person’s TPS status is not related to and may not support a claim for a waiver of the J-1 2-year requirement based on either a fear of persecution or a claim of exceptional hardship upon the applicant’s U.S. citizen or lawfully permanent resident spouse or child.
What is TPS?
The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States. Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.
Who is eligible?
To be eligible for TPS, you must:
You may NOT be eligible for TPS or to maintain your existing TPS if you:
How is TPS different from Asylum?
TPS is a temporary benefit that does not lead to lawful permanent resident status or give any other immigration status. However, registration for TPS does not prevent you from:
Asylum grants an applicant authorized stay, so long as the applicant does not work without authorization during the pendency of the asylum application.
Lawful immigration status is distinct from being in a period of authorized stay. Periods of authorized stay are only relevant when determining an alien’s accrual of unlawful presence for inadmissibility purposes. Although an alien in a lawful immigration status is also in a period of authorized stay, the opposite is not necessarily true. Those in a period of authorized stay may or may not be in a lawful immigration status.
Officers consider the difference between lawful immigration status and a period of authorized stay when determining whether an alien is in lawful immigration status for purposes of the INA 245(c)(2) adjustment bar.
When can I apply for TPS?
If you are applying for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under Venezuela’s designation, effective March 9, 2021, you must register during the 180-day registration period that runs from March 9, 2021, through Sept. 5, 2021. We encourage you to register as soon as possible within the 180-day registration period.
I am in U.S., but my family is not, can they still qualify for TPS if I apply?
All applicants must have continuous residence in the U.S. since March 8, 2021 and continuous physical presence in the U.S. since March 9, 2021.
How long will TPS last?
The designation of Venezuela for TPS is effective on March 9, 2021, and will remain in effect for 18 months, through September 9, 2022.
If I apply for TPS when will I get my work authorization?
If USCIS approves your TPS registration application and you filed Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and paid the fee for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) (or if USCIS approved your fee waiver request), USCIS will issue you an EAD with an expiration date of Sept. 9, 2022.
What forms do I need to fill out to apply for TPS myself and we here can I find it?
To register or re-register for TPS you must file Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status
When filing an initial TPS application or re-registering for TPS, you can also request an employment authorization document (EAD) by submitting a completed Form I-765, Request for Employment Authorization, at the time of filing Form I-821. You may also file your Form I-765 request separately at a later date. Filing Form I-821 with Form I-765 may help you receive your EAD more promptly if you are eligible.
When you apply, if you are aware that a relevant ground of inadmissibility applies to you and you need a waiver to obtain TPS, please include a Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, with your TPS application package. However, you do not need to file a new Form I-601 for an incident that USCIS has already waived with a prior TPS application. USCIS may grant a waiver of certain inadmissibility grounds for humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, or when it is in the public interest.
What documents will I need to apply?
When filing an initial TPS application, you must submit:
Any document that is not in English must be accompanied by a complete English translation. The translator must certify that:
How much is USCIS charging for TPS?
Please see the chart below for fee information.
What does Canero Lammers charge to process TPS?
Canero Lammers will charge $1,500 plus government fees to prepare and file your TPS and Employment Authorization applications. To apply for TPS, Employment Authorization, and Advance Parole, Canero Lammers will charge $2,000 plus government fees. Rush fees may apply and are determined on a case-by-case basis.
How long will it take to receive my employment authorization document (EAD)?
Our target filing dates for TPS applications is 30-60 days, and per USCIS timelines, they are currenting taking about 3.5 months to adjudicate TPS EADs. Please note, these timelines are always subject to change.
If I get TPS, can I apply for change of status or adjustment of status?
Yes, certain employment and family immigrant visa categories if you entered with inspection and maintained lawful status. And even if you did not maintain status or entered without inspection, you may be eligible to adjust status or change status in the U.S. if you live in one of the following states where TPS is considered grant of admission:
We also anticipate that with TPS we can adjust the status of long pending asylum applicants through employer sponsored petitions. Please contact our office for a consult about your options.
Can I travel with TPS?
If you have TPS and wish to travel outside the United States, you must apply for travel authorization. Travel authorization for TPS is issued as an advance parole document if USCIS determines it is appropriate to approve your request. This document gives you permission to leave the United States and return during a specified period of time. To apply for advance parole, you must file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. If you are filing Form I-131 together with Form I-821, send your forms to the address listed on the linked page above for your country. If you are filing Form I-131 separately based on a pending or approved Form I-821, check the Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-131 page.
If you leave the United States without requesting advance parole, you may lose TPS and you may not be permitted to re-enter the United States.
If USCIS is still adjudicating your TPS application, you may miss important USCIS notices, such as Requests for Additional Evidence, while you are outside the U.S. Failure to respond to these requests may result in the denial of your application.
We encourage you to read and understand the travel warning on Form I-131 before requesting advance parole, even if you have been granted TPS. If you have been unlawfully present in the U.S. for any period of time, you may want to seek legal advice before requesting advance parole for travel.
Please be aware that some unauthorized practitioners may try to take advantage of you by claiming they can file TPS forms. These same individuals may ask that you pay them to file such forms. We want to ensure that all potential TPS applicants know how to obtain legitimate, accurate legal advice and assistance. A list of accredited representatives and free or low-cost legal providers is available on the USCIS finding legal advice webpage.
We don’t want you to become a victim of an immigration scam. If you need legal advice on immigration matters, make sure the person helping you is authorized to give legal advice. Only an attorney or an accredited representative working for a Department of Justice (DOJ) recognized organization can give you legal advice. Visit the Avoid Scams page for information and resources.