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Since 2014, over 6.8 million Venezuelans have migrated all over the world to escape the devastation in their country caused by severe ongoing economic and political instability. Thousands of Venezuelans have come to the United States, as well, seeking refuge in this country and applying for asylum. Many have also benefited from the Deferred Enforcement Departure “DED” and the Temporary Protective Status “TPS” programs implemented by the Department of Homeland Security in 2021.
Both DED and TPS programs are temporary in nature, but they have afforded Venezuelans who are already here, a chance to live and work lawfully in the United States. Initially, the Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas designated Venezuela for Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for 18 months, effective March 9, 2021, through Sept. 9, 2022.
Recently, the Secretary of Homeland Security, announced the extension of Venezuela’s designation for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for another 18 months, until March 10, 2024. This is great news for Venezuelans and due to this extension, the Employment Authorization for all Venezuelans who have TPS is auto extended through September 9, 2023.
We encourage all Venezuelans to apply timely and take advantage of this extension. The deadline to apply for TPS registration is November 7, 2022.
You can find more information on TPS and TPS registration at:
The country conditions in Venezuela continue to deteriorate. As a result, we have seen a rising number of Venezuelans encountered at our border over the past two years, and that number has surged in the last few months. As of August, of this year, the Venezuelans are the 2nd largest group to enter the U.S. Southern border (after Mexicans), surpassing the numbers of Guatemalans and Hondurans. To address the overwhelming issue at the border the USCIS has implemented a new Process for Venezuelans. On October 12, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security “DHS” announced joint actions with Mexico to reduce the number of people arriving at the Southwest border and create a more orderly and safe process for people fleeing the humanitarian and economic crisis in Venezuela.
USCIS began implementing this new process on Oct. 18, 2022. The Process for Venezuelans mirrors very closely the United for Ukraine Program that DHS implemented earlier this year, and it is meant to provide a lawful and streamlined way for nationals of Venezuela, who are outside the United States and lacking U.S. entry documents, to come to the United States.
Through a fully online and free process, individuals can be considered, on a case-by-case basis, for advance authorization to travel to the United States and seek a temporary period of parole for up to two years.
The Process is also meant to deter Venezuelans from travelling to Mexico to pursue entry into the United States illegally. The DHS has made it clear that Venezuelans who enter the United States between ports of entry, without authorization, will be returned to Mexico and will not be eligible for the program.
In order to be eligible for the New Process, Venezuelans must:
• have a supporter in the United States who will provide financial and other support;
• Pass rigorous biometric and biographic national security and public safety screening and vetting; and
• complete vaccinations and other public health requirements.
Venezuelans are ineligible if they:
• have been ordered removed from the United States in the previous five years;
• have crossed without authorization between ports of entry after the date of anouncement;
• have irregularly entered Mexico or Panama after the date of announcement, or are a permanent resident or dual national of any country other than Venezuela, or currently hold refugee status in any country; or
• have not completed vaccinations and other public health requirements.
Similarly, to the United for Ukraine Program, any U.S.-based individual with lawful status, including representatives of businesses or other organizations or entities, can support a potential beneficiary from Venezuela. A supporter must prove that they have the means to provide financial and other support for the beneficiary, and must file the Form I-134, Declaration of Financial Support, to commence the process.
Venezuelans can’t apply, unless the supporter in the United States has filed this form and has committed to financial support. Venezuelans approved via this process will be authorized to travel to the United States, and once in the United States, they will be eligible to apply for work authorization for 2 years.
More information regarding the New Process for Venezuelans can be found at:
While the New Process seems promising, more needs to be done to assist the Venezuelans. Asylum as we know is a very lengthy and complicated process, with thousands of Venezuelans currently waiting for their chance at an interview appointment by the asylum office, or for a hearing date before an immigration Judge to tell their story. DED and TPS programs and the new Process for Venezuelans, while beneficial, are temporary in nature. We need a more permanent solution for Venezuelans and for all the immigrants who flee their countries due to despair, and who call this country home. Our government needs to commit once and for all and Congress must pass a long overdue immigration reform.