How to Apply for Venezuelan TPS
Updated: Mar 17, 2021
Venezuelans who are currently in the United States have just been granted TPS until September 9, 2022. They can now submit a TPS application, remain in the US lawfully until September 9, 2022, and are eligible to apply for a work permit (EAD) and begin working.
Venezuelans in the United States on or before March 8, 2021 have just been granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) by the Department of Homeland Security. All nationals of Venezuela are eligible, as well as some individuals who last resided in Venezuela.
How to Apply for TPS
To apply for TPS, you must submit Form I-821 to USCIS with supporting documentation to prove 1) that you are Venezuelan, 2) the date you entered the United States, and 3) that you reside in the United States.
How can you prove you are Venezuelan? The easiest way to do this is to submit a copy of your Venezuelan passport; or a copy of your birth certificate accompanied by a photo ID card; or a national identity document with your photograph and/or fingerprint issued by Venezuela. If you do not have any of these documents available, there still may be a way to prove your Venezuelan nationality (see the What to File tab on this page, or contact us for a consultation). Remember, any documents that are not in English must be translated to English and certified by the translator.
How can you prove you entered the US before March 8, 2021? The easiest way to do this is to submit a copy of your passport with the entry stamp showing your date of entry into the US, or a copy of your most recent I-94, which can be obtained here.
How can you prove that you reside in the United States? There are several documents that can be submitted to prove this, including US employment records; rent receipts, utility bills, or other receipts/letters from companies; records from schools that you or your children have attended in the US; medical or hospital records from treatments you or your children have received in the US; or an attestation from a church, union, or other organization that knows you and that you have been residing in the US. These pieces of evidence are unique in each case, and there may be other creative ways of proving your residence in the US if you do not have any of the documents described above.
There is a filing fee for TPS applications that changes based on your age and if you are also filing an application for a work permit, so be sure to check the USCIS Fee Calculator to be sure you include the correct filing fee. You may also apply for a fee waiver with Form I-912.
Form I-821 and the supporting documents described above should be mailed to USCIS at one of the two addresses listed on this page. The filing address changes depending on whether or not you live in Florida. The deadline to submit Venezuelan TPS applications is September 5, 2021. Further instructions for Venezuelans applying for TPS can be found here.
How to Apply for a Work Permit (EAD)
Venezuelans applying for TPS are also eligible to apply for a work permit (EAD) that will be valid until September 9, 2022. You can apply for a work permit by submitting Form I-765 along with your I-821 application for TPS. Simply mail both documents together to USCIS in the same package with all supporting documentation. Be sure to include the correct fee if you are applying for an EAD at the same time you are applying for TPS; there is an extra cost for the EAD application. See the USCIS Fee Calculator to be sure you include the correct filing fee.
How to Apply for Travel Authorization
Generally, if you travel outside of the US while on TPS, you risk losing your status and not being able to return without a new visa. If you want to travel while on TPS, you should apply for a travel document on Form I-131. This application can be submitted along with your I-821 application for TPS. Simply mail both documents together to USCIS in the same package with all supporting documentation. You may also file the I-131 separately after you apply for TPS by following the normal filing instructions for the I-131.
Beware of Fraud
Beware of "notarios" and other unauthorized individuals offering to help you apply for TPS, an EAD, or a travel document for a fee. Many notarios will try to take advantage of the new Venezuelan TPS to profit off of those eligible for the status. You should only work with a licensed immigration lawyer. Make sure to verify their license before working with them by searching their name on their state bar association's website.
Contact Us for Help with TPS Applications
There are many common mistakes that applicants make when filing for TPS that can jeopardize your status and prevent you from obtaining a work permit. We offer low cost consultations so you can be sure you correctly apply for TPS, an EAD, and a travel document.
Disclaimer: This post is attorney advertising. It is meant as general information only, and is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. We suggest you set up a consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes; every case is unique and must be analyzed individually.