The US government will grant temporary protected status (TPS) to Venezuelans already living in America for a period of for 18 months until September 2022.
In an official statement issued on Monday, the Department of Home Security (DHS) said the new designation enables “Venezuelan nationals (and individuals without nationality who last resided in Venezuela) currently residing in the US to file initial applications for TPS, so long as they meet eligibility requirements”.
“This designation is due to extraordinary and temporary conditions in Venezuela that prevent nationals from returning safely, including a complex humanitarian crisis marked by widespread hunger and malnutrition, a growing influence and presence of non-state armed groups, repression, and a crumbling infrastructure,” the statement said.
According to the DHS, a TPS can be extended to a country with conditions that fall into one, or more, of the three statutory bases for designation — ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or extraordinary and temporary conditions.
The Department said that only individuals who can demonstrate continuous residence in the US as of March 8, 2021 are eligible for the TPS.
“The living conditions in Venezuela reveal a country in turmoil, unable to protect its own citizens,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas was quoted as saying in the statement.
“It is in times of extraordinary and temporary circumstances like these that the US steps forward to support eligible Venezuelan nationals already present here, while their home country seeks to right itself out of the current crises,” Mayorkas added.
Over 300,000 individuals are estimated to be eligible to apply for TPS.