PRESIDENT TRUMP ANNOUNCED DEFERRED ENFORCED DEPARTURE FOR VENEZUELANS, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

On his last full day as President, Donald Trump issued a “Memorandum on Deferred Enforced Departure for Certain Venezuelans.” There is much confusion about what this means for Venezuelan citizens in the United States. USCIS, the agency that handles applications for immigration benefits like Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), has not yet issued guidance or instructions for how to apply for Deferred Enforced Departure. However, other countries and regions have benefited from Deferred Enforced Departure in the past and that can provide guidance for how Venezuelan Deferred Enforced Departure will be rolled out by the Department of Homeland Security.

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Here is what we do know about Venezuelan Deferred Enforced Departure:

  • It will last for at least 18 months and can be renewed;
  • People who qualify for Venezuelan Deferred Enforced Departure cannot be deported once DED is granted to them, even if they have an order of deportation;
  • People who qualify for Venezuelan Deferred Enforced Departure will receive work permits/employment authorization documents while they have DED;

Here are the requirements for people to qualify for Venezuelan Deferred Enforced Departure:

  • You must be a citizen or national of Venezuela or someone without a country who last resided in Venezuela;
  • You must be in the United States as of January 20, 2021;
  • You cannot have voluntarily returned to Venezuela since your last entry to the U.S;
  • You must have continuously lived in the U.S. since January 20, 2021;
  • You cannot be a terrorist, national security threat or other very bad person;
  • You cannot have a conviction for any felony (crime punishable by more than a year imprisonment) or two misdemeanors (crime punishable by less than a year imprisonment). A withhold of adjudication counts as a conviction.
  • You cannot have been deported or removed from the U.S. before January 20, 2021;
  • You cannot be subject to extradition for a crime outside of the U.S;
  • You cannot be someone who presents a danger to the public or U.S. security;
  • Your presence in the U.S. cannot have serious adverse consequences for the foreign policy of the U.S.

It may seem complicated, but its really simple. If you are Venezuelan, you are living in the U.S. as of January 20, 2021, you have a very, very minor or no criminal record, you have never been deported before and you are not a dangerous threat to the U.S. you will probably qualify for Venezuelan Deferred Enforced Departure.

There are many other question people may have about Venezuelan Deferred Enforced Departure. These include:

Can you apply for Venezuelan Deferred Enforced Departure if you are currently in removal proceedings? The answer is yes, you can have both Venezuelan Deferred Enforced Departure and be in removal proceedings. If you win your removal case you will not need Venezuelan Deferred Enforced Departure, but if you lose and are ordered removed, you want Venezuelan Deferred Enforced Departure to make sure you cannot be deported.

Can you apply for Venezuelan Deferred Enforced Departure if you have a pending asylum case or other immigration benefit? The answer is yes, you can have both Venezuelan Deferred Enforced Departure and a pending asylum or other immigration application like adjustment of status. If your asylum application is approved or you are given a green card, you will no longer need Venezuelan Deferred Enforced Departure. If your benefit is denied, at least you will have Venezuelan Deferred Enforced Departure so you cannot be deported.

If I receive Venezuelan Deferred Enforced Departure, can I travel outside the U.S. and come back? The answer is probably. Past DED designations have allowed applicants to apply for and receive something called advance parole, which could allow Venezuelan Deferred Enforced Departure beneficiaries to leave the U.S. and come back legally. If you travel back to Venezuela after you are granted Venezuelan Deferred Enforced Departure, you will probably have your Venezuelan Deferred Enforced Departure revoked, so that is a bad idea.

If I received Venezuelan Deferred Enforced Departure and its only good for 18 months, can I renew my Venezuelan Deferred Enforced Departure and my work permit, or is it only good for 18 months. Venezuelan Deferred Enforced Departure can be renewed by the President before or when it expires. If Venezuelan Deferred Enforced Departure is renewed for another 18 months or so, you should be able to renew your work permit also.

If you have questions about Venezuelan Deferred Enforced Departure or want to apply, please call the experienced immigration attorneys at Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon right away.  John@SLGAttorneys.com (407) 228-2019.

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