ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10/WUTR/WFXV/WPNY)—According to the federal government, nearly 500,000 people from Venezuela living in the United States on or before July 31st, 2023 will be eligible to apply for temporary protective status.

Marlene Galaz, director of immigrant rights policy with NY immigration coalition SOT: “Temporary Protective Status provides people with protections from detention and deportation and it also allows people to have access to work permits,” explained Marlene Galaz, Director of Immigrant Rights Policy with New York Immigration Coalition.

Those with temporary protective status can legally work 30 days after filing their application, while others just arriving have to wait a total of 180 days to earn a paycheck. Speeding up this process is something the governor has said repeatedly will help the situation here in New York State.

“This work permit is huge because it will allow them to use their own skills and to be able to work in what is of interest to them as well, instead of having to go work in the shadows of the underground economy,” said Galaz.

The Governor Hochul’s Office said federal, state, and city officials are working together to help process work authorization paperwork. The state is also helping eligible asylum seekers find work.

The New York State Labor Department telling Jamie DeLine, “As you know the program is new, but the New York State Department of Labor has already begun outreach to asylum seekers with work authorization and businesses who are interested in hiring them.” 

The New York Immigration Coalition is now calling for asylum seekers from other countries to be eligible for temporary protective status as well.

“It’s really important that the Biden administration extends an re-designates TPS for countries like Honduras, Nicaragua,” said Galaz. “And also designates this status for other countries that haven’t had the benefit of having TPS but are also under extreme conditions, such as Mali, Haiti, and a couple others.”