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How to get a job under New York’s migrant assistance program

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Monday that over 18,000 jobs are now available to migrant and asylum-seeking people living in the state. The announcement comes as part of a joint effort with the federal government. The Biden administration has granted Venezuelan migrants and asylum-seekers who arrived in the United States on or before July 31, 2023 the ability to apply for Temporary Protected Status. This allows them to receive work authorization.

But applying for a job as someone undocumented in the United States isn’t straightforward. On top of an actual job application, migrants have at least two forms to apply for through the federal government, and are expected to shell out more than $500 for their documentation to be processed.

WSHU broke down the steps to gaining employment under the new deal as a Venezuelan migrant, and have answered some common questions about the process.

WSHU/Eda Uzunlar

1. Am I eligible as a Venezuelan migrant to gain employment under this new program?

This depends on multiple factors. First and foremost, a confirmation of temporary protected status (TPS) as well as employment authorization documentation (EAD) are required. This can be accomplished through filling out the respective forms for both statuses. The form code for TPS is I-821, found here. The form code for employment authorization is I-765, found here. If filing online, the forms are combined into the I-821 application.

The process to attain these documents can be complicated, and ask for as much identification and evidence of residing in the United States as is available. This may include rent history, schooling history of yourself or your children and any identification, if you have it.

Most importantly, these documents require that a new Venezuelan migrant’s arrival date into the United States be on or before July 31, 2023.

See the above flowchart for more information and steps to gain employment.

2. But I still count as undocumented and illegal until the required forms get approved.

While the TPS form states that the primary use of the information you provide on the form is to, “determine whether you have established eligibility for TPS,” they also state that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is privy to your information.

The form also says that any information you provide when filing the application is voluntary, meaning you don’t have to disclose anything you don’t want to. However, they add that failure to provide any information that is requested may delay a final decision or result in denial of your application. This means that the chances of an application being approved decrease with every piece of information that is withheld.

3. Can I get in legal trouble for filling these forms out?

The form states that the DHS may share the information provided in your application for law enforcement purposes or in the interest of national security, regardless of whether your application is approved or denied. But you can’t be deported from the United States if you have been granted TPS status.

4. How do I find businesses that are hiring near me?

Though a list of businesses partaking in the program isn’t publicly available, Hochul announced how many businesses throughout New York regions are available for hiring. See the question below for information on how to apply to the program.

5. How do I apply with my status?

There is no direct application to the available jobs themselves. Instead, this form created by the governor’s office will ask for your name, location, primary language and contact information to pair you with someone who will work with you to find employment.

6. What kind of jobs are available?

Jobs are available in almost every industry. See the chart below to view how many businesses within each employment sector are offering positions.

7. I own a business and am interested in becoming a part of the program. What should I do?

The form to indicate that you are both willing and available to hire work-authorized migrants can be found here, created by the governor’s office.

Eda Uzunlar is WSHU's Poynter Fellow for Media and Journalism.