Temporary Protected Status is not something you want to take lightly. When the U.S. government designates a country as TPS, it’s for valid and appropriate reasons. Before applying, you’ll want to be well-informed of your rights and odds of approval, as well as have help establishing evidence and proving your case.
At Nuñez & Associates, we understand that this is your life and family at stake. We strive to be the most compassionate immigration attorney’s you can find and we’ll work hard to protect your family from removal proceedings to a TPS designated nation.
Temporary Protected Status Overview
The Department of Homeland Security may designate a country for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under certain conditions such as a civil war; an environmental disaster such as an earthquake, hurricane or tsunami; an epidemic (such as cholera or tuberculosis); or other extraordinary conditions that are temporary. Once designated, citizens of that country or persons with no nationality but who had habitually resided in that country have certain benefits after registering for TPS status. Those benefits may include:
- May not be removed from the U.S. (deported)
- Can obtain an EAD or employment authorization document
- May be granted travel authorization
- Can apply for other benefits
However, having TPS status does not confer on the immigrant the right to apply for permanent residency, though it does not prevent the immigrant from otherwise obtaining a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen, by employment or by another type of adjustment of status.
Eligibility for TPS Status
Foreign nationals who qualify for TPS status include:
- Citizens of the designated country or persons with no nationality who had been a habitual resident of the country designated for TPS
- Those who have been in the U.S. continuously since the home country was designated for TPS
- Those who applied for TPS status during the initial open registration or are eligible to apply during any extension of your country’s designation
- Those with no felony convictions or two misdemeanor convictions
- Those who did not participate in the persecution of anyone in their country or anywhere else
- Those who are otherwise admissible as an immigrant
- The applicable application form is I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. You should also file Form I-765 for the EAD.
You will also need to show evidence of the following:
- Passport, identity card or other valid certification of your citizenship or residency in the TPS designated nation
- Confirm your date of entry into the U.S. (I-94 arrival record)
That you have been continuously residing (CR) in the U.S. since the CR date for your country (medical, employment, school records, rental receipts, letters from community representatives are all used as evidence of this factor)
The U.S. prefers primary evidence of the above information, such as a birth certificate, passport or national identity documents. If these are not available, you will have to explain why you do not possess them or cannot possess them. In these cases, you can present credible secondary evidence such as school, medical or employment records, baptismal certificate and affidavits from close friends or relatives detailing their relationship to you and how and what knowledge they possess of your residence in the TPS country, birth, and the nationality of your parents.
Your stay in the U.S. on TPS status is generally for at least six months and up to 18 months, but it may be indefinite depending on whether the DHS extends the TPS designation of your country.
TPS Designated Countries
The list of countries designated in 2016 as TPS includes:
- El Salvador
- Sierra Leone
- South Sudan
Some of these countries have TPS expiration dates with no current re-registration period or the current initial registration period has expired.
If you are granted TPS status, you must be sure to re-register during each re-registration period. Late re-registrations are accepted if you can demonstrate good cause. There are specific requirements regarding late filings, however.