Is Immigration Protection Status Offered to Immigrants Due to Disasters in Their Home Country?

Is Immigration Protection Status Offered to Immigrants Due to Disasters in Their Home Country?

The different immigration categories for those who wish to stay in the United States are complex and varied, ranging from temporary work authorization permits to full citizenship. Temporary protected status is one of those many varied immigration statuses.

Temporary protected status (TPS) was designed to offer immigrants who can’t return home to their country safely due to various safety concerns a means to temporarily remain in the United States legally and provide work authorization in the United States. As the name suggests, this status is temporary and not a type of permanent residency or citizenship or a path to permanent residency or citizenship. You can, however, apply for an adjustment of status, another immigration protection or nonimmigrant status at a later date, only if you qualify independently for such a new immigration status.

The designated countries and related requirements for temporary protected status change often. Read on to learn which foreign nationals may be eligible and how the process works.

How Do I Determine if I Am Eligible for Temporary Protected Status?

To be eligible for TPS, you must:

  • Be unable to return safely to your home country because of an environmental disaster, type of armed conflict or another extraordinary condition
  • Be a national of an eligible country (See latest news on the USCIS website.)
  • Apply during first designated registration period
  • Be able to demonstrate continuously residence in the U.S. during dates specified by USCIS
  • Not have excluding criminal records
  • Not have been deemed a threat to national security
  • Not be removable from the U.S.

Regarding the designated registration periods, it is important to review the timeline and cut-off date for your country. USCIS will not accept applications post-date. Keep in mind TPS is not the same as refugee or aslyee status.

What are the Requirements?

Applications for TPS are required to submit Forms 1-821 (Application for Temporary Protected Status) and its fee. You will also need to submit Form 1-765 (Application of Employment Authorization) regardless of whether you want an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or not. For EAD requests, send the related fee. Be sure to review the costs of fees, as they vary based on the service and age of application.

Review evidence requirements for proof of identity or nationality, date of entry, etc. All documents must be in English or translated.

Fee waivers are available for select applicants. However, you must submit the fee waiver and supporting evidence with your documents. Otherwise, USCIS may reject your application completely. If your application is accepted, you will receive notice of a biometrics appointment. This step is required for all applications over 14 years of age.

Once granted TPS, you will need to re-register at the designated time to maintain your benefits. You will also need travel authorization to leave the country and must inform USCIS immediately if you address changes at any time.

What’s the Latest News Regarding Temporary Protected Status?

Right now, registration for Temporary Protected Status has been extended for eligible nationals from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. USCIS began accepting applications on Nov. 21, 2014 and will continue until August 18, 2015. Applicants who submitted previously and had their application returned from the May 20, 2014 may resubmit to meet the August deadline.

El Salvador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Syria are also under TPS. Each designated country has its own unique designation and expiration date as well as current initial registration and re-registration periods.

As you study TPS and apply, keep an eye out for scams and misleading information. According to USCIS, no one can guarantee you legal immigration status or a speedier process. Only consult official sources and licensed, experienced individuals.