United Stated immigration laws have several provisions that allow immigrants to remain in this country without a valid passport, visa, green card or full-fledged citizenship. One of the most helpful of such provisions is “temporary protected status.” Understanding the reach of this provision can allow a person to remain in this country when all other doors to the country appear to be closed.
The basics of TPS
Temporary protected status is a program that allows the Secretary of Homeland Security to designate certain countries that have experienced certain temporary conditions that adversely affect the living conditions of citizens of that country. The conditions, all of which must be temporary, include:
- Ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war)
- An environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane), or an epidemic
- Other extraordinary and temporary conditions
Advantages of TPS
Individuals who are found to be preliminarily eligible for TPS:
- Are not removable from the United States
- Can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD)
- May be granted travel authorization
In order to be eligible for TPS status, a person must:
- Be a citizen of a country designated for TPS status
- File during the open initial registration or re-registration period for that country
- Have been continuously present in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation of your home country
- Have been continuously present in the United States since the date specified for your country.
In order to obtain TPS, a person must:
- Not have been convicted of a felony or two misdemeanors while in the United States
- Not found inadmissible as an immigrant under grounds stated in INA Section 212(a)
- Not subject to any of the mandatory bars to asylum
- Not fail to meet the continuous physical presence and continuous residence in the United States
- Not fail to meet initial or late initial TPS registration
- Meet every re-registration deadline for TPS
Obtaining TPS can be very easy or very complex. Anyone considering seeking TPS may wish to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer for assistance in filing the application and maintaining TPS once it has been granted.