Temporary Protected Status
The Department of Homeland Security may list certain countries as too dangerous to where its citizens should or can return. This may be due to armed conflict, environmental disaster or other conditions that would prevent the country from safely handling the return of its nationals. When this occurs, citizens from these countries who are already in the U.S. may request humanitarian relief in the form of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to extend their time in the U.S. However, these individuals must act quickly as TPS deadlines can be rather short.
After DHS declares a country unsafe the applicant usually has 6 months to request TPS. Applicants must show:
You can view the most recent list of countries designated for TPS on USCIS’ website.
Benefits of TPS
TPS allows an individual to obtain Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) and advanced parole so they can travel in and out of the country. However, advanced parole must be approved before the applicant leaves the U.S. There are interesting benefits available to some TPS grantees (in some federal Circuits in the United States) where an applicant who was previously ineligible to adjust status due to entering without inspection (“EWI”) or having unlawful presence, but who then travels outside the US and returns on advance parole, is then eligible to adjust status due to the inspection and parole entry. Contact the Pinjuh Law Firm to find the most up to date information about your Federal Circuit or various CIS district office practices.
TPS Compared to Asylum
TPS may be an option for some individuals eligible for asylum. In some cases individuals may want to file for both TPS and Asylum. The advantage of this is that TPS generally allows an applicant to obtain a work authorization much faster than asylum would.
Steps to Completing Request for TPS
In order to qualify you first complete a Form I-821 and Form I-765 for work authorization. With these forms you must also submit evidence of your identity and citizenship from your country of birth, evidence that shows the date you arrived to the U.S., and evidence that you continuously resided in the U.S. after your country was designated for TPS. If USCIS denies your application, you may appeal the decision within 30 days unless the decision was made on security or criminal grounds.
As the name implies, TPS is a temporary solution. An applicant must renew TPS status or it can expire and cause the applicant to undergo removal proceedings. Requesting TPS does not prevent you from also requesting other immigration statuses.