Temporary Protected Status
When countries experience civil war or armed conflict, environmental disasters like earthquakes or hurricanes, or other temporary extraordinary conditions, foreign nationals from those countries who are in the United States might find that the conditions back home make it too dangerous to return or the country can’t adequately handle the return of its citizens. To ease the situation for those nationals residing in the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can designate individuals from certain countries as having Temporary Protected Status, or TPS. As a TPS beneficiary, you can lawfully stay in the U.S. without fear of removal or ICE detention based on your immigration status. Additionally, you can get an employment authorization document (EAD) which will permit you to work in the U.S. while you are here.
The Law Firm of Oscar A. Ischiu, Esq. can advise you on whether you are eligible for TPS and help you get TPS protection and a work permit. Call us at our offices in West Covina, Monrovia and Ontario if you are in Los Angeles or San Bernardino County and are eligible for TPS as discussed below.
The U.S. designates certain countries for TPS based on dire conditions there. If you are a national of a TPS country, or if you have no nationality but last habitually resided in a country that has been designated for TPS, then you could be eligible for TPS. TPS applies to individuals who are already in the U.S. when the TPS designation is made. Persons fleeing their home country after that date and seeking entry into the U.S. because of violence or other unsafe conditions must apply some other way, such as through asylum, refugee status, or humanitarian parole.
You must register to get TPS protection, which will allow you to remain in the U.S., obtain work authorization, and not be subject to removal. The government establishes an initial registration period and sometimes opens a re-registration period as well. There is also an option for late initial filing for some people when the TPS designation is extended. For example, the registration period for new applicants from Burma, Syria and Venezuela was extended from 180 days to 18 months in August 2021, extending initial registration into September and November 2022, depending on the country. You can check the USCIS website or call our office to find out the applicable registration period for your country.
To get TPS, you must be both continuously physically present and continuously residing in the U.S. during the dates established for TPS for your country. If you must leave the U.S. for a period, contact our office for advice regarding whether you can be away while still maintaining physical presence and continuous residence. One of the benefits of TPS includes eligibility for travel authorization, but it’s important to thoroughly understand what you can and can’t do to maintain TPS eligibility.
Factors that could make you ineligible for TPS include:
- Convictions in the U.S. for one felony or two misdemeanors
- Being found inadmissible according to certain grounds outlined in the law
- Being subject to a mandatory asylum bar
- Failing to register for TPS without good cause
TPS does not make you a lawful permanent resident or confer any other immigrant status. However, while living in the country under TPS protection, you could apply for nonimmigrant status and later seek an adjustment of status through an immigration petition, which could result in a Green Card and lawful permanent residence, or even eventual citizenship. You can also apply for other immigrant benefits you are otherwise eligible for while in the U.S. under TPS. Call The Law Firm of Oscar A. Ischiu, Esq. for advice and assistance regarding your needs in your particular circumstances.
TPS for Ukraine
On March 3, DHS designated Ukraine for TPS for 18 months. Ukraine nationals or people without nationality who last habitually resided in Ukraine are eligible for TPS provided they were already residing in the U.S. as of March 1, 2022, and meet all other eligibility requirements.
TPS for Afghanistan
On March 16, DHS designated Afghanistan for TPS for 18 months. Afghan nationals or people without nationality who last habitually resided in Afghanistan are eligible for TPS provided they were already residing in the U.S. as of March 15, 2022, and meet all other eligibility requirements.
Other TPS Countries
In addition to Ukraine and Afghanistan, the following other countries currently have TPS designations. Nationals of these countries who were residing in the U.S. on the effective dates can live and work in the U.S. without fear of removal provided they register for TPS and are otherwise eligible.
- Burma (Myanmar)
- El Salvador
- South Sudan
TPS Rescinded for Certain Countries, Rescission Challenged in Court
During the Trump administration, TPS was rescinded for certain countries, including El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan. However, these actions were challenged in federal courts in California and New York. The New York court issued a preliminary injunction stopping the rescission of TPS for Haiti, and this preliminary injunction is still in effect at this time. In the California case, the district court issued a preliminary injunction to halt the rescission of TPS for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated that decision. However, the appellate court has yet to direct the lower court to implement its order, so TPS for those countries is still intact as well. In a case seeking an injunction against termination of TPS for Honduras and Nepal, those proceedings were stayed pending the outcome of the other federal cases mentioned above. Nationals from these countries continue to enjoy TPS protection, although their situation could change as these matters move through the courts.
Call for Immediate Assistance With TPS or Other Urgent Immigration Matters
If you need help registering for TPS or seeking immigration as an asylee or refugee, whether you are currently in the U.S. or abroad, call The Law Firm of Oscar A. Ischiu, Esq. at our offices in West Covina, Monrovia, and Ontario. We serve clients in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties and help people with U.S. immigration issues around the world.