Am I Eligible for Temporary Protected Status? Applying for TPS in Houston, Texas
The United States Congress created Temporary Protected Status (TPS) within the Immigration Act of 1990. Since that time, TPS immigration law has been in effect, and TPS has been available for foreign nationals of specifically designated countries that are facing strife, such as ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary conditions.
As of May 2021, more than 300,000 protected temporary residents were in the United States under TPS, from twelve countries that have been designated for TPS and whose designations have not yet expired.
Presently, nationals from Burma, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen who are living in the United States and meet certain criteria can apply for TPS and remain in this country.
What Is Temporary Protected Status?
TPS is granted by the Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to eligible foreign-born individuals who are unable to return home safely due to circumstances or conditions preventing their country from appropriately handling their return.
The authority to designate a country for TPS has been delegated to the executive branch of the United States government. The Secretary of DHS can designate a country for TPS due to the following circumstances:
- An environmental disaster such as an earthquake or hurricane
- Ongoing armed conflict such as civil war
- Other extraordinary and temporary conditions
To be granted a Temporary Protected Status, an eligible foreign national must submit an application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an agency of DHS. If granted TPS, the applicant receives a temporary stay of deportation and temporary authorization to work in the United States under the TPS program.
TPS status is temporary until issues are resolved in the person’s home country. This status does not lead to getting a Green Card or a Lawful Permanent Residence in the U.S. However, nothing about TPS stops anyone with TPS status from applying for a nonimmigrant or immigrant visa or any other immigrant protection such as asylum or refugee status.
Who Is Eligible for TPS?
According to the USCIS, to be eligible for TPS, an applicant must:
- Be a national of one of the countries designated for TPS, or a person without a nationality whose last residence of any notable duration was in a designated country;
- Submit an application for TPS during the open initial registration or re-registration period, or meet the requirements for late filing during any extension of a TPS designation for a country;
- Have been continuously present in the U.S. since the effective date of the most recent designation of the TPS country;
- Have been continuously residing in the U.S. since the date specified for the TPS country. The law allows an exception to the continuous physical presence and residence requirements for brief, casual, and innocent departures from the U.S.;
- Not have any felony conviction of two or more misdemeanors in the U.S.;
- Not have any mandatory bars to asylum related to terrorist activity or the persecution of another individual;
Benefits of TPS Immigration Status
What is temporary protected status? Temporary protected status means that the individual with TPS is protected from routine immigration enforcement actions of the DHS. During a designated period, TPS holders have TPS status, meaning they are:
- Not removable from the United States based on their immigration status
- Not detainable by DHS on the basis of their immigration status
- Eligible for travel authorization
- Eligible for an employment authorization document (EAD)
- Eligible for additional TPS benefits
TPS Designation and TPS Expiration Dates
A TPS designation can be made for 6, 12, or 18 months at a time, and there is no legal limit on the total duration of a TPS designation. The current TPS designations for the twelve listed countries have expiration dates in 2021 and 2022. However, DHS can choose to renew the designations for these countries based on the present conditions in the countries. Consideration of renewal is required by TPS law to occur no later than sixty (60) days before the designation is scheduled to expire and must be published in the Federal Register per the federal Administrative Procedures Act. Additionally, litigation in the federal courts is currently challenging pending termination of TPS designations in several countries.
The following TPS countries currently have the following expiration dates for their designations:
- Burma – November 2022
- El Salvador – October 2021
- Haiti – October 2021
- Honduras – October 2021
- Nepal – October 2021
- Nicaragua – October 2021
- Somalia – September 2021
- South – Sudan May 2022
- Sudan – October 2021
- Syria – September 2022
- Venezuela – September 2022
- Yemen – September 2021
TPS Application Process
If I have TPS, what does that mean? Basically, it means that a TPS applicant has been approved and has TPS for as long as their country remains designated. To apply for TPS, it is highly recommended to work with an immigration attorney who can guide you expertly and effectively through every step of the process, including:
- Filing the application: This includes filling out Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status, sending it to the appropriate office, and either submitting the fee or applying for a fee waiver.
- Visiting an application support center: You will need to attend an appointment at an application support center after submitting your application, where you will be required to provide further evidence of nationality, proof of identity, and provide fingerprints
- USCIS review: The USCIS will receive your application and review it. If you meet the criteria, you will receive notice of approval. If the USCIS needs additional information, the agency will follow up with a request for additional evidence.
Ready to Apply to TPS? Contact Lamb & Turner Today!
Whether you or a loved one needs help regarding becoming TPS recipients, you will need lawyers with specific experience with immigration law and who have the right knowledge and resources to help you with your temporary citizenship. Contact the attorneys at Lamb & Turner PLLC today through our website or by phone at (713) 529-5025 to discuss your concerns.
We are on your side, and we know exactly what to do to help guide you. Additionally, we have worked on countless immigration cases to help our clients. We truly understand your situation, and we will do everything in our power to help you! Se habla español.