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Temporary Protected Status: What is it, am I eligible?

What is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

TPS or Temporary Protected Status allows individuals from certain countries to remain in the United States if it’s not safe for them to return to their home country. Mostly because of conditions or circumstances like an ongoing armed conflict, such as civil war, an environmental disaster such as an earthquake or hurricane, or an epidemic affecting the country.

Who can be granted TPS?

USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States. Currently, there are twelve countries designated for TPS, this means nationals from these countries that meet the requirements can apply for Temporary Protected Status. Those countries are Burma (Myanmar), El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen.

To apply for TPS, you must file during the registration period, which varies depending on the country of origin.  Currently, you can apply for Temporary Protected Status for the First Time if you’re from Burma (Myanmar), Venezuela, and Haiti.

Nationals from Burma can apply if they have been in the US before March 11, 2021; for Venezuelans, March 8, 2021; and for Haitians, May 21, 2021. You must include the necessary forms, evidence, fees, or fee waiver request when filing your TPS application.  Once you have Temporary Protected Status, you must re-register during each re-registration period to maintain the benefit.

Note about TPS (Temporary Protected Status).

What are the conditions for TPS?

The Secretary may designate a country for TPS due to the following temporary conditions in the country:

  • Ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war)
  • An environmental disaster (such as an earthquake or hurricane), or an epidemic
  • Other extraordinary and temporary conditions

During a designated period, individuals who are TPS beneficiaries or who are found preliminarily eligible for TPS upon initial review of their cases (prima facie eligible): Are not removable from the United States Can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD) May be granted travel authorization Once granted TPS, an individual also cannot be detained by DHS on the basis of his or her immigration status in the United States.

Note about TPS (Temporary Protected Status).

What other immigration benefits can I apply for?

Even if you are registered to Temporary Protected Status you can apply for other benefits, such as filing for adjustment of status based on an immigrant petition or applying for any other immigration benefit or protection for which you may be eligible.

PLEASE NOTE: To be granted any other immigration benefit you must still meet all the eligibility requirements for that particular benefit.

Who can apply for TPS?

To be eligible for Temporary Protected Status, you must: Be a national of a country designated for TPS, or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country; File during the open initial registration or re-registration period, or you meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of your country’s TPS designation (Late initial filers see ‘Filing Late’ section below); Have been continuously physically present (CPP) in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation date of your country; and Have been continuously residing (CR) in the United States since the date specified for your country.

What if I am not eligible for TPS?

You may NOT be eligible for TPS or to maintain your existing TPS if you: Have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States; Are found inadmissible as an immigrant under applicable grounds in INA section 212(a), including non-waivable criminal and security-related grounds; Are subject to any of the mandatory bars to asylum.

What are the requirements for Temporary Protected Status?

Beneficiaries under the TPS designation for Haiti will maintain their status, but they must continue to meet all the individual requirements for TPS eligibility found in INA section 244(c) and 8 CFR 244, as well as in the instructions for Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status.

What do I need when filing my TPS application?

You must include the necessary forms, evidence, fees, or fee waiver request when filing your TPS application.

Once you are granted Temporary Protected Status, you must re-register during each re-registration period to maintain TPS benefits. This applies to all TPS beneficiaries, including those who were initially granted by USCIS, an Immigration Judge, or the BIA.

How do I register for TPS?

Forms To register or re-register for Temporary Protected Status you must file Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status When filing an initial TPS application or re-registering for TPS, you can also request an employment authorization document (EAD) by submitting a completed Form I-765, Request for Employment Authorization, at the time of filing Form I-821.

Note about TPS (Temporary Protected Status).

What do I need to prove?

When filing an initial Temporary Protected Status application, you must submit Identity and Nationality Evidence: to demonstrate your identity and that you are a national of a country designated for TPS (or that you have no nationality and you last habitually resided in a country designated for TPS).

You also need to prove you have been in the country since before the designated date based on the country. Currently, you can apply for Temporary Protected Status for the First Time if you’re from Burma (Myanmar), Venezuela, and Haiti.

Nationals from Burma can apply, if they have been in the US before March 11, 2021. For Venezuelans, the date is March 8, 2021, and for Haitians, May 21st, 2021.

How do I file my TPS application?

To file Your Petition, you need to have prepared your TPS package with the forms, evidence, and filing fees (or request for a fee waiver). It is best to do this with the guidance and advice of an attorney, so you can make sure you have all your documents in order and to guarantee better chances for you to be approved. You need to make sure to send your application to the address that is designed for your country. Also, sign your application and include the correct fee amount (or fee waiver request). These are the two of the most common mistakes USCIS receives on Temporary Protected Status applications.

How do I know if my application is approved?

If your case meets the basic acceptance criteria, your application will be entered into the USCIS system and they will send you a receipt notice. At the top of this notice, you will find a receipt number that can be used to check the status of your case online.

If USCIS needs to collect your photograph, signature, and/or fingerprints (these are called biometrics), USCIS will send you an appointment notice to have your biometrics captured at an Application Support Center (ASC). Every TPS applicant over 14 years old must have their biometrics collected. Biometrics are required for identity verification, background checks, and the production of an EAD if one has been requested.

What if I am rejected?

If USCIS denies your application, you will be informed in the denial notice whether you have 30 days to appeal to the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). If you do not have the right to appeal because you were placed in removal proceedings when your TPS application was denied by USCIS, you can request that the immigration judge adjudicate your Temporary Protected Status application.

If your application is rejected at the initial review stage, you may re-file within the registration period after correcting the problems described in the USCIS notification. Or if your application was rejected because we determined you were not eligible for a fee waiver, you may submit a new Temporary Protected Status package.

Call Us!

Having Temporary Protected Status opens for you a new set of opportunities, like staying inside the country, finding a job, and going to school. If you feel you meet the requirements and want guidance on the process, give us a call.  We know and understand what it’s like to be in your shoes: we are all immigrants and can help you. We speak English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole, so don’t worry; someone on our team will be able to assist you.