Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status provided to foreign nationals of certain countries who are unable to return due to unsafe or difficult circumstances within the country. Thousands of individuals in the United States are TPS holders.
What is Temporary Protected Status?
TPS was created by Congress in the Immigration Act of 1990. TPS provides a work permit, a stay of deportation, and eligibility for travel authorization to foreign nationals from designated countries who are in the United States at the time the United States makes the designation.
Who is eligible for TPS?
TPS can be granted to an individual who is a national of a designated country, has filed an application during the registration period, has been continuously physically present in the United states since the effective date of the designation, and is not inadmissible to the United States. An applicant’s immigration status at the time of application for TPS or a previous order of removal has no effect on one’s eligibility.
Which countries currently have TPS?
- El Salvador
- South Sudan
Does TPS create a path to permanent residence?
Currently, TPS does not provide a separate path to lawful permanent residence (a green card) or citizenship. However, a TPS recipient may apply for permanent residence if they are otherwise eligible through family, employment, asylum, crime victim or other humanitarian immigration laws. There is also a difference in rules on green card eligibility depending on the state you live in because different circuit courts have ruled differently on some issues related to TPS and green card rules. The Supreme Court is reviewing a decision on the conflicting rules soon, and there may also be Congressional changes that could change the current law.
When do TPS designations expire?
|El Salvador||October 4, 2021|
|Haiti||October 4, 2021|
|Honduras||October 4, 2021|
|Nepal||October 4, 2021|
|Nicaragua||October 4, 2021|
|Somalia||September 17, 2021|
|Sudan||October 4, 2021|
|South Sudan||May 2, 2022|
|Syria||March 31, 2021|
|Yemen||September 3, 2021|
The Secretary of Homeland Security can extend TPS after a review of country conditions. A decision concerning an extension must be made 60 days before the TPS designation is set to expire. TPS extensions only apply to those that already have TPS status.
Currently, several lawsuits challenging the terminations of TPS are pending. Therefore, the future of TPS is unclear due to current litigation.
What happens to a TPS beneficiary when a TPS designation ends?
TPS holders return to the immigration status they held prior to receiving TPS unless that status has expired or the TPS holder has successfully obtained a new status. TPS beneficiaries who entered the United States without inspection and who are not eligible for any other immigration benefit, would return to being undocumented at the end of a TPS designation and become subject to removal.
What do I need to do prepare in case the TPS designation for my country expires?
- Find out now from a reputable immigration attorney if you have a backup option. Some TPS beneficiaries may have other family, employment, or humanitarian immigration options. They may even be able to ask for immigration benefits from an immigration judge if they’re placed in deportation proceedings. The best way to find out what options you may have is to meet with a reputable immigration attorney. Be sure to bring copies of all your immigration documents. Don’t wait until the last minute, as some options take a long time to process.
- Check the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) website frequently for updates. You can view the TPS information in English and Spanish. Unfortunately, there are many scams related to TPS. In fact, here’s a list of common TPS scams. Information about TPS is usually listed on the USCIS website first. Always be sure you are on the real website – not an imposter website.
- Sign up for email updates about TPS from the USCIS. Sign up today for email updates about TPS or other immigration topics.
- Collect information and documents. You should share information and documentation with your immigration lawyer if you or your family have:
- been arrested
- had deportation hearings or orders
- been the victim of a crime
- ever filed with the U.S. Immigration or Department of Labor
Immigration law is complicated, and small details can change what can or cannot be done. One of these details is collecting documents that might support your immigration case. Examples of documents to collect are:
- tax returns
- school records
- medical records
- children’s birth certificates
- marriage certificates
- divorce decrees
- warrant/arrest records
- court documents from criminal cases
- protective orders
- police orders where you/family were crime victims
- evidence of psychological counseling
- Advocate for change. The Biden-Harris administration is seeking legislative immigration reform to create a path to citizenship for TPS beneficiaries. Ask your friends, family, and employers who are U.S. citizens to contact their Senators and Representatives to encourage them to vote in favor of any new legislation providing a path to permanent residency or citizenship for TPS beneficiaries!
Call Antonini & Cohen for Help
If you live in the United States and have Temporary Protected Status (TPS), contact the Atlanta immigration attorneys at Antonini & Cohen at (404) 850-9394. We have many years of experience helping our clients find out what options they have. We look forward to speaking with you soon and answering your questions about TPS and other immigration topics.
At Antonini & Cohen, we have been providing energetic, effective and aggressive representation in all areas of American immigration law since 1991.