Can a person apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) after the specified registration period ends? This is a question that the immigration lawyers at Antonini and Cohen receive quite often. The answer is yes, under some circumstances.
What is Temporary Protected Status, or TPS?
TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals or citizens of specific countries that are facing emergencies such as war, hurricanes, volcanos, and other disasters. Not all countries facing these sorts of emergencies have TPS; only countries that the President of the USA designates as TPS countries. If granted TPS, you can remain in the US, receive work authorization, and in some cases receive travel authorization. TPS is a temporary solution, and won’t lead to a green card. However, some countries have maintained the TPS designation for many years.
Generally, to be eligible for temporarty protected status, you must show the following:
- You are a national or resident of the designated country.
- You have the physical US presence required by the designation.
- You have good moral character.
Current TPS designated countries are Somalia, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti, Syria, Sudan and South Sudan.
TPS late registration
As a national of a Temporary Protected Status designated country, you can file an application for protection after the initial registration period. This is called a “late registration” application. In order to make a late filing for TPS, you must wait until the period of re-registration opens for your country. You also must show that you would have been eligible for the protection had you filed for TPS when registration first opened.
In addition to the normal TPS requirements listed above, as a late registration applicant you must show that during the initial (and any following re-registration) period you met at least one of these criteria:
- You were in valid status.
- You had an application pending that would have given status, such as an application for a change of status or adjustment of status.
- You had a valid parole or a pending request for the extension of a parole.
- You are/were the spouse or unmarried child of an individual who is TPS eligible.
Contact Antonini & Cohen for TPS application assistance
TPS is a very valuable protection and has significant benefits. If you think you may meet the criteria for late registration, it is important you seek competent legal help. Please contact one of the immigration attorneys at Antonini & Cohen. We can help you understand your options and file your application.