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What Is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?
In 1990, Congress created the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program to provide protection from deportation and legal status to nationals of specifically designated countries who face ongoing wars, environmental disasters, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. As of February 2022, there are estimated to be more than 350,000 people with TPS living in the United States.
Some of the benefits for an individual with TPS include:
- They are not removable from the United States, even if they have an order of deportation
- They can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD)
- They can be granted travel authorization, although it is not advisable for all applicants (please discuss with an experienced immigration lawyer before you file for travel if you have a deportation order or any prior criminal arrests, even if they have been resolved)
Who Qualifies for TPS?
There are currently 15 different countries designated to receive TPS: Afghanistan, Burma (Myanmar), Cameroon, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela and Yemen.
Let’s review the qualifications for individuals to receive Temporary Protected Status in the United States. To qualify for TPS, a foreign person must:
- Be residing in the United States at the time of their home country being designated
- Be a national of a country that experiences: An ongoing conflict (such as a civil war), an environmental disaster (such as a tsunami), or an epidemic, or other extraordinary but temporary conditions
- File for TPS during the open initial registration or re-registration period, or meet the late requirements for filing
- Have been continuously physically present in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation of their country
Who Doesn’t Qualify for TPS?
A person will not be eligible for TPS if they:
- Have been convicted of a felony or 2+ misdemeanors committed while in the United States
- Are found inadmissible as an immigrant under applicable grounds in INA section 212(a)
- Are subject to any bars to asylum (such as inciting terrorist activity)
- Fail to be living continuously in the U.S. since their country was designated
- Fail to file during initial or late initial TPS registration and thereafter maintain their TPS status
Who Qualifies for Late-Filed TPS?
If you missed the initial registration period for TPS, you can still do so as a Late Filing. You must apply during the application period for an extension of your country’s TPS designation. If you qualify to file your initial TPS application late, you must still independently meet all the regular TPS eligibility requirements listed above.
To qualify to file your initial TPS application late, you must meet at least one of the following late initial filing conditions:
- During either the initial registration period of your country’s designation or during any subsequent initial registration period if your country was re-designated you met one of the following conditions, and you register while the condition still exists or within a 60-day period immediately following the expiration or termination of such condition
- You were a nonimmigrant, were granted voluntary departure status, or any relief from removal
- You had an application for change of status, adjustment of status, asylum, voluntary departure, or any relief from removal which was pending or subject to further review or appeal
- You were a parolee or had a pending request for re-parole
- You are a spouse of an individual who is currently eligible for TPS
- During either the initial registration period of your country’s designation or during any subsequent initial registration period if your country was re-designated you were a child of an individual who is currently eligible for TPS. There is no time limitation on filing if you meet this condition. So if your parent is currently eligible for TPS and you were his or her child (unmarried and under 21 years old) at any time during a TPS initial registration period for your country, you may still be eligible for late initial filing even if you are now over 21 years old or married. You may file during an extension of your TPS designated country.
Please check your country-specific web page for the dates of the initial registration period or periods that apply for late initial filing.
Please note: You cannot obtain TPS as a derivative because your parent or child has TPS.
Process to Apply for TPS with a Lawyer
We recommend hiring a quality immigration lawyer to help you proceed through the TPS process. An immigration lawyer can help you build your best case possible and ensure all forms and sufficient evidence is submitted on time for important deadlines. Here are the steps to applying for TPS with an experienced TPS lawyer in Miami:
Step 1: Gather Evidence
The first step is to prepare your TPS package is to gather the evidence concerning your physical presence on the date of the designation and up until the current date and your country of origin, plus any other evidence your lawyer requests on her checklist.
Step 2: Submit your Evidence and Fill out Questionnaire for Lawyer
After you have gathered your evidence, you can submit your evidence to the lawyer. Further, she will send you a questionnaire to fill out to aid in correctly filing the forms you need for TPS and a work permit.
Step 3: Law Firm Prepares Forms for your Review and Signatures
The third step in filing a TPS case with an experienced immigration attorney is that the law firm will prepare the forms and package for your case with the evidence. They will then request you to come to her office or send to you by email for review and signature of the forms. Make sure to let the lawyer know if you see any mistakes, as the forms should be as accurate as possible. Immigration officers make a note if there are any discrepancies in your application this year as compared to previous years or to other information they have concerning your addresses or work history based on your background search, so it is important to be honest and complete.
Step 4: Lawyer Completes and Mails your Package to USCIS
The fourth step fis or the lawyer to complete your package, perform a legal review and accuracy review, and mail your case to immigration. It typically takes 4-6 weeks for your receipt notice to arrive in the mail. A couple of weeks after that, you should receive your biometrics notice for you to appear to take fingerprints.
Step 5: Work Eligibility Determined
In step 5, it will be determined if you are eligible to work in the United States.
Step 6: Application is Adjudicated
In step 6, you may be asked for additional documents to establish your eligibility for the TPS program. However, if you file with an experienced lawyer and submit to her all the documents requested by her, this can be avoided. If you do receive a Request for Additional Evidence, it is critical to respond as soon as possible and definitely before the deadline USCIS gives you.
Step 7: Application Approved or Denied
The final step involves the USCIS approving or denying your TPS application based on whether you were able to convince the government of your eligibility based on the documents and information you provided. If your TPS application is denied, you can appeal this decision within 30 days of the date of the denial notice. Even if you had not worked with a lawyer in your case up until this point, it is crucial that you speak with a qualified immigration attorney to review your case and determine if you should pursue an appeal if your case is denied. Because you would be most likely outside of the registration or re-registration period by the time the case is denied; it is imperative to act quickly and seek to know whether an appeal can be successful in your case. Make sure you discuss with your lawyer if an application for Late Filing would work better for you than an appeal considering the facts of your case. On the one hand, an appeal case is limited to the evidence you previously submitted and is already in your case file, and you need to identify an error in fact or law in the officer’s decision based on the “closed” record. Conversely, if you file an application for Late Filing of TPS, the standard to receive your TPS is tougher than an application filed during the normal registration period.
Re-Registering and Travel on Advance Parole
- Even if you are approved, you must maintain your TPS status by re-registering during each re-registration period. This is a good idea even if you marry a US Citizen or have another application pending due to uncertainty that you would ultimately receive the application for which you file. Until you have a green card in your hand, continue renewing your TPS, which gives you an added layer of protection.
- If you have been approved for the TPS program and would like to travel outside of the U.S., you’ll need to apply for travel authorization. If you leave the country without this travel authorization, you may not be allowed back into the country, and you could jeopardize your TPS status. Travel may be obtained due to educational, employment or humanitarian reasons. The amount of time and whether you are approved for multiple trips or only one will depend on how you fill out the application and the evidence you submit to support your need to travel.
Need Help With Temporary Protected Status? Hire a Top Immigration Lawyer in Miami, Florida
Do you need help with your Temporary Protected Status (TPS) situation? You’ve come to the right place. Immigration Lawyers USA are top immigration lawyers in Miami, Florida and are able to help you navigate the complexities of applying for TPS, re-registering for TPS, late filing an application, and applying for Advance Parole. Give Immigration Lawyers USA a call at 305-501-0783 or contact us here to schedule your consultation today!