Temporary Protective Status
Dedicated Immigration Attorneys Serving Clients in Nashville
Temporary Protective Status, or TPS, is a status designation that is given by the Secretary of Homeland Security to certain foreign nationals. This status designation is given to foreign nationals who are within the United States, and who cannot currently return to their home country for specific reasons (such as the home nation’s inability to safely manage the return of its nationals).
Why Is TPS Status Given?
As stated above, TPS status is given to certain foreign nationals when returning to a home country is impossible or unsafe. Examples of reasons why TPS status may be given are listed on the website of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and include:
- Civil war or other ongoing armed conflict;
- Epidemic outbreak;
- Environmental/natural disaster; and
- Any and all other temporary and extraordinary conditions.
What Exactly Does Temporary Protective Status Mean?
When an individual has been given TPS, it means that they are allowed to remain within the United States so long as that status is valid. As such, they cannot be detained (based on immigration status alone). While TPS is temporary and does not help a person to obtain any other nonimmigrant status, a person may pursue nonimmigrant status while carrying the TPS designation. Additionally, there may be additional benefits of having TPS when a person applies for permanent residence (a “green card”), such as through a family member, which an immigration lawyer may be able to find.
Eligibility for TPS
Because things like civil wars and natural disaster are not only hard to predict, but are also changing all of the time, the list of eligible countries or eligible parts of countries for TPS status also changes. Currently, the list includes, Yemen, Sudan, Haiti, South Sudan, Syria, El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Somalia. However, just because a country is on the list does not mean that a person from that country in the United States is automatically granted TPS. In fact, in addition to being from one of the listed countries, a person must file for TPS, and must meet requirements pertaining to “continuously residing,” or CR, in the United States. Further, a person may be denied TPS if they have a criminal background in the U.S., fail to meet the CR requirements, fail to meet registration/application timelines, and more. Therefore, it is important to work with an experienced attorney when filing for TPS or renewing TPS.
Additionally, countries are sometimes taken off the list of TPS countries. Read our blog post about what may happen when a country is taken off the TPS list.
Work with an Experienced Temporary Protective Status Lawyer
Having temporary protective status could change your life. Indeed, if you are from a country on the TPS list, having TPS in the United States may make the difference between being forced back to your country (or living in fear of being caught while within the United States), and being able to remain within the United States legally and with peace of mind. Unfortunately, the process of applying for TPS is not always easy, and applications are denied.
To improve your chances of having your TPS application approved, or to learn more about what TPS means and all of its many legal requirements, contact an attorney. At the Ozment Law firm, we have been fighting for immigrant rights for years, and know how important TPS is to you and your family. Please contact us today for a review of your case.