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What is Temporary Protected Status?

 Posted on April 18, 2024 in Immigration

Dallas immigration lawyerTemporary Protected Status (TPS) is an immigration benefit allowing eligible individuals from designated countries to legally live and work in the United States. TPS provides a vital lifeline for those who would otherwise be at risk of harm or persecution in the individual’s home country. A Texas lawyer can help you determine if you may be eligible.

Country Designation

The first and most essential factor in determining TPS eligibility is whether the individual’s home country has been designated for TPS by the Secretary of Homeland Security. The Secretary may designate a country for TPS due to ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions that prevent nationals from safely returning home.

Continuous Physical Presence

To be eligible for TPS, an individual must have been continuously physically present in the United States since the effective date of the most recent TPS designation of the individual’s country. This means the individual must have been residing in the U.S. without significant absences. Brief, casual, and innocent departures from the U.S. may be permitted, but working alongside an attorney before traveling outside the country is crucial to avoid jeopardizing TPS eligibility.

Continuous Residence

An individual must have continuously resided in the United States since the date specified for the TPS designation of the individual’s country. This date varies by country and is determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security. Continuous residence means that the individual has maintained a principal, actual dwelling place in the U.S. and has not established residence outside the country.

Admissibility and Background Checks

To qualify for TPS, an individual must be admissible to the United States as an immigrant. This means that the individual must not have any disqualifying criminal convictions, immigration violations, or other grounds of inadmissibility. The individual must also undergo and pass security and background checks conducted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Timely Registration

Individuals seeking TPS must register during the initial registration period announced by USCIS or any subsequent re-registration period. Failure to register during the designated time frame may result in a denial of TPS unless the individual can demonstrate that he meets the criteria for late initial filing during any subsequent extension of his country’s TPS designation.

Exceptions and Special Considerations

In some cases, individuals may be eligible for TPS even if all of the above criteria are met. For example, if an individual has been physically present in the U.S. and is a spouse or child of an individual granted TPS, there may be eligibility for TPS even if the person does not independently meet the continuous residence requirement. If an individual has a pending asylum application or has been granted asylum, eligibility for TPS may be possible if the other eligibility criteria are met.

Contact a Dallas, TX Immigration Lawyer

Determining eligibility for Temporary Protected Status can be a complex process that requires careful analysis of an individual’s unique circumstances. If you believe you or a loved one may be eligible for TPS, consult a Plano, TX immigration attorney who can assess your case and guide you through the application process. Call Law Office of Jae Lee at 214-295-3014 for a free consultation that can be done in person or remotely.

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