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When Can Immigrants Qualify for Temporary Protected Status?

 Posted on May 29, 2023 in Immigration

Dallas Immigration LawyerImmigrating to the United States can be a complicated process, and there are many different types of visas that may be available, as well as multiple legal statuses that may affect a person's ability to remain in the country and avoid deportation. For some immigrants, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) may be an option to protect against deportation and ensure that they are not forced to return to countries where their safety could be at risk. TPS is intended to protect individuals who are unable to return to their home countries due to natural disasters, wars, or other extreme circumstances. Understanding when a person can qualify for TPS and the process of applying for this form of protection can be crucial for immigrants who are seeking to remain in the U.S.

Understanding Temporary Protected Status

The Temporary Protected Status program was created in 1990, and it grants temporary protections to individuals from certain countries. The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a country for TPS based on extraordinary issues that temporarily affect the safety and well-being of the country's residents. These may include environmental disasters such as earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, or hurricanes, as well as civil wars, other armed conflicts, epidemics of infectious diseases, or any other dangerous conditions.

Immigrants from designated countries can apply for TPS, and once they are granted this status, they cannot be deported from the United States. They will also be able to receive authorization to work for employers in the U.S., and they may be granted authorization to travel internationally and return to the United States. TPS designations usually remain in effect for a limited time, although they may be extended. Immigrants who have been granted Temporary Protected Status will be required to re-register after the designation for their country has been extended.

Who Qualifies for TPS?

To be eligible for Temporary Protected Status, an immigrant must meet the following requirements:

  • They must be from a country that the U.S. government has designated for TPS. As of May 2023, immigrants from Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Cameroon, Ukraine, Nepal, Burma/Myanmar, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Venezuela are eligible for TPS.

  • They must have been physically present in the United States since the designation date for their country.

  • They must have maintained continuous residence in the U.S. since a date specified when their country was designated for TPS. In some cases, brief departures from the United States may be allowed, although an immigrant who applies for TPS will need to inform immigration officials of any times they left the country.

There are some issues that may make a person ineligible for TPS, including:

  • Criminal convictions for one felony or two misdemeanors in the United States.

  • Inadmissibility under immigration laws.

  • Bars to asylum, including participation in terrorism or persecution of people based on issues such as race, religion, or political affiliation.

  • Failure to apply for TPS within the applicable registration period.

  • Failure to re-register for TPS when a country's designation was extended.

How Can I Apply for Temporary Protected Status?

If you meet the above conditions, you can apply for TPS through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by filing Form I-821 (Application for Temporary Protected Status). Along with your application, you must submit documentation of your identity, nationality, or habitual residence in a country designated for TPS. You will also need to provide documentation showing when you entered the United States and evidence that you have maintained continuous residences, such as employment records, utility bills, school records for yourself or your children, medical records, or statements of participation in organizations such as churches or unions.

Contact Our Dallas Immigration Lawyer

If you are interested in applying for Temporary Protected Status or have questions about the options that may allow you to maintain a legal status in the United States, the Law Office of Jae Lee can provide the legal help you need. Our Plano immigration attorney can assist in preparing and filing applications and other documents with immigration officials, and we will help address any issues that may arise during your case. Contact our firm at 214-295-3014 to schedule a free consultation.


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