When a country is facing challenges, such as armed conflict or a natural disaster, the United States may designate that country for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The designation is made for the benefit of citizens of those nations when those citizens cannot return safely, or the countries cannot handle the return of their citizens. It’s one way that the U.S. helps support those countries dealing with significant challenges and its citizens who are in the U.S. at the time of TPS designation.
The benefits of TPS are definitely appealing. While designated for TPS, the person is protected from being deported from the US. The person can also apply for and receive a work authorization document (also known as a work permit or EAD). The work permit allows the person to receive a social security number and work anywhere in the U.S., if the job does not require a person to be a U.S. citizen or resident to do the job. Finally, it allows for a travel document for international travel.
The following countries are currently designated for TPS:
- Burma (Myanmar)
- El Salvador
- South Sudan
To file for TPS, registration must be open. With very limited exceptions, the application must be received by USCIS during the open registration or application period. Also, the person must have been in the U.S. on the designation date, redesignation date or other required presence date set by the Department of Homeland Security to be eligible to file. Finally, the person must have continuously resided in the U.S. since a designated date.
Registration for TPS is not open for El Salvador, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Yemen at this time. Those who have TPS from those countries should keep tabs on when it’s time to reregister when it comes time to do that.
Burma, Syria, Venezuela and now Haiti are open. Here are the relevant dates for eligibility for each country:
Country Physically Present in the US on Continuously Residing in the US since Application period Burma (Myanmar) May 25, 2021 March 11, 2021 May 25, 2021 – November 22, 2021 Haiti May 21, 2021 To be determined To be determined Syria March 31, 2021 March 19, 2021 March 19, 2021 – September 15, 2021 Venezuela March 9, 2021 March 8, 2021 March 9, 2021 – September 5, 2021
If you are a national of one of these countries with open registration, consider filing for TPS. This is true even if you are on a valid nonimmigrant status, such as F-1 student, H-1B professional worker, or L-1 intracompany transfer. It is also available to those who have filed for political asylum, are in removal proceedings or have been ordered deported from the U.S. but are still in the U.S.
What Could Make You Ineligible of TPS?
There are restrictions to be aware of. You may not be eligible to file for TPS if you have a significant criminal record – any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the U.S. If you are inadmissible under any provision of section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, you may not be eligible for TPS. This would include ties to terrorist organizations, terrorist activity in the past, or national security related grounds. It could also include drug possession, prostitution, polygamy, fraud and false claims to US citizenship. If you are found to have been involved in persecuting another person, that could also make you ineligible.
Finally, if you have spent a significant amount of time in a country other than your country of nationality, or if you have citizenship or lawful permanent residence in another country, you may be found to be ineligible for TPS. If you have any issues such as these in your history, please do not file for TPS until you have consulted with qualified immigration counsel.
How to Get Temporary Protected Status
The process involves an application for TPS, as well as an application for employment authorization, both filed with USCIS. We generally recommend the work permit for all initial TPS applicants, unless you have a work permit through another program or process already. You should even file for young children who are not old enough to work because it allows them to get a social security number. You may choose to not renew the work permit until they are old enough to work and get a driver’s license, but should do the initial one for the social security number. We also recommend filing for a travel document, either at the time of filing or after the approval.
Please reach out to us if you have any questions about TPS eligibility or the process.
About Davis & Associates:
Davis & Associates is the immigration law firm of choice in Houston & North Texas including Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano, Frisco, McKinney and surrounding areas. Their attorneys provide expert legal counsel for all aspects of immigration law, including deportation defense, writs of habeas corpus and mandamus, family-sponsored immigration, employment-sponsored immigration, investment immigration, employer compliance, temporary visas for work and college, permanent residence, naturalization, consular visa processing, waivers, and appeals. Attorney Garry L. Davis is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Dallas Contact Info:
Address: 17750 Preston Road Dallas, TX 75252
Houston Contact Info: Address: 6220 Westpark Dr, Suite 110, Houston, TX 77057
Phone: (832) 742-0066