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Understanding temporary protected status

On Behalf of | Oct 12, 2022 | Immigration & Naturalization |

Many citizens of foreign countries are living in the United States because they are afraid to return to their home countries because of a natural disaster, civil unrest or widespread disease. These same individuals also fear being deported by the United States. Perhaps surprisingly, these individuals have a potential life saver in a program known as “temporary protected status.”

The basics

The United States Secretary of Homeland Security is authorized to designate a foreign country for temporary protected status (TPS) because of conditions in that country that make a return home potentially dangerous. The following temporary conditions constitute the basis for a declaration of TPS:

  • Ongoing armed conflict
  • A natural disaster such as an earthquake, hurricane or an epidemic
  • Any other extraordinary and temporary condition

Benefits of TPS

Anyone who has been found eligible for TPS:

  • Cannot be removed from the United States
  • Can obtain an employment authorization document
  • May be granted travel authorization

Pursuit of a higher immigration status

A grant of TPS does not lead to a protected immigration status for which the person may be eligible. A person enjoying TPS may:

  • Apply for nonimmigrant status
  • File for adjustment of immigration status based on a satisfactory petition
  • Apply for any other immigration benefit or status for which the person may be eligible

Fifteen countries are currently on the TPS list; the list is constantly changing as the Department of Homeland Security reviews conditions in each country.

Solid legal representation

Obtaining TPS may seem simple, but as with all immigration procedures, unexpected delays can occur. Anyone wishing to apply for TPS status may wish to speak with an experienced immigration attorney.