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TPS Immigration Lawyer

by Carlos Batara

TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS IMMIGRATION LAWYER

Are You Temporarily Unable To Safely Return Home . . .

Due To An Environmental Disaster, Civil Strife, Or Other Severe Conditions?

Then seeking refuge under temporary protected status may be the answer to your worries.

If you qualify for TPS status:

You wil be given valid immigration status for a temporary period
You will be eligible to obtain a work permit and work legally in the U.S.
You may be able to stop deportation and removal

Later, you may be able to adjust your immigration status to permanent residence, and obtain a green card and earn citizenship.

Immigration Attorney TPS Services

At present, eight nations are certified for special humanitarian treatment under immigration law, temporary protected status.

This means only immigrants from these countries are eligible to seek TPS benefits.

The number of eligible immigrants varies country-by-country. TPS population estimates range from a low of 300 Somalians to a high of 217,000 Salvadoreans.

Since countries are awarded TPS at different times, their expiration and re-registration dates also vary.

Country TPS Designation Date Most Recent Re-registration Period Expiration Date
El Salvador
March 9, 2001
May 30, 2013 -
July 29, 2013
03/09/2015
Haiti
July 21, 2010
March 3, 2014 -
May 2, 2014
01/22/2016
Honduras
January 5, 1999
April 3, 2013 -
June 3, 2013
01/05/2015
Nicaragua
January 5, 1999
April 3, 2013 -
June 3, 2013
01/05/2015
Somalia
September 16, 1991
November 1, 2013 -
December 31, 2013
09/17/2015
Sudan
November 4, 1997
January 9, 2013 -
March 11, 2013
11/02/2014
South Sudan
November 3, 2011
January 9, 2013 -
March 11, 2013
11/02/2014
Syria
March 29, 2012
June 17, 2013 -
August 16, 2013
03/31/2015

As the chart above shows:

  • Of the eight, Syria TPS is the newest program. On March 29, 2012, Syria was approved due to the escalating civil war and violence in that country. Currently, benefits are extended to March 31, 2015.
  • On November 1, 2013, Somalia TPS benefits were extended from March 18, 2014 to September 17, 2015.
  • A Haitian TPS program was created after the massive earthquakes which took place in January 2010 in Haiti. Currently, benefits are extended to January 22, 2016.
  • In May 2013, El Salvador TPS benefits were extended to March 9, 2015.

What is Temporary Protected Status?

TPS, short for Temporary Protected Status, was created as part of the Immigration Act of 1990 (IMMACT).

TPS allows the Attorney General to provide immigrants with a temporary lawful immigration status if they are unable to safely return to their home country due to an environmental disaster, armed conflict, or other severe temporary conditions.

While granted TPS status, immigrants are allowed to stay in the United States and obtain work authorization.

Temporary Protected Status does not directly lead to permanent resident status. However, due to marriage or other situations, immigrants can legalize their status while still under TPS protections.

When a TPS designation ends, immigrants return to the same immigration status they had before they registered for TPS (unless they were able to change their status as through marriage).

A Short History Of Temporary Protected Status

Since its birth, TPS has provided citizens and nationals from several nations a temporary safe haven in the United States:

    • Kuwait – 1991 to 1992
    • Lebanon – 1991 to 1993
    • Liberia – 1991 to 2007
    • Bosnia–Herzegovina – 1992 to 2001
    • Rwanda – 1995 to 1997
    • Sierra Leone – 1997 to 2004
    • Burundi – 1997 to 2009
    • The Kosovo Province of Serbia – 1998 to 2000
    • Angola – 2000 to 2003

Due to natural disasters, drug wars, domestic insurgencies, and other extraordinary situations, many other countries have sought TPS status, but been unsuccessful: Bangladesh, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Peru, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand.

Temporary Protected Status Requirements

In general, to qualify for TPS status:

  • You must be a national of a country designated for TPS, (or a person without a nationality who last resided in the designated country)
  • You must have been continuously physically present in the United States since the most recent TPS designation date for your country
  • You must have continuously resided in the U.S. since the date specified for your country
  • You must not have been convicted of certain crimes or be deemed inadmissible due to activities such as persecution of others or engaging in terrorism

You must properly complete and file all TPS documents before the filing deadline. Late registration is allowed during an extension of your country’s designation period, if you meet certain requirements.

Once you are granted TPS, you must re-register during each re-registration period to maintain your TPS status.

Don’t be fooled by the simple application forms. Immigration requirements are not as simple as they seem.

For example, you need to prove your nationality but the building which kept your records has been destroyed. Or you left the U.S. briefly, and you’re not sure if you can meet the continuous residence requirement.

Alternatives To TPS: Deferred Departure And Voluntary Departure

Even before the birth of TPS, the government provided relief by suspending the deportations of immigrants from specified countries.

Two mechanisms were used: Deferred Departure or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) and Extended Voluntary Departure (EVD).

Both of these programs still exist today.

Unlike TPS, you cannot register for DED or EVD. Instead, if you or a family member are detained for deportation purposes, the protections are automatically triggered.

On the other hand, like TPS, while you are in DED or EVD status, you can seek authorization to work in the U.S.

Extended Voluntary Departure

Extended Voluntary Departure was often used before the enactment of TPS. Since that time, the government has continued to utilized DVD protection, though on a less frequent basis.

Countries which have been granted DVD protections include:

      Cambodia
      Cuba
      Chile
      Czechoslovakia
      Dominican Republic
      Hungary
      Iran
      Laos
      Lebanon
      Nicaragua
      Poland
      Romania
      Uganda
      Vietnam

Deferred Enforcement Departure

DED has not been used as extensively as EVD. Nonetheless, its impact has been equally significant.

For instance, when TPS for El Salvador expired in 1992, the government granted DED protections to nearly 190,000 Salvadorans. El Salvador was later regranted TPS status on March 9, 2001.

The government also granted DED to 80,000 Chinese citizens following the Tiananmen Square massacre in June 1090.

Liberians have been long-standing beneficiaries of mixed TPS and DED relief from deportation for over 20 years.

In March 1991, following the outbreak of civil war, Liberia was granted TPS benefits. In September 1999, when their TPS designation expired, Liberians were given DED.

In October 2002, Liberia was re-designated for TPS, a status which continued until 2007. At that time, Liberia was again accorded DED protection.

Liberia’s DED status remains in effect until September 30, 2014.

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If you are unable to return home safely, the Immigration Law Offices of are ready to help you and your family members win TPS benefits . . .

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