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Temporary Protected Status Immigration Lawyer

Are You 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, 10 nations are certified for special humanitarian treatment under temporary protected status. However, four of these countries are designated for termination by 2019.

Only immigrants from designated 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 nearly 200,000 Salvadoreans.

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

TPS Dates At A Glance

1. El Salvador
TPS First Designation Date: March 9, 2001
Most Recent Registration Period: January 18, 2018 – March 19, 2018
Current TERMINATION Date: September 9, 2019

2. Haiti
TPS First Designation Date: January 10, 2010
Most Recent Registration Period: January 18, 2018 – March 19, 2018
Current TERMINATION Date: July 22, 2019

3. Honduras
TPS First Designation Date: January 5, 1999
Most Recent Registration Period: December 15, 2017 – February 13, 2018
Current Expiration Date: July 5, 2018

4. Nepal
TPS First Designation Date: June 24, 2015
Most Recent Registration Period: October 26, 2016 – December 27, 2016
Current Expiration Date: June 24, 2018

5. Nicaragua
TPS First Designation Date: January 5, 1999
Most Recent Registration Period: December 15, 2017 – February 13, 2018
Current TERMINATION Date: January 5, 2019

6. Somalia
TPS First Designation Date: September 16, 1991
Most Recent Registration Period: January 17, 2017 – March 20, 2017
Current Expiration Date: September 17, 2018

7. Sudan
TPS First Designation Date: November 4, 1997
Most Recent Registration Period: October 11, 2017 – December 11, 2017
Current TERMINATION Date: November 2, 2018

8. South Sudan
TPS First Designation Date: November 3, 2011
Most Recent Registration Period: September 21, 2017 – November 20, 2017
Current Expiration Date: May 2, 2019

9. Syria
TPS First Designation Date: March 29, 2012
Most Recent Registration Period: August 1, 2016 – September 30, 2016
Current Expiration Date: September 30, 2019

10. Yemen
TPS First Designation Date: September 3, 2015
Most Recent Registration Period: January 4, 2017 – March 6, 2017
Current Expiration Date: September 3, 2018

UPDATE: Recent And Pending Termination Of TPS For Various Countries

As the chart above shows, if you’re from one of the presently-designated TPS countries, you must keep track of important cut-off dates, especially the expiration date.

If TPS is going to be renewed for your country, the new registration period usually begins about three months before your status expires.

Here is a list of the key expiration dates to keep in mind.

  • June 24, 2018
    Nepal TPS
  • September 3, 2018
    Yemen TPS
  • September 9, 2019 **TERMINATE**
    El Salvador TPS

TPS Under The Trump Administration

From the outset of the Trump Presidency, there was speculation that his administration would seek to eliminate the entire Temporary Protected Status program as part of its restrictive immigration policies.

These fears were amplified on March 24, 2017 when the Department of Homeland Security announced the decision to extend TPS protection for Haiti only up through January 22, 2018, a six-month period, while the agency reviewed its whether to grant another full extension for Haitian nationals. Many legal commentators predicted this would be the final Haiti TPS extension.

It was also thought the Haiti decision was the forerunner of a wider effort by the Trump Administration to shut down the TPS program completely.

On September 18, 2017, the administration provided a mixed message for TPS observers. TPS for South Sudan was extended for a full 18-month period up through May 2, 2019. Yet, Sudan TPS was terminated, effective November 2, 2018.

Public focus turned to the countries with the largest number of TPS beneficiaries – El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti – in January 2018, as all three faced imminent re-registration dates. Again, the Trump Adminstration posture, while closing out some TPS programs left the door open for others.

Honduras TPS and Nicaragua TPS, whose designations were set to end on January 5, 2018 were next in line.

TPS for Honduras was extended for only six months, until July 5, 2018, by which time the government will decide whether to grant another extension or terminate TPS status for Hondurans.

Nicaragua TPS beneficiaries were granted a twelve-month extension, at which the TPS designation for Nicaragua will terminate.

A few weeks later, the government announced that TPS El Salvador was also being terminated, but granted Salvadoran immigrants a full 18-months period, until September 9, 2019, before the program would be terminated.

On January 18, 2018, slightly before Haiti TPS expired, DHS issued a statement that Haiti TPS would be terminated on July 22, 2019, but that current beneficiaries would be allowed to re-register for one final 18-month period.

Temporary Protected Status protection for Syrians was extended by DHS for a new 18-month period until September 30, 2019.

Nations Seeking TPS Status

In the recent past, countries which were seeking TPS included Guatemala, Pakistan, and the Philippines. A decision was never made whether to grant benefits to immigrants from these nations.  Given the long delay, and the new administration’s focus, it is unlikely they will be granted TPS benefits.

countries-seeking- tps

What is Temporary Protected Status?

TPS, short for Temporary Protected Status, was created as part of the Immigration Act of 1990 (IMMACT).  It is one of the government’s special immigration programs, serving humanitarian or abuse protection goals.

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.

Does TPS Lead To Permanent Residence And Green Cards?

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.

Yet, USCIS has been unwilling to consider a grant of Temporary Protected Status as a legal admission, thereby limiting the ability of TPS beneficiaries to adjust status to permanent residency.

There are indications this policy will be changed in the near future.

A recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, Ramirez v. Brown, held that under Temporary Protected Status, statute, a beneficiary is deemed to be in lawful status and has satisfied the requirements of inspection and admission for the purposes of applying for permanent residence. However, the decision only applies to the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

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 TPS History Overview

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

Termination Of Guinea, Liberia, And Sierra Leone TPS Status
During The Obama Adminstration

On September 22, 2016, under President Obama, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the decision to terminate TPS benefits for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

According to DHS, the widespread transmission of the Ebola Virus that led to their Temporary Protected Status was sufficient control, allowing immigrants from these nations to return in safety. Their TPS designation expired on May 21, 2017.

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.

UPDATE: DED Status For Liberia Termination Date Set

UPDATE: On March 27, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would begin a 12-month wind-down period of Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians, starting April 1, 2018, and running through March 31, 2019.