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Temporary Protected Status Immigration Attorney

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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.

What Is The Current Status Of TPS?

Perhaps you’ve hesitated applying for TPS because you feared the program was facing termination.  Over the past few years, countless news stories painted a picture of doom and gloom.

Finally, TPS beneficiaries and their families can breathe a little easier.

On November 10, 2022, the government announced that Temporary Protected Status (TPS) will be extended to June 30, 2024, for citizens of Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras, and Nepal.

The number of nations under the TPS umbrella is now 16.  This is the largest ever collection of countries to receive Temporary Protected Status protections at one time.

Table Of Contents

To guide you through this discussion, here is an outline of topics addressed below.

ESSENTIAL FACTS ABOUT TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS

  • What Is Temporary Protected Status?
  • Why Was TPS Created?
  • Temporary Protected Status Requirements
  • How TPS Was Revived In 2022
  • TPS Registration And Expiration Dates At A Glance
  • Cousin To TPS: Deferred Enforcement Departure (DED)

ONGOING TPS PROBLEMS AND CHALLENGES

  • The Lingering Danger Of Termination
  • Temporary Protected Status Does Not Lead To Permanent Residence
  • What Happens If TPS Expires?

The various sections, which can found below, are independent from each other. Feel free to skip to the section you’re most interested in learning about.

What is Temporary Protected Status?

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

While granted TPS status, immigrants are allowed to stay in the United States and obtain work authorization for an 18-month period.

Those who qualify are:

  • Given valid immigration status for a temporary period
  • Eligible to obtain a work permit and work legally in the U.S.
  • Able to stop deportation and removal proceedings initiated against them

Why Was TPS Created?

Since its birth, Temporary Protected Status has been one of the government’s foremost special immigration programs, serving U.S. 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 conditions.

The specific reasons for granting TPS vary from country-to-country.

Temporary Protected Status Requirements

In general, to qualify:

  • 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 Temporary Protected Status 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 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.

How TPS Was Revived In 2022

At the start of 2022, uncertainty about the future of the Temporary Protected Status program fueled worries of many immigrants and their families.

One day, there were news reports that TPS programs will soon be terminated. A few days later, breaking stories announced that paths to permanent residence would open up soon. It was impossible, at best, to know what to believe.

The fears began under the Trump Administration, which proclaimed plans to shut down TPS. After several battles, the program’s future looked bleak.

Anxieties among pro-immigrant advocates heightened when the Supreme Court issued a ruling on June 7, 2021 which denied the eligibility of TPS beneficiaries to seek permanent residence in the United States who entered the U.S. without a lawful admission.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Citizenship Act introduced by President Biden, which would enable TPS grantees to apply for green cards ran into Congressional roadblocks.

Despite such obstacles, the Biden Administration continued to rebuild the TPS program.  New countries were added to the TPS rolls.  Older ones were granted extensions.

  • On October 21, 2022, DHS announced Temporary Protected Status for Ethiopia, a nation going through a severe humanitarian crisis.  Physical conflict, combined with drought, flooding, and dwindling food stocks threaten the lives of several million residents.
  • On September 26, 2022, the government redesignated Temporary Protected Status of Burma (Myanmar). This action was deemed necessary due to a military coup d’état marked by violent human rights abuses, arbitrary detentions, and use of deadly force against unarmed civilians.
  • On July 29, 2022, Temporary Protected Status for Syria was extended for 18 months. The Syrian ruling government continues to demonstrate deliberate targeting of citizens, use of chemical weapons, and irregular warfare tactics, and use of child soldiers.
  • On July 11, 2022, an extension and designation of Temporary Protected Status for Venezuela was announced, resulting from ongoing widespread hunger and malnutrition, a growing influence and presence of non-state armed groups, government repression, and a crumbling infrastructure.
  • On April 15, 2002, DHS announced the designation of Temporary Protected Status for Cameroon TPS was granted due to extreme violence by government forces, armed separatists, and a rise in attacks by Boko Haram, a group known for its kidnapping and enslavement of young girls in other parts of Africa.
  • On March 16, 2022, The Department of Homeland Security announced the designation of Temporary Protected Status for Afghanistan. TPS was granted due to the threat to Afghans in their homeland as the Taliban seeks to impose control over the entire region.
  • On March 3, 2022, it was announced that TPS was granted to Ukraine for 18 months due to violent attacks inflicted upon their homeland by Russia beginning in February which seeks to place Ukraine under its control.
  • A day before, on March 2, 2022, TPS for South Sudan was extended to November 2023.
  • In addition, Temporary Protected Status for Sudan was redesignated for the same period of time.  This action took Sudan off the chopping block that was established under the Trump Administration.

Then, on November 10, 2022, USCIS announced that TPS would be extended to June 30, 2024, for citizens of Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras, and Nepal.

Of course, recipients should not minimize that TPS is merely a temporary program.  It can be terminated for any country designated for TPS benefits in the future.

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

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.

TPS Registration And Expiration
Dates At A Glance

1. Afghanistan TPS
TPS First Designation Date: May 20, 2022
Most Recent Registration Period: May 20, 2022 – November 20, 2023
Current Expiration Date: November 20, 2023

2. Burma (Myanmar)TPS
TPS First Designation Date: May 25, 2021
Most Recent Registration Period: September 27, 2022 – November 26, 2022
Current Expiration Date: May 25, 2024

3. CameroonTPS
TPS First Designation Date: June 7, 2022
Most Recent Registration Period: June 7, 2022 – December 7. 2023
Current Expiration Date: December 7, 2023

4. El Salvador TPS
TPS First Designation Date: March 9, 2001
Most Recent Registration Period: January 18, 2018 – March 19, 2018
Current Expiration Date: June 30, 2024

5. Ethiopia TPS
TPS First Designation Date: To Be Announced
Most Recent Registration Period: To Be Announced
Current Expiration Date: October 21, 2022

6. Haiti TPS
TPS First Designation Date: January 21, 2010
Most Recent Registration Period: January 18, 2018 – March 19, 2018
Current Expiration Date: June 30, 2024

7. Honduras TPS
TPS First Designation Date: January 5, 1999
Most Recent Registration Period: June 5, 2018 – August 6, 2018
Current Expiration Date: June 30, 2024

8. Nepal TPS
TPS First Designation Date: June 24, 2015
Most Recent Registration Period: May 22, 2018 – July 23, 2018
Current Expiration Date: June 30, 2024

9. Nicaragua TPS
TPS First Designation Date: January 5, 1999
Most Recent Registration Period: December 15, 2017 – February 13, 2018
Current Expiration Date: June 30, 2024

10. Somalia TPS
TPS First Designation Date: September 16, 1991
Most Recent Registration Period: July 22, 2021 – September 20, 2021
Current Expiration Date: March 17, 2023

11. South Sudan TPS
TPS First Designation Date: November 3, 2011
Most Recent Registration Period: May 3, 2022 – November 3, 2023
Current Expiration Date: November 3, 2023

12. Sudan TPS
TPS First Designation Date: November 4, 1997
Most Recent Registration Period: May 3, 2022 – November 3, 2023
Current Expiration Date: November 3, 2023

13. Syria TPS
TPS First Designation Date: March 29, 2012
Most Recent Re-Registration Period: August 1, 2022 – September 30, 2022
Current Expiration Date: March 31, 2024

14.  Ukraine TPS
TPS First Designation Date: April 19, 2022
Most Recent Registration Period: April 19, 2022 – October 19, 2023
Current Expiration Date: October 19, 2023

15. Venezuela TPS
TPS First Designation Date: March 9, 2021
Most Recent Registration Period: September 8, 2022 – November 7, 2022
Current Expiration Date: March 10, 2024

16. Yemen TPS
TPS First Designation Date: September 3, 2015
Most Recent Registration Period: July 9, 2021 – September 7, 2023
Current Expiration Date: March 3, 2023

Cousin To TPS: Deferred
Enforcement Departure (DED)

Even before the birth of the Temporary Protection Status program, the government provided relief by suspending deportations of immigrants from specified countries.

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

EVD ended, in essence, when Congress created TPS.

On the other hand, DED Still exists.

At present, only two countries have Deferred Enforcement Departure status. Liberia, up through June 30, 2024, and residents of Hong Kong, up through February 5, 2023.

What are the differences between TPS and DED?

Although both designations protect recipients from deportation and provide them with the ability to work and obtain travel authorization, there are some differences.

TPS eligible countries are designated by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, while DED is granted by the President pursuant to his power to conduct foreign relations.

Unlike TPS, no application is required.  You cannot register for DED. Instead, if you or a family member are detained for deportation purposes, the protections are automatically triggered. On the other hand, an application for an employment authorization document must be filed.

The Lingering Danger Of Termination

It cannot be stated too often.  Recipients should not minimize that TPS is merely a temporary program. It can be terminated for any country in the future.

Moreover, a grantee’s TPS benefits can be lost in ways besides program expiration and termination.  Asylum bars, unlawful presence and inadmissibility, and criminal convictions can present problems for Temporary Protected Status eligibility.

Looking ahead is not just an option.

Rather, TPS grantees should consider whether they qualify for permanent residence today, or might qualify tomorrow, without delay.

TPS Does Not Lead To Permanent Residence For Undocumented Immigrants 

For instance, after nearly a decade of court battles, the Supreme Court held, being granted Temporary Protected Status does not constitute a lawful admission.

This means the vast majority of TPS recipients cannot qualify to adjust their status to permanent residency in the United States.

However, under other options, marriage and other family relationships may help grantees to legalize their status while still under TPS protection.  Others might qualify for green cards under a variety of programs even if their status has expired.

What Happens If TPS Expires?

When your TPS designation ends, you return to the same immigration status you had before you registered for benefits (unless you were able to become a permanent resident).

This means you lose not only your right to work, but also your right to live legally in the U.S. You could be deported.

But even after your status expires, there’s no need to simply give up.  There are various programs under which some recipients might gain permanent residency.

Fearing the Trump Administration, some TPS grantees sought asylum protection in Canada and left the U.S. in recent years.

Such an action, in light of the Biden Administration’s actions, now seems ill-advised.

It’s natural for you to feel a bit nervous about the end of the Temporary Protected Status in the future.

After all, everything you have worked so hard for – the home you and your family live in, the car you drive to and from your job, the food on your family’s table at night, the clothes you, your spouse, and your kids wear – could be taken away, almost at a moment’s notice.

In its place, you could be sent back to your home country, a place you may not have seen for 20 years or longer, a place you left while still a child, a place which you barely remember, a place perhaps with no family members still alive.

The possibility of success is not guaranteed and various requirements – some known, some unknown at present – have the potential to trip you up.

  • Unless you fight back – unless you look into every possible option to stop the government from trying to deny you legal status and deport you.
  • Unless you’re careful not to take unnecessary risks and make avoidable mistakes.
  • Unless you develop a plan for permanent residence and carefully prepare the evidence you’ll need to prove your right to remain in this country.

Ready to take a serious and honest look at the strengths and weaknesses of your immigration case? Let’s get started with a personalized strategy and planning session . . .

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