Navigating through the United States immigration system can be complex. One avenue that people from certain countries might consider is Temporary Protected Status. The United States grants TPS to nationals of countries experiencing problems that make it unsafe for their residents to return home.
But what does obtaining TPS mean, and who qualifies?
What is Temporary Protected Status?
Temporary Protected Status is a temporary immigration status provided to nationals of certain countries experiencing ongoing armed conflict, environmental disaster or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.
People from these countries who are already in the United States can apply for TPS. This allows them to live and work in the United States until the conditions in their home country improve.
As of today, several countries have TPS designation from the Secretary of Homeland Security, including Haiti, Venezuela, and Ukraine. Individuals from these countries can apply for TPS, but they must meet specific eligibility criteria, such as showing that they currently live in the United States and are nationals of one of the designated countries.
What is the application process?
An individual must be a national of a country designated for TPS; however, those with certain criminal records or who pose a threat to national security are not eligible. They should submit Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services reviews this form, and if they approve it, the individual receives TPS. If the applicant wants to work in the U.S., they must also submit Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
What does TPS provide?
TPS offers protection from deportation and eligibility for an employment authorization document. However, it does not lead to permanent resident status (Green Card). When the Secretary of Homeland Security ends the TPS designation for a particular country, nationals of that country lose their TPS protection and return to the immigration status they maintained before TPS, unless that status has expired.
Temporary Protected Status can offer a lifeline to people in dire situations, enabling them to establish a temporary home in the United States until their country’s conditions improve.