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What is Temporary Protected Status?

What is Temporary Protected Status?Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a blanket status that the United States grants the citizens of certain designated foreign countries. The Secretary of Homeland Security designates certain countries that have experienced major disruptions, for TPS and grants the citizens of such countries temporary immigration status. Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras, Somalia, Syria and Sudan are some countries that have been designated for TPS. TPS is meant for foreign nationals who are temporarily prevented from returning to their home countries due to safety concerns. Temporary Protected Status is not amnesty and people who have been granted TPS will not automatically become eligible for lawful permanent resident status or for US citizenship.

To apply for TPS, Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status along with Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization must be filed. Even if the applicants do not want to work in the United States, applications for US work permits must be filed. All the applications must accompany the required form filing fees. If the applicants cannot afford the form filing fees, they can establish they are unable to pay the fees and request fee waivers. Nevertheless, not all the applicants will be granted TPS and applicants who have been convicted of crimes will not be granted TPS. USCIS will grant TPS to the eligible foreign nationals who are already in the United States and to the stateless individuals who were living in designated countries.

This immigration policy of the United States helps countries in distress and countries that experience major disruptions such as civil wars and environmental disasters will be designated for TPS. Few other temporary conditions also would be considered while designating countries for TPS. During a designated period, citizens of designated countries will not be subject to deportation. Such individuals can obtain employment authorization documents and work in America and they can also obtain travel documents. A foreign national who has been granted TPS will not be detained or removed from the country by the DHS but TPS is only a temporary immigration status that may not lead to US citizenship or for permanent resident status.

Nevertheless, TPS beneficiaries will not be prevented from applying for non-immigrant visas or from filing applications for adjustment of status. Likewise, they can also apply for other immigration benefits for which they are eligible. TPS applications will not affect applications for other immigration benefits and for asylum. Foreign nationals can apply for TPS even if their applications for asylum are denied by the USCIS. TPS may not encourage new waves of refugees and to become eligible for TPS, applicants need to establish that they were present in the country on a specified date. Similarly, immigrants must apply for TPS during the registration period and they may not be able to apply for it, if they miss the registration period.

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