What is TPS?
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a form of humanitarian relief available to people from specific countries designated by the Department of Homeland Security such as El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The Secretary of Homeland Security designates a country for TPS for periods of 6 to 18 months based upon ongoing civil war, armed conflict, natural disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. The Secretary can extend these time periods if the country continues to meet the conditions for designation.
What are the benefits of TPS?
TPS grants an individual temporary immigration status, however, it does not lead to lawful permanent resident status or give any other immigration status. During a designated time period, individuals who are TPS beneficiaries are eligible to obtain an employment authorization document (EAD), receive provisional protection against deportation, and may be granted travel authorization.
How to qualify for TPS
An individual who is eligible for TPS must register by submitting an application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an agency of the Department of Homeland Security. In order to qualify for TPS, a person must
· Be a national of a country designated for TPS
· Be a person without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country
· File for TPS during the open initial registration or re-registration period, or meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of your country’s TPS designation
· Be continuously physically present in the U.S. since the effective date of the most RECENT designation date of their country and been continuously residing in the U.S. since the date specified for their country
TPS Litigation Updates
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced the termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for nationals of El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan. For the time being, TPS protections are still intact, therefore TPS documentation for TPS holders from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan are still eligible until January 4, 2021. DHS will continue to extend the validity of these immigration documents in nine-month intervals until a decision is made on whether TPS will be officially terminated. Currently, TPS beneficiaries cannot face deportation and are still eligible to work.
What does the future of TPS look like?
Currently, the Department of Homeland Security has terminated the TPS program in the following countries effective January 4th, 20201:
Currently, the Department of Homeland Security has extended the TPS designated period for the following countries that were set to end on the following dates:
Country Current End Date
Somalia: September 17, 2021
South Sudan: May 2, 2022
Syria: March 31, 2021
Yemen: September 3, 2021
What happens when TPS ends?
If TPS ends, beneficiaries return to the immigration status that they held prior to receiving TPS, unless that status has expired or they have successfully acquired a new immigration status. TPS beneficiaries who entered the United States without inspection and who are not eligible for other immigration benefits, for example, would return to being undocumented at the end of a TPS designation and become subject to removal. TPS holders will be allowed to remain in the U.S. for a period of time before returning to their country of origin. For El Salvador that date is November 5, 2021 and for Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan that date is March 5, 2021.
What to do next
TPS holders must immediately prepare for the termination of TPS. It is important for individuals with TPS status to investigate whether they may be eligible for any other type of immigration relief and if not to explore their options affecting everything from mortgages to family arrangements. It is important to see a lawyer to discuss if you have options and to make a family plan.
· Carry identification
· Know your A-Number
· Create contact forms & safeguard important documents
· Memorize important phone numbers
· Make an extra set of keys
· Make childcare arrangements
· Know your medications