Daytona Beach Immigration: Understanding Temporary Protected Status

Fri, Dec 04, 2015 at 3:40PM

When a natural disaster, war or other extraordinary event makes a country no longer fit for its nationals to return to, the Secretary of Homeland Security may grant that country temporary protected status, or TPS. Read on for more information and tips for understanding this special status, and to learn what it may mean for you or your family.

What does TPS grant eligible nationals?

Nationals who are eligible for TPS are not able to be removed from the United States during the designated TPS period, provided that they meet certain eligibility requirements. This is to protect nationals from returning to a country that is unable to receive them safely due to temporary conditions (like conflict, natural disasters, epidemics, etc.).

In addition to being to not being removable from the country, TPS eligible nationals are granted the opportunity to obtain an employment authorization document (EAD) and receive travel authorization.

Who is eligible?

In general, TPS eligible individuals…

  • Must be nationals of a TPS designated country. For a full list of these countries, you can visit USCIS.gov.
  •  File during the registration or re-registration period. This is important, since simply being a national of a TPS designated country doesn’t grant you protection in the eyes of the government.
  • Must have been continuously physically present and residing in the United States since the date listed for their specific country, which can also be found at USCIS.gov/TPS. There are exceptions for “brief, casual and innocent departures from the United States,” but these departures must be disclosed when registering or re-registering and are up to government discretion.

Felony convictions, failure to meet registration requirements and other factors can prevent an individual from receiving TPS—be sure to visit USCIS.gov/TPS for a full list of exclusions.

What can I do while registered for TPS?

It is important to note that TPS does not mean permanent, lawful residence in the United States—nor does it provide a clear path toward citizenship. However, while registered under TPS, there are a number of things you can do while in the United States.

During your TPS period, you may be able to apply for nonimmigrant status or apply for other protections and benefits you may be eligible for. You can also obtain an EAD and secure employment.

There are a few key takeaways to keep in mind regarding TPS. First, remember that TPS is, as its name suggests, temporary. It isn’t a pathway to (or substitute for) permanent legal residence in the United States—even though it can provide a sort of protection for eligible nationals.

It’s also worth noting that you can’t be eligible for TPS unless you apply for it—even if you meet all of the other requirements and are a national from a designated country. For more information and to begin your registration process, please visit USCIS.gov/TPS. And as always, if you need legal representation or assistance in applying for TPS, please call our offices today at (386) 449-8541. We look forward to helping you throughout your journey.

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