Temporary protected status, or TPS, is a status usually reserved for nationals from countries that are facing severe crises rendering them unsafe to live in. The Department of Homeland Security maintains a list of countries that are on the TPS list; your country must appear on the list before you can apply for temporary protected status.
Obtaining temporary protected status allows you to live and work in America for as long as your country remains on the TPS list. In most situations, that means somewhere between six and 18 months. However, DHS often extends TPS designations, sometimes for many years. It all depends on what’s happening with the emergency in your home country.
While you have temporary protected status, you’ll enjoy these benefits:
- Protection from being detained by ICE or DHS
- Protection from deportation
- Ability to file an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), allowing you to get a social security number and work in the US
- Possibility of getting a work visa and pursuing more permanent immigration status
First, as mentioned above, your country must appear on the TPS list. The list includes countries that are embroiled in war or experiencing an environmental disaster, epidemic, or any other circumstance that may make the nation extremely dangerous.
Ukraine was added to the TPS list in the spring of 2022 because of Russia’s invasion. The US Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) keeps an up-to-date TPS list on its website at all times.
Other qualifications you must meet before applying for TPS include:
- You have been continuously physically present and maintained continuous residence in the US since the most recent date that your country was on the TPS list. These dates are specified, for each country, on the USCIS website.
- Proof that you are a citizen of, or habitually reside in, a TPS-designated country.
- Filing your TPS application during the correct registration period for your country.
- Passing a background check/security clearance.
You will want to speak with a qualified Dallas immigration lawyer who can help you complete the TPS application process. You will be expected to complete these forms:
- Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status
- Form I-765, Request for Employment Authorization (This is the EAD mentioned above. Complete it if you want to work while in the US.)
Along with your application, you should be prepared to provide several documents to prove where you are from and how long you’ve been continuously residing in the US. Examples include:
- Birth certificate or national identity document
- I-94 Arrival/Departure Record
- Employment records
- Utility or rent bills
- School records
- Payment of all necessary fees
If you are from a country that currently appears on the TPS list, you may be able to register for temporary protected status. Our Dallas law firm would be happy to evaluate your situation and help you with your application. To speak with attorney Mark E. Jacobs, please call 972-445-7577 or send us a message.
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