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What Is Temporary Protected Status (TPS) And Its Benefits

Author: Alena Shautsova

Temporary Protected Status(TPS) is a non-permanent residence status awarded by the United States government through the Department of Homeland Security Security Secretary to qualified citizens of selected countries who due to certai severe circumstances are incapable to returning to their own country. The temporary and severe circumstances could include; ongoing armed conflict, environmental calamities, an outbreak of an epidemic, and other unusual circumstances. The Temporary Protected Status is for a precise duration which can be subject to renewal if warranted. Within this duration, the recipients of TPS cannot be extricated from the United States, they are qualified for an employment authorization document(EAD), and can file for a travel permit.

Obtaining a TPS does not give room for permanent residency nor does it necessitate any other immigration privileges. Simply put, to obtain other immigration privileges, an applicant must be qualified for these privileges. Receiving one benefit does not mean you automatically get the other.

The law that allows for the Temporary Protected Status(TPS) was enacted in 1990 as part of the Immigration Act. Currently, over 400,000 non-U.S. citizens are possessors of this status.

Countries currently designated for Temporary Protected Status include Afghanistan, Burma, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Ukraine, and Yemen.

The Benefits Of Temporary Protected Status(TPS)

Certain benefits accrue to bearers of the Temporary Protected Status, amongst which are:

Approval To Retain Temporary Residence In The United State

A major benefit of being a TPS recipient is the authorization to stay in the United States for the duration of your TPS permit. The period of your TPS privilege depends invariably on the nature of the situation in the recipient's home country and the time frame for which the Department of Homeland Security deems that country eligible. The period for which TPS is granted to citizens of a country usually varies from 6 to 18 months. Although, the time frame can be extended if situations do not improve in the country granted TPS. There are cases of persons who have lived on TPS in the U.S. for over ten years.

Approval To Work In The United States

Another major benefit of being granted the Temporary Protection Status is the right to work in the United States. Following the approval of the Temporary Protection Status for a non-U.S. citizen, the said person can also file for an Employment Authorization Document(EAD) to be gainfully employed. The TPS applicant will need to file Form I-765 at the same time as the TPS privileges.

Approval To Travel Outside The United States

In addition to being able to reside and work in the United States, the TPS beneficiary can also gain a permit to travel in and out of the United States. Although for this permission to be given, the TPS beneficiary will have to complete and submit an Application for Travel Document ( also called Form I-131). When the application is granted, the TPS beneficiary receives an Advance Parole travel document. This document allows the bearer to travel out of the U.S. and return within the period it is authorized. You are only authorized to stay outside the U.S. for ninety days, but the permit can be subject to multiple re-entries.

In the case where you are unable to obtain your Advance Parole travel document or return to the U.S. within the stipulated time frame, you will most likely lose your Temporary Protected Status.

Immunity From Expulsion

Receiving a Temporary Protection Status unequivocally means that you can't be deported to your home country. As mentioned earlier, non-citizens of the U.S. whose countries are eligible for TPS are due to certain temporary occurrences that could endanger the applicant. Hence, for this reason, until your country is deemed safe, TPS holders cannot be forcefully returned to their home countries.

Who Is Qualified For A Temporary Protected Status?

When a country is designated for Temporary Protected Status, the citizens of that country who are residing in the U.S. as at the date of designation, are qualified to enroll for TPS. Those who enter after the date of designation, are not qualified for enrolling for TPS. The U.S. Attorney General is at liberty to re-award the Temporary Protected Status to a country when the initial date comes up for expiration. This allows the citizens of that country who applied originally to apply for an extension until the new expiration date.

Criteria For Qualification

  • The applicant must be able to prove that he is a citizen of the designated country or if he's not a citizen, that he has been a habitual resident of the designated country.
  • You must have filed at the first instance of the registration or re-registration period, or you fulfill the requirements for late initial filing in the course of extending your country's TPS.
  • Proof of your continuous physical presence in the U.S. since the effective date of your country's last designation.
  • Proof that you've been residing continually in the U.S. since the date assigned to your country.
  • You have not been convicted of any crime committed in the U.S.
  • You are not restrained by any of the restrictions to asylum.
19 March 2022
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