What is the Temporary Protected Status Program (TPS)?

When a foreign country’s conditions temporarily prevent a country’s nationals from returning safely or is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately, it may become eligible to participate in the TPS Program [Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)]. The TPS Program, which is run by the Department of Homeland and Security (DHS), is geared toward helping foreign individuals who may have fled their country due to the unsafe conditions and are currently residing in the U.S. by allowing them to remain in the U.S. legally. According to USCIS, the Secretary of Homeland Security may deem a country eligible to participate in the TPS Program due to the following conditions:

 

  • There is an ongoing armed conflict occurring there.
  • An environmental disaster such as a hurricane or earthquake has struck which has made the country unlivable.
  • Other extraordinary and temporary conditions are present in the foreign country.

 

When an individual becomes a TPS beneficiary, they:

 

  • Are not removable from the U.S. This means that the individual “cannot be detained by DHS on the basis on his or her immigration status in the United States.”
  • Are permitted to obtain an employment authorization document (EAD).
  • May be given the authorization to travel.

 

Now, although a TPS beneficiary is permitted to live in the U.S. legally, the status they currently hold will not “lead to lawful permanent resident status or give any other immigrant status.” But, when you are living in the U.S. under the TPS Program, you aren’t prohibited from doing the following:

 

  • Applying for nonimmigrant status.
  • Filing for adjustment of status based on immigrant petition.
  • Applying for any other immigration

 

 

Which countries are currently participating with the TPS Program?

 

  • El Salvador
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • South Sudan
  • Syria
  • Yemem

 

What are the eligibility requirements to become a TPS beneficiary?

 

  • You must be “a national of a country designated for TPS,” or you must be “a person without nationality who last habitually resided in the designed country.”
  • USICS says you must file during the open initial registration or re-registration period,” or “you meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of your country’s TPS designation.”
  • You have been physically present in the U.S. “since the effective date of the most recent designation date of your country.”
  • You have been living in the U.S. continuously since the dates specified for your country.

 

Aside from TPS beneficiaries being given an opportunity to live under safer conditions, allowing them to live, work, and even grow a family, they also give back to the U.S. economy. According to USA Today, 17 states in the U.S. have estimated that without the current TPS beneficiaries residing in their area, they would “lose $132 billion in gross domestic product, $5.2 billion in Social Security and Medicare contributions, and $733 million in employer turnover costs.”

Unfortunately, President Donald Trump has attempted to send back many TPS beneficiaries recently claiming that the conditions in certain countries “are now suitable for thousands of their residents to return home.” Although the attempts were unsuccessful, many individuals are faced with the following decisions:

  1. Return to their native country with their children who were born and raised it the U.S.
  2. Leave their children and other family members who are legally permitted to live in the U.S., or
  3. Risk living in the U.S. undocumented.

 

Are you at risk of being deported or losing your current status that permits you to live legally in the U.S.? If so, let us place you in contact with an immigration lawyer in Atlanta who can help you get your matter resolved.

Now, if you are someone who is living in Atlanta, GA as a TPS beneficiary and are concerned about your status and what might happen, contact USAttorneys.com so we can place you in touch with an experienced immigration attorney. Dealing with immigration matters today is nothing like it was in the past as USCIS and other agencies such as DHS are making it more difficult for foreign individuals to obtain residency in the U.S. or obtain permission to continue living in the U.S. Therefore, if you are dealing with any type of immigration-related matter, whether it involves the TPS program or not, let us connect you with a skilled Atlanta, GA immigration lawyer now who can help you.