People who live in countries that are experiencing an ongoing armed conflict, some kind of environmental disaster, an epidemic or other extraordinary circumstances may need to leave their homeland for their safety. The United States will sometimes allow those who are fleeing an unsafe situation in their country of origin to lawfully remain in the country by securing Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
Eligible foreign nationals from specific countries can potentially submit paperwork to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to secure TPS. They will then be able to live and work in the country lawfully until the situation in their country of origin improves or they become ineligible for TPS.
Applicants must prove their eligibility
Not just anyone from a designated country can obtain TPS. The individuals who apply will usually need to be able to qualify for an employment authorization document. Additionally, they should not meet the criteria established for removal from the United States. Those with violent criminal records and other problematic blemishes in their personal history may not qualify for TPS.
There is a special form, I-821, that is the official application for Temporary Protected Status. Individuals can file the paperwork either physically or online. They can do so while simultaneously requesting an employment authorization document using form I-765. Those with some personal complications could potentially still secure TPS if they submit form I-601, which could grant them a waiver for their theoretical ineligibility.
Applicants will also need to submit evidence supporting their identity and national origin, as well as evidence for their date of entry and proof that they have continuously resided in the country. Applicants from countries including Afghanistan, Haiti, Syria, Yemen and South Sudan, among others, can potentially qualify for TPS.
Individuals may need to re-register if the situation does not resolve before the end of someone’s initial TPS designation. For the average immigrant fleeing an unsafe situation in their country of origin, the complex paperwork required to obtain TPS status may be prohibitively difficult to complete. Many immigrants would benefit from having professional support when they apply for TPS or other immigration protections.
Learning more about Temporary Protected Status can benefit those who are worried about their right to remain in the country. Those who are interested in learning more about their rights and options can seek legal guidance at any time.