For people from certain countries where return may not be safe, applying for temporary protected status (TPS) to stay in the U.S. on a short-term basis is an option. USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) oversees the TPS program. What questions should you ask your Connecticut immigration lawyer about TPS?
What Is Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?
Temporary protected status (TPS) is a program that protects beneficiaries from deportation and allows them to seek an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to work in the U.S. TPS beneficiaries can also seek travel authorization to leave the U.S. and return, as well as apply for the appropriate nonimmigrant status or immigration benefits for which they qualify.
The Secretary of Homeland Security can designate which countries are eligible for the TPS program. Current countries on the list include the following:
- Burma (Myanmar)
- El Salvador
- South Sudan
To apply for TPS, you must file Form I-821, the Application for Temporary Protected Status. With your application, you must include evidence of your identity and nationality, as well as evidence of your date of entry and continuous residence (CR). You must also include the appropriate fees in your application, or Form I-912, the Application for Fee Waiver.
Eligibility for TPS
If you intend to apply for TPS, you must:
- Be from one of the designated countries listed above
- File during an open registration period (initial or re-registration) or qualify to file late
- Prove continuous physical presence (CPP) and continuous residence (CR) since the last effective date of your home country’s most recent designation to the list above (with some exceptions for travel allowed on a case-by-case basis)
Some conditions could make you ineligible to apply or re-register for TPS, including:
- Conviction of a felony or two or more misdemeanors
- Inadmissibility as an immigrant under section 212(a) of the INA
- Being subject to mandatory bars to asylum
- Failing to meet CPP or CR requirements
- Failing to meet registration requirements
- Failing to re-register for TPS without good cause
Travel Authorization With TPS
TPS beneficiaries can apply for travel authorization, provided they meet specific conditions. If approved, you will receive Form I-512T, Authorization for Travel by a Noncitizen to the United States. To apply for travel authorization, you must file the Application for Travel Document, Form I-131.
Although you may apply for travel authorization while USCIS adjudicates your application for TPS, you could miss important communications about your application, leading to a denial of your application from non-response. Speak with your experienced Connecticut temporary protected status immigration lawyer before traveling outside of the U.S.
Applying for Lawful Permanent Resident Status (Green Card)
TPS beneficiaries can apply for an applicable nonimmigrant status, file adjustment of status for certain petitions, and apply for any qualified immigration benefit or protection. Approval for TPS does not grant permanent resident status or any other immigrant status. It is strictly a protective status for people in the U.S. from designated countries who qualify.
You may be able to apply for lawful permanent resident status under certain conditions, including as a refugee or asylee, as a victim of human trafficking or crime, as a special immigrant, or other conditions.
Contact an Experienced Connecticut Immigration Attorney for More TPS Information
At the Law Offices of James A. Welcome, we speak English and Spanish to assist clients in understanding complex immigration and visa laws. Call us today at (475) 241-0824 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a Connecticut temporary protected status immigration lawyer.