What is TPS?

WHAT IS Temporary Protected Status (TPS)?

TPS is a temporary immigration status for eligible individuals from nations designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security during the designated period.  The program provides qualifying individuals:

  • Permission to Stay – TPS provides permission for individuals to be present in the U.S. during the designated periods without being deported.
  • Opportunity to Re-Register – Individuals granted TPS may re-register for the protection if their country’s TPS designation was extended by the Secretary of Homeland Security.
  • Benefits – TPS beneficiaries are granted work authorization.

 

A country may be designated for TPS by the Secretary of Homeland Security due to conditions that temporarily prevent safe return of the country’s citizens or the country’s inability to handle its citizens’ return adequately.  Conditions that may warrant TPS designation include:

  • Ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war)
  • An environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane), or an epidemic (such as Ebola outbreak)
  • Other extraordinary and temporary conditions that do not conflict with national interests

The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a country’s TPS for 6, 12, or 18 months.  The Secretary may extend a country’s TPS period after the original 6, 12, or 18-month period ends.  There is no limit on how many times a country’s TPS designation may be extended.

The Secretary of Homeland Security must make a decision whether to extend TPS or not for a designated country at least 60 days before the current expiration date.  If the Secretary is unable to make a decision before the 60-day deadline, the country’s TPS designation is automatically extended for another 6 months.  The Secretary may still make a decision whether to extend TPS or not at least 60 days before the new expiration date for that country.

TPS does not provide a pathway to lawful permanent resident status; however, TPS beneficiaries may request adjustment of status or apply for other immigration benefits which they may qualify for.

WHO ARE ELIGIBLE FOR TPS?

  • You are a citizen of a country that was designated for TPS by the Secretary of Homeland Security, or you are a person without nationality whose last habitual residence was in the designated country
  • You file for TPS during the open initial registration and re-registration period, or you meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of your country’s TPS designation
  • You have been continuously physically present in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation date of your country
  • You have been continuously residing in the United States since the date specified for your country (except for brief, casual and innocent departures from the United States)
  • You have NOT been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors within the United States
  • You are NOT inadmissible as an immigrant under INA section 212(a), including non-waivable criminal and security-related grounds, and you are NOT subject to any mandatory bars to asylum

For more details on eligibility requirements visit the USCIS’s website or consult with an attorney.

 

WHICH COUNTRIES ARE CURRENTLY DESIGNATED FOR TPS?

There are 10 countries currently designated for TPS: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.  Below table shows the detailed status of each country:

 

Country Granted TPS Since TPS Valid Until TPS Extension Status Re-Registration Period Work Permit Auto-Extended Until
El Salvador 03/09/2001 09/09/2019 Cancelled Pending USCIS Announcement Pending USCIS Announcement
Haiti 01/21/2010 07/22/2019 Cancelled Pending USCIS Announcement Pending USCIS Announcement
Honduras 01/05/1999 07/05/2018 Pending DHS Decision by May 2018 12/15/2017 – 02/13/2018 07/04/2018
Nepal 06/24/2015 06/24/2018 Pending DHS Decision by April 2018 N/A N/A
Nicaragua 01/05/1999 01/05/2019 Cancelled 12/15/2017 –  02/13/2018 03/06/2018 or 07/04/2018 for those who re-applied
Somalia 09/16/1991 09/17/2018 Pending DHS Decision by July 2018 N/A N/A
Sudan 11/04/1997 11/02/2018 Cancelled N/A 05/01/2018 for those who re-applied
South Sudan 11/03/2011 05/02/2019 Pending DHS Decision by March 2019 N/A 05/01/2018 for those who re-applied
Syria 03/29/2012 03/31/2018 Pending DHS Decision by Jan. 2018 N/A N/A
Yemen 09/03/2015 09/03/2018 Pending DHS Decision by July 2018 N/A N/A

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN TPS ENDS

This information is not legal advice. We recommend that whenever possible you consult an immigration attorney to get the proper legal advice regarding your particular situation.

Re-Registration

Do not pay or submit any document until USCIS announces the official re-registration period for your country.  If you believe that you may have been a victim of fraud, please contact us at (800)593-8222 or click HERE to file a complaint.

Immigration Status

 TPS does not grant any legal permanent status to beneficiaries.  When TPS designation for your country ends, your immigration status reverses back to the status before obtaining TPS.  You are advised to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to apply for any other immigration benefits you may be eligible for.

Your TPS is valid until the termination effective date (orange column in the table above).  You cannot be deported until after this date if you continue to maintain your status.  You may wish to carry proof of your TPS such as your work permit with you when possible.

Work Permit

 The employment authorization document (EAD) or work permit is valid until its expiration as indicated on the document or the automatically extended date as indicated on USCIS website.  When the Secretary of Homeland Security makes a decision to terminate or extend your country’s TPS status, USCIS will open re-registration period following that decision shortly.  Due to the time, it takes for USCIS to process your re-registration and your work permit, your work permit will be automatically extended until the date indicated on USCIS website, generally 6 months after the printed expiration date on your current work permit if you properly file for re-registration.

You have the right to work legally until your work permit’s expiration.  Your employer cannot terminate your employment, reduce your scheduled work hours, or change your work status until after your work permit has expired.  Your employer may ask you for an updated work permit if your permit is about to expire.  If your work permit’s expiration date is automatically extended as indicated on USCIS website, your employer may not require you to produce an additional document to prove your authorization to work; however, you may wish to show your employer a copy of the Federal Register notice announcing the automatic extension from USCIS website.  Your employer cannot take any negative employment action against you until your work permit is expired.

Please contact us at (800)593-8222 if you believe that your employer has discriminated or retaliated against you due to your immigration status.

Travel on Advance Parole

 Advance parole is a permit to allow someone who does not have a valid immigrant visa to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad.  If you are currently traveling out of the country on advance parole, consider returning to the United States immediately. If you have already been granted advance parole and have not left the United States, or if you are currently considering applying for advance parole, consult with an attorney about the risk of being denied re-entry to the United States before you travel abroad.

 

LEGAL REPRESENTATION AND KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

 L.A. Justice Fund:

 The L.A. Justice Fund is a partnership among Los Angeles County, the City of Los Angeles, and the philanthropic community, and was created to provide legal representation to Los Angeles County residents who cannot afford an attorney and who are facing imminent deportation. The LA Justice Resource Directory lists the legal agencies you may contact to determine if you are eligible for legal representation under the L.A. Justice Fund.

Even if you don’t qualify for legal representation under the L.A. Justice Fund, you should consult an attorney for advice on available options. The Office of Immigrant Affairs can provide you information on how to find a private attorney.

Know Your Rights:

Everyone, documented or undocumented, is entitled to certain rights in the United States.

  • RIGHT TO NOT OPEN YOUR DOOR, unless the immigration agent has a warrant to enter that is signed by a judge or magistrate and has your name on it.
  • RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT and not answer questions from immigration agents.
  • RIGHT NOT TO SIGN ANY PAPERS without first talking to an attorney.
  • RIGHT TO TALK TO AN ATTORNEY at your own expense.

The Office of Immigrant Affairs prepared a Know Your Rights Pocket Card to inform you about your rights. It includes a “Red Card” that you may give to immigration agents to protect your rights. Print and keep this Pocket Card handy.

 

AVOID IMMIGRATION FRAUD

Dishonest immigration consultants including “notarios” and paralegals can defraud consumers by taking advantage of individuals seeking help and charging them fees for illegal or misleading services. Some encourage consumers to lie on their applications or give them wrong legal advice.

Learn how you can avoid, identify and report immigration services scams by contacting Consumer and Business Affairs at (800)593-8222 or click HERE for more information.

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