Are you living and working in the U.S. but fear being placed in removal proceedings because of an expired visa? Is your home country currently under a state of emergency? If you answered yes to both questions, you may be eligible to receive a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for the duration of your home country’s emergency state. Individuals with TPS can continue to live, work and travel in and out of the U.S. without the worry of removal proceedings being filed against them.
TPS can be authorized for any individual whose home country is under a state of emergency, regardless of whether the individual entered the country without proper documentation or under a visa that has since expired. To apply for TPS, individuals must meet certain requirements including:
- Continuous physical presence in the U.S. since the effective date of TPS designation for the home country
- Continuous residence in the U.S. for a certain amount of time (the amount varies by country but usually is a short amount of time prior to the TPS effective date)
- No felony convictions or no more than two misdemeanor convictions
- The individual has not been deemed “inadmissible” to the U.S. on grounds such as criminal convictions, violation of immigration laws or medical reasons
- The individual is not subject to any bars to asylum (such as resettlement in a different country, having been found a persecutor in their home country, posing a national security threat or conviction of a serious crime)
Conditions for TPS
Emergency situations in home countries that may qualify for TPS designation include: earthquakes; hurricanes; other natural disasters; armed conflicts; violent political turmoil; epidemic or disease outbreaks; and any other circumstance that would make it unsafe for an individual to return to their home country. The United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) lists countries that have been designated for TPS on its website. This year the USCIS has designated the following countries as eligible for TPS: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
TPS generally last between six and eighteen months and varies from one country of origin to another. If home country conditions warrant it, the status can be extended. There have been cases where individuals have lived and worked in the U.S. for more than 10 years under TPS. The work permit or employment authorization document issued that allows the individual to work in the U.S. has the same expiration date as the TPS.
Undocumented individuals or those who are in the country on an expired visa can benefit from TPS, which would allow the person to apply for a work permit and also “toll” or stop the period of unlawful presence in the country. However, TPS is only a temporary immigration status and will not directly lead to the granting of a green card. Individual living in the U.S. with TPS must apply for a green card under the usual eligibility terms such as marriage to a U.S. citizen, U.S. employer sponsorship, the diversity visa lottery or a grant of asylum.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Assist Individuals Applying for Temporary Protected Status
To learn whether you or a loved one may qualify for Temporary Protected Status, contact Surin & Griffin, P.C. today. Our compassionate and knowledgeable legal team provide help to individuals in all matters of immigration law, including deportation, Board of Immigration appeals, visa applications, abuse petitions and asylum issues. To speak with a dedicated Philadelphia immigration lawyer today, call us at 215-925-4435 or submit an online inquiry form.
From our offices conveniently located in Philadelphia, we assist clients throughout Philadelphia County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and across Pennsylvania.