In 1990, Congress established a procedure by which the Attorney General may provide TPS to immigrants in the United States who are temporarily unable to safely return to their home country because of ongoing civil unrest, a natural disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.
On March 1, 2003, the authority to designate a country for TPS, and to extend and terminate TPS designations, was transferred from the Attorney General to the Secretary of Homeland Security. At the same time, responsibility for administering the TPS program was also transferred from the former Immigration and Naturalization Service to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
During the period for which a country has been designated for TPS, nationals and residents of said country may remain in the United States, obtain work authorization, and in some instances obtain travel authorization.
It is important to note that TPS does not lead to permanent resident status (green card). However, registration for TPS does not prevent one from applying for any other petition, benefit or protection one may be eligible for. Accordingly, once a TPS designation is terminated, the temporary protected immigrants revert to the same immigration status they maintained before TPS or to any other status they may have acquired while registered for TPS. This means that if an immigrant did not have lawful status prior to receiving TPS and did not obtain any other lawful status during the TPS designation, the immigrant reverts to unlawful status upon the termination of that TPS designation.
The United States currently provides TPS to immigrants from thirteen (13) countries: El Salvador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, has the discretion to issue TPS for periods of 6 to 18 months and can extend these periods if conditions do not change.
To determine if you or someone you know is eligible for TPS, or for more details, please contact us at the Law Offices of Azita M. Mojarad, P.C.