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Am I Eligible to Remain in the U.S. Under Temporary Protected Status?

Posted on in Visas

Am I Eligible to Remain in the U.S. Under Temporary Protected Status?Millions of people lawfully enter the U.S. each year to stay for a limited time on a student, work, or visitor visa. When it is time to return home, most go willingly so as not to overstay their visa and risk being denied an immigration visa in the future. But what if their home country has changed dramatically for the worse in their absence? Armed conflict, a natural disaster such as a hurricane, or some other type of danger such as an Ebola outbreak could make it unsafe for a person to return. If this happens to you, you may be eligible for Temporary Protected Status.

Who Qualifies for Temporary Protected Status?

You can apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) if your home country has been designated “unsafe for return” by the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. As of April 2019, the following countries are on the list:

  • El Salvador - due to a series of earthquakes beginning March 2001.
  • Haiti - due to a 7.0-magnitude earthquake in January 2010.
  • Honduras - due to Hurricane Mitch since January 1999.
  • Nepal - due to a devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake in April 2015.
  • Nicaragua - due to Hurricane Mitch since January 1999.
  • Somalia - due to extreme violence since September 2012.
  • Sudan - due to ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary conditions since November 1997.
  • South Sudan - due to political instability and armed conflict which began when the country gained independence from Sudan in 2011 and which continues to cause severe food shortages.
  • Syria - due to armed conflict since August 2016.
  • Yemen - due to armed conflict and food shortages since March 2017.

To be eligible for TPS, you must have entered the U.S. prior to the TPS start date for your country and maintained a continuous residence in the U.S. since the most recent TPS designation date. 

TPS typically is offered for an initial 18-month period and then extended for additional periods until the crisis is considered over.

What Are the Benefits of Temporary Protected Status?

If you are granted TPS, you will be authorized to work in the U.S. and will be allowed to travel outside the U.S. for short periods of time. In addition, you are protected against detention and removal by U.S. immigration authorities. 

TPS is not an automatic pathway to a green card residence. However, an individual residing in the U.S. on TPS is eligible to file for asylum or adjustment of status based on an immediate family relationship or marriage.  

Contact a Stamford Immigration Lawyer

If you are at risk of overstaying a visa because it is unsafe for you to return to your home country, contact a highly qualified Fairfield County immigration lawyer. Gonzalez Law Office, LLC, can advise you regarding the option of Temporary Protected Status. Call us at 203-323-1440. 

Sources:

https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/temporary-protected-status

Fairfield County Bar Association Connecticut Bar Association American Immigration Lawyers Association Connecticut American Immigration Lawyers Association
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