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How Temporary Protection Status Works in the U.S.

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In May 2021, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would be extending Haitian Temporary Protection Status (TPS) for 18 months, until November 2022. The new TPS designation allows Haitians currently residing in the U.S. to apply for TPS. Given these recent developments, now is a good time to review exactly what TPS is and who is eligible to apply.

At Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A., our board-certified immigration attorneys can help you and your family seek Temporary Protection Status, if applicable. Read on to learn more about these eligibility requirements and how our team may be able to assist you.

Defining TPS and Eligibility Requirements

Temporary Protection Status (TPS) is a temporary designation that is given to certain nationals of other countries during times of emergencies or circumstances where their home countries have made it unsafe for them to return. The status allows those already in the U.S. to travel in and out of the country during the duration of the emergency without fear of being subject to official removal proceedings.

Some situations where a TPS may be issued include natural disasters (earthquakes, hurricanes, etc.), a disease outbreak, an armed conflict, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions. A TPS can be made for a period of time that ranges between six and 18 months. As of 2021, the following countries were designated as TPS by the U.S.:

  • Burma (Myanmar)
  • El Salvador
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • South Sudan
  • Syria
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen

To see whether your country is part of a TPS designation, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A. at your earliest convenience.

Other eligibility requirements include:

  • You must have a physical presence within the U.S.
  • You must have continuously resided in the U.S. from the date that the USCIS specified your country as TPS.
  • You must have no serious criminal record, which includes a felony conviction or two or more misdemeanor convictions.
  • You are not otherwise “inadmissible.”
  • You are not subject to asylum bars.

Temporary Protection Status for Haitians

Haiti was first designated for TPS in 2010 after the country experienced a major earthquake, affecting nearly three million people. Since then, the program was extended multiple times until January 2018, at which point the Trump Administration announced that the Haitian TPS program would be terminated in 2019.

After ongoing challenges in federal court regarding the TPS termination, an extension order was granted by the courts which allowed affected Haitian nationals to stay in the country until October 4, 2021. Haitians under the original 2010 designation may also apply for TPS under the new court order. If you or a loved one is a Haitian national and needs assistance filing for TPS, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at (800) 708-4399.

Temporary Protection Status for Venezuelans

Likewise, the country of Venezuela received an 18-month TPS designation on March 9, 2021, which is set to last through September 9, 2021. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) estimates that approximately 323,000 individuals may be able to file for TPS under this designation.

According to the USCIS, the designation is in response to extraordinary and temporary conditions in Venezuela, including a “complex humanitarian crisis marked by widespread hunger and malnutrition, a growing influence and presence of non-state armed groups, repression, and a crumbling infrastructure.”

Remember, TPS is not automatic. The application process can be complicated and involves applying, paying a filing fee, and passing the immigration screening. If you are applying for TPS under Venezuela’s designation, we encourage you to contact our firm right away to get started with this process with a licensed immigration attorney by your side.

Helping You During Your Immigration Journey

If you have any questions about whether you are eligible for Temporary Protection Status, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our board-certified immigration attorneys. At Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A., our team has been working hard on behalf of those pursuing the American Dream for over 40 years, and we will do the same for you!

Contact our firm at (800) 708-4399 to schedule your free case review. We provide services in Spanish, Portuguese & Thai and have seven convenient offices located throughout the country.

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