Temporary Protective Status or TPS is the designation of a country by the Secretary of Homeland Security saying nationals of that country present in the United States and subject to deportation may not be deported or safely return to that country because of conditions in the country. At the Law Office of Robert D. Ahlgren and Associates, we help qualified clients in the Chicago area to obtain TPS status.
Qualification for Country Designation for TPS
The Secretary of Homeland Security is authorized to designate a country for TPS because of the following temporary conditions in the country:
- Ongoing armed struggle or conflict in the country or parts of it such as civil war or widespread insurrection
- An environmental disaster wreaking havoc in the country, such as earthquake or hurricane, or an epidemic
- Other extraordinary and temporary conditions
During the time a country is designated for TPS, that country’s nationals who are physically in the United States are deemed to be the beneficiaries of TPS, and even if they are not nationals of that country, they may still qualify for TPS if they are found preliminarily eligible following their initial interview. Individuals who are not nationals of the TPS designated country may still be found eligible if they last resided in the TPS designated country.
Once an individual is preliminarily found to be eligible, then they:
- Are not deportable or removable from the United States for the duration of the TPS designation period. Once an individual is granted TPS, they also cannot be detained by the Department of Homeland Security because of their being in the United States illegally or without authorization.
- Can apply and be approved for an employment authorization document (EAD) which will allow them to get employed in the United States, and to receive other benefits such as a social security number, open a bank account, and so on
- May be approved for travel authorization which can allow them to travel outside of the United States and return if the country’s designation for TPS is on.
However, TPS is a temporary benefit that has no mechanism to convert the beneficiary to a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) and neither does it give the beneficiary any other immigration status.
On the other hand, however, being a TPS beneficiary does not prevent one from:
- Applying for nonimmigrant status under any of the various nonimmigrant visa categories if they meet the respective qualifications and requirements,
- Applying to obtain permanent residency (green card) based on an immigrant petition filed by a qualified relative or employer,
- Applying for any other immigration benefit or protection for which the TPS beneficiary may be eligible.
Eligibility Requirements for TPS
To be eligible for TPS, you must:
- Be a national of the TPS designated country or one who lived there last
- File during the required time, unless excused
- Have been continuously physically present in the U.S. since the effective date of TPS unless you meet an exception to the requirement.
Speak with a Chicago Immigration Lawyer Today
If you believe you qualify for TPS, you should discuss the matter with the Law Office of Robert D. Ahlgren and Associates, P.C. Please contact our Chicago office to schedule an appointment.