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If you have ever wondered what TPS is in the USA, in this article we can see in detail everything about Temporary Protected Status for the United States.

Curbelo Law has the best immigration lawyers in New Jersey and they will explain to their clients step by step how to apply for this immigration protection. Call today and get a private consultation for your case.

What Is Temporary Protected Status (TPS) In The USA? 

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is an immigration benefit in the United States that grants eligible immigrants temporary protection against deportation.

  • The TPS status is granted only to citizens of certain countries who run some type of risk or insecurity when returning to their country of origin in case of being deported from the US.
  • This immigration benefit can also be granted to individuals without nationality, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements. 
  • In March 2022, more than 350,000 foreign nationals from approximately 12 countries were protected by TPS in the United States.

According to data provided by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), most of the beneficiaries came from El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti and Venezuela.

how to find out if i have a deportation order

How to find out if I have a deportation order? In our blog we give you the answer.

Reasons To Apply For TPS

Knowing what TPS is in the USA also implies knowing the circumstances for which one usually applies. Countries eligible for TPS status usually qualify for this program when one of the following circumstances exists:

  • Natural disaster. For example, a hurricane or an earthquake. Countries that have suffered an epidemic are also considered for this category.
  • Temporary conditions. The US government will determine what temporary or extraordinary conditions the country of origin has to apply to this benefit.
  • Military conflicts. If a country is facing a military conflict such as a civil war or a threat to personal security, you may be able to apply for this program.

War conflicts are scenarios in which nobody wants to be. For this reason, the US stands in solidarity with those most affected by the war, creating humanitarian programs to help them. An example is the Uniting for Ukraine program.

Benefits Of Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Since we know what TPS status is in the USA, we must know the benefits that this program brings to everyone who applies. Therefore, an alien may obtain the following TPS benefits:

  • You will not be deported from the United States.
  • The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will not be able to detain you based on your immigration status.
  • You will be able to obtain a travel authorization.
  • You will be able to get an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to legally work in the US.

Are you undocumented in the US and would like to work in this country? You may be interested in our article: “How to get a job in the United States while being illegal”.

elegibility for tps

Considerations To Take Into Account About The TPS status In The USA

The TPS is only temporary and does not serve to obtain the Green Card. However, aliens under this program may be eligible for:

Becoming eligible for TPS will not affect immigrants on applications such as the asylum process in USA or Special Immigration Juvenile Status (SIJ). 

Additionally, if an immigrant’s application for asylum is denied, they could still apply for TPS even if the bases of their application were the same.

If you want to know other types of protection in which you could apply, visit our publications: “ VAWA visa” and “NACARA Program”.

Who Is Eligible For TPS?

Aliens may be eligible for TPS if they meet the following requirements:

  • Be a citizen of a country designated for TPS.
  • If you do not have a nationality, you may apply for this program if your last residence was in one of the countries designated for TPS.
  • Have been continuously physically present (CPP) in the US since the effective date of TPS.
  • Have continuously resided (CR) in the US since the date specified for your country.

Don’t know what the requirements to legally enter the United States? Do not worry, check our blog and you can find extensive information on the subject.

Who Is Not Eligible For TPS?

An immigrant will not be eligible for TPS in the United States if:

  • It is qualified as inadmissible by section 212(a) of the INA.
  • They do not meet the US residency or continuous presence requirements.
  • You obtained TPS but are not re-registering as required by law.
  • You are about to engage in terrorist activity or are involved in a pursuit of an individual.
  • Committed any misdemeanor or felony in the US.

Do you have a misdemeanor and would you like to fix your papers? Find out the answer in: “Can you get a Green Card with a misdemeanor”.

documentation for temporary protected status

What Is TPS status In The USA For Venezuelans? 

As of July 2021, Venezuelans may be eligible to apply for TPS by filing Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status online.

  • In addition, Venezuelan applicants may request the EAD to work legally through Form I-765, application for employment authorization or with Form I-821.
  • USCIS clarified that Venezuelans can file 12 forms online, these can be obtained on the forms page for online filing . 
  • In order for Venezuelans to apply for this form, they must create an account with USCIS.

Currently, there is a humanitarian parole in the US for Venezuelans who are eligible for this benefit. In our blog, you can obtain more information regarding the new process for Venezuelans and how to process it.

Requirements To Apply For TPS In The USA For Venezuelans

Venezuelans must meet the following requirements for TPS:

  • Have continuously resided in the US since March 8, 2021.
  • Have a continuous presence in the US as of March 9, 2021.
  • Being a Venezuelan citizen or having had the Venezuelan country as the last residence.

Were you unable to apply for this temporary protection from deportation? Do not despair, you may be able to file a stay of deportation and thus delay your deportation. 

Countries Designated For TPS In 2024

In January 2023 the list of countries designated for TPS was updated. Among the participating countries for this status are:

  • Afghanistan (until May 20, 2025).
  • Burma (Myanmar) (until May 25, 2024).
  • Cameroon (until December 7, 2023).
  • El Salvador (as long as the Ramos v. Nielsen preliminary injunction remains in effect).
  • Ethiopia (until June 12, 2024).
  • Haiti (until February 3 for those who received TPS under the designation announced on August 3, 2021. In addition, it will remain in effect as long as the Ramos v. Nielsen case continues).
  • Honduras (while the Ramos v. Nielsen case and the order to stay the judicial proceedings in Bhattarai v. Nielsen remain in force ).
  • Nepal (as long as the Ramos case and the legal proceedings in Bhattarai remain in force).
  • Nicaragua (while the Ramos case is in force).
  • Syria (until March 31, 2024).
  • Somalia (until March 17, 2023).
  • Sudan (until October 19, 2023 for those who received TPS under the April 19, 2022 designation. Those who received TPS prior to this designation will continue with TPS for the duration of the Ramos case.)
  • South Sudan (until November 3, 2023).
  • Ukraine (until October 19, 2023).
  • Venezuela (until March 10, 2024).
  • Yemen (until September 3, 2024). 

What Documents Are Requested For TPS?

To apply for TPS, an alien must submit the following documents:

  • Form I-821. 
  • Form I-765, if applying for the EAD. This form can be filed at the time the I-821 is filed or separately at a later date.
  • If inadmissible and a waiver for TPS is required, you must include Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility. 

For aliens who think they are eligible for an immigration waiver, we recommend that they first read our article: “Waiver of inadmissibility”.

In addition to these forms, aliens must submit a series of evidence on their application. These evidences must be in English. Otherwise, they have to be translated by a qualified interpreter. Likewise, the translator must demonstrate that:

  1. Fluent in English and Spanish to perfection, and
  2. The translation must be real and accurate.

Next, we will show these evidences to submit:

Evidence Of Nationality And Identity

USCIS recommends that aliens submit primary evidence and secondary evidence. 

Primary Evidence

The primary evidence consists of:

  • A copy of your passport.
  • A copy of the birth certificate along with a recent identification photo.
  • Any national identity document that has been issued in your country of origin where they show your biometric data (photograph, fingerprints and others). This also includes documents issued by the US embassy or consulate.

In the event that the immigrant does not have primary evidence, they will have to submit:

  • An affidavit.
  • A detailed explanation as to why consular processing in your home country was not available.
  • Some evidence of the efforts you made to get the documents processed.

USCIS could ask the immigrant for an interview to verify their nationality and identity. During this time, the immigrant can submit the missing documents.

Secondary Evidence

For secondary evidence, aliens must submit:

  • Certificate of nationality. For example, the certificate of naturalization, regardless of whether it does not have a photograph and/or fingerprints.
  • Baptismal certificate, if that document shows your nationality or that of your parents.
  • Copy of the school or medical record, as long as they have information that shows that you are a citizen of the country designated to TPS status.
  • Copy of any other immigration document that shows some evidence of your nationality or identity.
  • An affidavit from relatives or friends proving your identity, place of birth, and nationality.
    • The individual who takes an oath must demonstrate the relationship they have with the alien and have knowledge about their place of birth and the nationality of their parents.

Evidence Of Date Of Entry

  • A copy of the passport.
  • Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record
  • Copies of some of the documents specified in the section below: “Evidence of Continuous Residence”.

Evidence Of Continuous Residence

  • Some rent receipt, electric bills or company letters.
  • Any employment record.
  • Hospital, clinic or hospitalization records.
  • Statements from an official representative of your church, organization or another where they know you and where you currently live.
  • Records of schools attended by the immigrant or their children in the US, if any. 

Application Process For TPS

countries designated to the tps

1# Submit The Petition

The first step to apply for TPS status is to have prepared all the forms, evidence and fees. The application must be signed and include the exact amount required.

2# USCIS Will Receive Your Application

The second step is to wait for USCIS to receive the application and analyze it. If the procedure meets all the basic requirements, the case will proceed.

  • If the application is rejected at the beginning of its review, the applicant may resubmit a new one within a specified period. USCIS will send you the issues raised in a notice.
  • If the application was denied because it is not eligible for a fee waiver, a new Fee Waiver application must be submitted.

If you do not receive any type of notification or information within three weeks of submitting the application, USCIS should be contacted immediately. Aliens can call USCIS or check the status of their case online.

3# Wait For USCIS To Communicate

USCIS will need to take immigrants’ biometric data (photograph, fingerprints, and signature). To do this, you will be sent a notification to attend the appointment at an Application Assistance Center (ASC).

Those under 14 years of age will not need to submit their biometric data. These data are required to verify identity and background.

4# Go To The ASC

The immigrant must bring the following to their appointment with the ASC:

  • Evidence of the nationality or identity that you possess, can be a photograph or your passport. 
  • Notification of the appointment to the ASC.
  • The acknowledgment of receipt.
  • Current EAD if you have one.

In case of not being able to attend their scheduled appointment, the immigrant can always reschedule. In order to do this, you will need to:

  • Make a copy of the ASC notice.
  • Save it.
  • Send the original notification with the request for rescheduling to the address of the ASC.

The alien must submit the rescheduling request once they are aware of the problems presented before the date of their appointment. Failure to attend the ASC appointment without rescheduling may result in the TPS petition being denied for abandonment. 

Individuals with a disability should check the following link for more information. In addition, if you require an emergency trip abroad, you must first request an expedited process with Form I-131, application for a travel document.

If you want to travel to the US legally with a visa, you may be interested in learning what are the different types of US visas.

5# USCIS Will Evaluate The Employment Authorization

If you are not interested in an EAD, you may skip this step and go to Step 6. If you want a work permit, then:

  • If you are applying for TPS for the first time and want to get an EAD:
    • USCIS will determine if you are eligible to work in the US.
    • If USCIS rejects the application and aliens decide to appeal. They will be able to request a review with an immigration judge. 
    • Your EAD permission will be extended thanks to the I-765 form during this process.
  • If you are re-registering for TPS and are interested in obtaining an EAD, you will receive that permit when your application is completed.
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Did you know that in order to obtain employment-based residency, it is first necessary to know how to process the PERM labor certification step by step? In our article you will find all the necessary information for this.

6# USCIS Will Adjudicate Your Application

In this step, additional documentation may be requested to demonstrate eligibility. If aliens receive a notification, they must respond immediately and avoid delays. 

When USCIS has reviewed the case, the immigrant will be notified if the TPS petition is approved or denied. If the immigrant must file a Form I-601, USCIS will give the immigrant the option to file it in a specific time period.

7# USCIS Will Approve Or Reject The Application

In this last step, immigrants can find different scenarios:

  • Approved application: USCIS will notify the approval. If an EAD was applied for, you will also receive this notification.
  • Re-enrollment Application Approved : If an EAD was not applied for, you will receive notification of approval. If you applied for an EAD, USCIS will send you a new EAD.
  • Application denial : USCIS will send you a letter stating the reasons why it was not approved. It will also give you the opportunity to appeal your immigration decision.

How Much Does TPS Status Cost?

The TPS cost depends on the forms that are filed. Next, we will show the costs of the forms to submit:

  • Form I-821: $50.
  • Biometric Services: $85.
  • Form I-765: $410.

The total cost of TPS for aliens who have to pay all of these fees would be about $545.

Children under 14 years of age will not have to pay for a biometric service or an EAD registration. In addition, aliens who re-register for this program will not need to pay the I-821 form again.

What Happens If My TPS Application Is Denied?

If USCIS denies an immigrant’s TPS application, they may appeal. USCIS will inform you through the notification of the steps to follow to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO).

If the applicant does not have the right to appeal when USCIS denied their application, they can go to an immigration judge.

You may also choose to submit the following forms at a TPS service center:

If your application is denied and you have to appear in immigration court, our firm is ready to represent you. We have determinedly assisted hundreds of aliens in their master calendar hearing and in individual hearing in immigration court.

Late Application Submission 

USCIS can accept a late application for registration to TPS, having two different scenarios:

  1. Late re-registration for TPS. The alien must submit a letter explaining in detail why he/she was delayed. This situation may delay the process and cause some disruption to the EAD, or
  2. Late initial application for TPS. An immigrant can apply for TPS for the first time during an extension in their term. However, you must comply with certain specific considerations. Our lawyer will be able to help you in this step.

Couldn’t register for TPS? In the US there are other possible ways to avoid deportation. An example is the immigration relief of cancellation of removal. Aliens who manage to apply for this relief will be able to obtain permanent residence.

Can TPS status Be Granted By An Immigration Judge?

An immigrant can also obtain TPS through an immigration judge. To do this, the steps to follow are:

Step 1: The immigration judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) grants the immigrant TPS after providing USCIS with the necessary evidence when applying for their first TPS. The immigrant may also submit a copy of their approved I-821.

Step 2: You will need to refer to the information presented below:

  • If the first TPS benefit is your first EAD :
    • File only Form I-765 with the specified fees.
    • You will have to send the form to the email address that appears on the TPS page in your country of origin.
    • You must also submit a cover sheet that says “Do Not Refuse – TPS Granted by IJ/BIA.”
  • For a travel authorization :
    • Submit Form I-131 with the requested fee.
    • Send it by postal mail to one of the addresses indicated on the form.
  • Your first re-registration :
    • File Form I-821 and Form I-765 with the appropriate fees.
    • Submit your TPS application to the address listed on the appropriate TPS page. 

Frequently Asked Questions About The TPS In The USA

Can I keep TPS status?

After having obtained TPS, the immigrant will have to re-register each re-registration period and thus maintain the benefits of TPS. 

What happens if my address changes?

If the immigrant’s address changes at any time after filing, you should immediately contact USCIS and inform them of the change.

Can I travel with TPS?

Immigrants with TPS must apply for a travel authorization. This serves as evidence for the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) service to accept you on your return. If you leave without authorization, you will lose TPS and will not be able to re-enter the US.

How long can I stay in the US with TPS?

The amount of time an alien can remain in the US under TPS will depend on the nature of the situation in their home country. Also, this may also depend on the amount of time DHS has allocated.

Lawyers In New Jersey To Apply For TPS In The USA

Aliens who are looking for the best lawyers to apply for TPS in the USA, at Curbelo Law will be able to get all the necessary advice for these cases. Attorney Carolina T. Curbelo will be able to help you in both English and Spanish.

At Curbelo Law, we have more than 10 years of experience in immigration matters. We can provide you with a private and completely confidential consultation regarding your case.

Now that you know what TPS is in the USA thanks to our publication, you have a better idea of ​​the requirements and all that remains is to contact us so that we can guide you through the entire process.