If you are a foreign national living in the United States, you may be wondering if you are eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This visa protects individuals who cannot return to their home country due to danger. Our South Carolina immigration team is here to help explain everything you need to know about TPS!
What is Temporary Protected Status?
Temporary Protected Status is a program that has been in place since 1990. The program provides protection and benefits to foreign nationals who cannot return to their home country due to natural disasters, civil unrest, or other extraordinary circumstances. Individuals with TPS can live and work in the United States for a designated period of time.
Who is Eligible for TPS?
In order to be eligible for TPS, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must be a foreign national who is already living in the United States.
- You must be from a country that has been designated for TPS.
- You must have a continuous physical presence in the United States since the date specified for your country.
- You must have been admissible to the United States at the time of initial entry.
If you meet these requirements, you may be eligible for TPS. However, it is important to note that having TPS does not guarantee permanent residency in the United States.
The TPS Application Process
The process of obtaining TPS is approximately six months; this can vary depending on your country and circumstances. We will summarize the process in seven steps.
Step 1: File Your Petition
The first step is to file Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status. Eligible foreign nationals, or individuals without nationality who last habitually resided in those countries, can now file Form I-821 online. There are a number of documents you will need to include with your application. These documents may include:
- Proof of identity
- Proof of nationality
- Evidence of continuous presence in the United States
- Proof that you meet the admissibility requirements for TPS
It is best to seek the help of an immigration attorney to ensure that you have all of the required documentation. The USCIS may also request additional information or documents as part of its review process.
Step 2: USCIS Will Review Your Petition
Once USCIS has received your petition, they will review it to ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements.
Steps 3: Biometrics Collection
If your petition is accepted, you will be scheduled for a biometrics appointment. At this appointment, you will provide fingerprints, take photographs, and give other information that USCIS will use to run background checks.
Steps 4: USCIS Will Make a Decision on Your Petition
After completing the biometrics appointment, USCIS will decide on your petition within 180 days of receiving it. If your petition is approved, you will be granted TPS for a specific period. If you were found inadmissible, USCIS would allow you to submit Form I-601 if you did not submit it before.
Countries Currently Designated for TPS
According to the U.S Immigration and Citizenship Sevices (USCIS), foreign nationals from the following countries are eligible for TPS:
- Burma (Myanmar)
- El Salvador
- South Sudan
A TPS designation can be made for 6 to 18 months at a time. A country may also be re-designated for TPS if the conditions that led to the original designation have not changed.
Beware of Scams
It has been reported that unauthorized practitioners have tried to take advantage of TPS applicants and charged for filing TPS forms. To avoid falling victim to this scam, contact professional legal assistance. For legal advice on immigration matters, get in touch with us today. The attorneys atColón Law Firm have helped many individuals with their TPS applications, and we would be happy to do the same for you.
How Can Colón Law Firm Help?
At Colón Law Firm, we understand that the immigration process can be complex and confusing. Our experienced team of attorneys is here to help you navigate the process and ensure that you comply with all applicable laws. We help determine if you are eligible for TPS and help you file the necessary paperwork.
Contact us today through our website or give us a call at (864) 697-2870 to schedule a consultation.