Blog posts tagged in temporary protected status
The United States has granted an immigration status called Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nearly two decades, beginning in 1990 with the Immigration Act. However, in early 2017, the U.S. State Department sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which oversees the program, and advised that certain groups “no longer need[ed] to be shielded from deportation” in the Secretary’s estimation. While this is not an official revocation of status, it paves the way for what will likely become a revocation. This means that some living under TPS will need to quickly depart lest they face future immigration consequences.
Who Has TPS?
Temporary Protected Status is granted at the discretion of the Secretary of Homeland Security to those nationals who hail from countries where conditions make it impossible to safely return at the time the status is granted—usually due to ongoing war or natural disasters. The status is usually revoked when conditions in the country are deemed to have sufficiently improved. For example, TPS was granted to Rwandans following the 1994 genocide in their country, and was rescinded in 1997 after the country’s political system had stabilized and it was deemed safe to allow nationals to return.
Since the passage of the Immigration Act of 1990, it has been in the purview of first the Attorney General, later the Secretary of Homeland Security, to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to nationals of countries which have experienced significant natural disasters, ongoing armed conflicts, or other conditions that make it dangerous for nationals abroad to return home. As of this writing, there are 10 countries whose nationals receive TPS, but discussion in recent months has underlined the precarious nature of such a status. If you are under TPS now, it is critical that you understand how and when that status is granted and when it can be rescinded.
Requirements for TPS
Once the Secretary of Homeland Security has granted TPS to the nationals of a specific country, those people who are currently physically present in the United States may apply for benefits. However, mere physical presence is not sufficient to satisfy the requirements for status.
Sometimes, the situation in a specific country or countries can simply be too difficult or dangerous to allow immigrants to return. However, not every immigrant has or can get into the appropriate immigration status in time. To prevent potential violence to innocents, the United States has a variety of humanitarian immigration benefits that can be applied for if a temporary safe harbor is needed while life becomes less dangerous.
Temporary Protected Status
Temporary Protected Status (TPS), while it does not provide any permanent immigration benefit, is an immigration status granted by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to the citizens of countries undergoing significant (but temporary) upheaval, such as a natural disaster or ongoing war. Recent examples of nations whose citizens have been granted TPS in the United States include Nepal and South Sudan.
In late June of 2015, Secretary Johnson of the Department of Homeland Security granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to nationals of Nepal after a serious earthquake in their homeland. This means that all Nepali nationals who qualify may apply for TPS, therefore allowing them to remain in the United States for a period of time even after the expiration of their visas.
Temporary Protected Status is granted to nationals of specific countries at the discretion of the Secretary of Homeland Security, and can help those from countries experiencing strife to stay in a safe place while the problems in their country are addressed.
A Response to ‘Extraordinary and Temporary’ Events
Temporary Protected Status was established in 1990 by the Immigration Act. Originally, the Attorney General had the power to institute TPS, but it was transferred to Homeland Security in 2003. While TPS is active, nationals of the country in question may remain in the United States and apply for work authorization, but it is not a pathway to Lawful Permanent Resident status, as it cannot be renewed except by authorization of the Homeland Security secretary.