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Living in the United States Under Temporary Protective Status

The United States allows individuals temporary immigration status who cannot return to their country of national origin safely due to extraordinary conditions such as war or environmental disaster. The Department of Homeland Security designates certain countries for protective status depending upon the conditions that qualify.

Those who reside in the United States under Temporary Protective Status (TPS) cannot be removed, may obtain employment, and may be authorized to travel. In order for an individual to qualify for residency privileges under TPS, they must:

  • Meet the physical presence and residence requirements of that nation's TPS designation
  • Not have been convicted of security related issues, a felony, or two misdemeanors
  • Apply within the time frame designated by the nation's TPS order

Each nation assigned TPS has its own designated guidelines that must be followed for individuals to qualify for residency. The nations currently assigned TPS include El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

To file as a beneficiary under TPS, it is necessary to file the application (Form I-821), and Form I-765 for employment authorization. The I-765 must be filed even if you do not have plans to work. The fees vary according to age of the applicant, but generally there is a $50 fee for all applicants, and an $85 biometrics fee (for processing of finger prints, photograph, etc) for those aged 14 and over. Fee waivers are available to those who cannot afford these fees. You may also need to apply for a Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility if there are conditions for which you would be otherwise ineligible for TPS. Waivers are generally granted is there is an overriding interest such as keeping the family together, or for humanitarian purposes.

In addition, evidence must be submitted regarding national identity, date of entry into the United States, and residency in the United States. Evidence can include passport, a birth certificate, or any documents issued by the embassy of the country of national origin. If such evidence is unobtainable, an affidavit stating the reasons why the documents are not available must be submitted to USCIS.

It is important that an applicant be aware of the deadlines to reregister for TPS to avoid any issues that may arise with late filing.

Countries for which the United States is Currently Offering Temporary Protective Status and their Associated Expiration Dates

  • El Salvador: September 9, 2016
  • Guinea: May 21, 2016
  • Haiti: January 22, 2016
  • Honduras: July 5, 2016
  • Liberia: May 21, 2016
  • Nicaragua: July 5, 2016
  • Sierra Leone: May 21, 2016
  • Somalia: September 17, 2015
  • Sudan: May 2, 2016
  • South: Sudan May 2, 2016
  • Syria: September 30, 2016

Filing for Temporary Protective Status can often be a confusing process. Consult with an experienced immigration attorney who will be able to help you navigate. The Law Office of Caterina Ranieri Grasso works with clients in New York State and throughout the United States to assist individuals who qualify for Temporary Protective Status. If you would like to schedule a consultation, please call (315) 410-0119 or email info@o1visaattorney.com.


Caterina Ranieri Grasso, Esq. | Call (315) 410-0119

Caterina Ranieri Grasso
Of Counsel
Bousquet Holstein PLLC

110 West Fayette Street
One Lincoln Center, Suite 1000
Syracuse, New York 13202
Phone: (315) 701-6462

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