Aliens who are fleeing their homeland because of a dangerous situation may be able to enter the United States under temporary protected status. Temporary protected status, also known as TPS, is available through legislation that allows qualified aliens the ability to remain in the United States for asylum, without going through the typical immigration process. This option is available only for those who are seeking protection due to a period of civil unrest or danger.

Requirements for TPS

TPS is available only for those who are from specific countries. The various countries are listed with the U.S. Department of Justice. The length of time that a person from one of these countries is allowed to remain in the U.S. under protected status is based on the current dangerous situation. The status of protected countries changes often, depending on the circumstances. Those seeking TPS should consult with an immigration lawyer to determine whether they qualify for TPS.

Application for Temporary Protected Status

TPS is not an automatic assignment. Anyone seeking protection must submit an application for approval. Generally, the process for TPS approval is relatively fast, because it does not require the same level of approval. TPS is usually allowed for only a short period of time, however, this depends on the situation in your home country. Seeking asylum in the U.S. will protect you from the dangers of your country, but is valid only for a specific time period. TPS immigrants are allowed to re-register if their country remains on the protected status list.

TPS Status

It is important to realize that temporary protected status is not the same thing as permanent residency status, or green card. However, while in the U.S., you may be able to apply for a green card. This is helpful for those who decide that they do not want to return to their home country, even when the dangerous situation subsides. If you choose to apply for a green card you must meet all the requirements and submit the proper forms and fees. The green card process can take quite a long time to complete, so it is best to apply as soon as possible.

Help for TPS Applicants

The U.S. immigration laws can be complex and difficult to understand. The list of countries on the protected status eligibility list changes from time to time. For these reasons, applicants may need some help in determining whether they meet the criteria, and with submission of the proper forms. An experienced immigration attorney will assist you with the process and answer any questions you may have.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Temporary Protected Status, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at  480.461.5330, log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.