Temporary protected status (TPS) allows eligible foreign nationals to temporarily reside in the US under certain circumstances. A foreign country may be designated for TPS if its conditions temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or the country cannot adequately handle the return of its nationals. As such, a country may be designated for TPS based on one or more of the following statutory grounds:
- Ongoing armed conflict
- Environmental disasters
- Extraordinary and temporary conditions
During a TPS designation period, eligible beneficiaries could enjoy the following benefits:
- Protection from removal from the United States
- Employment authorization
- Potentially, travel authorization
A person who obtains TPS cannot be detained by the Department of Homeland Security due to their immigration status. Although TPS does not provide a pathway to a Green Card or citizenship, individuals are still able to:
- Apply for nonimmigrant status
- Petition for an adjustment of status
- Apply for any other immigration benefit or protection that they are eligible for
With this information in mind, you should know that TPS designated countries are constantly changing, and deadlines are subject to extension. 12 countries are currently designated for TPS, but we discuss important TPS updates concerning 3 specific countries below.
TPS Haiti Extension
On May 22, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas announced a new 18-month Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haiti on May 22, 2021. The reason for this extension is that Haiti is experiencing security issues, social unrest, increasing human rights violations, rampant poverty, and a lack of basic necessities. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made these conditions worse.
This means that eligible Haitian nationals and individuals without nationality who last resided in Haiti as of May 21, 2021, can file an initial application for TPS with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Keep in mind that current beneficiaries of Haiti’s TPS designation must file a new application to ensure they do not lose TPS status or experience a gap in coverage.
Currently, existing TPS Haiti beneficiaries can retain their TPS and TPS-related documents through October 4, 2021, which is subject to extension according to court orders. An upcoming Federal Register notice will include specific dates for the designation period and instructions on the TPS application, so you should click hereto check for updates.
Burma Is Designated for Temporary Protected Status
Burma (Myanmar) is designated for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months as of May 25, 2021, because of the “complex and deteriorating humanitarian crisis in many parts of the country,” according to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. The country is experiencing “continuing violence, pervasive arbitrary detentions, the use of lethal violence against peaceful protesters, and intimidation of the people of Burma,” all of which are caused by the military coup.
The coup has worsened poor humanitarian conditions in various parts of Burma by limiting access to life-saving resources, interfering with flights carrying humanitarian and medical aid, and triggering an economic crisis. For these reasons, Burma is designated for TPS in light of the temporary and extraordinary conditions.
Eligible TPS beneficiaries are protected through November 25, 2022, as long as they:
- continuously resided in the US since March 11, 2021; and
- were continuously present in the US since May 25, 2021.
This new TPS designation only extends to Burmese nationals and individuals without nationality who last resided in Burma. An upcoming Federal Register notice on the eligibility criteria is coming soon, but we encourage you to click here for more information as we await further updates.
Venezuela Is Designated for Temporary Protected Status
On March 8, 2021, Venezuela was designated for Temporary Protected Status for its “extraordinary and temporary conditions.” Venezuela is suffering a “complex humanitarian crisis marked by widespread hunger and malnutrition, a growing influence and presence of non-state armed groups, repression, and a crumbling infrastructure. The living conditions in Venezuela reveal a country in turmoil, unable to protect its own citizens,” said Secretary Mayorkas.
As a result, TPS will be extended to Venezuelan nationals and individuals without nationality who last resided in Venezuela if they demonstrate continuous residence in the US as of March 8, 2021. The TPS designation will last for 18 months or by September 2022, and TPS Individuals must file an application with USCIS within the 180-day registration period and prepare to undergo security and background checks, as all TPS applicants must do.
Questions or Concerns? We Are Here to Help.
As New York’s premier immigration firm, we are dedicated to providing the answers and clarity you need to achieve your short-term and long-term goals here in the US. Obtaining TPS can be a complex, unsuccessful situation if you go at it alone, which is why we welcome you to get in touch with our firm to get answers to your questions and ultimately peace of mind.
Contact (917) 451-5173 today! The Law Office of Yifei He, PLLC offers a wide range of immigration services for people in your shoes.