Temporary Protected Status or TPS: Everything you need to know!
If you are an immigrant with Temporary Protected Status or TPS, we can tell you that you are very lucky. According to the Immigration Policy Center, there are 1.5 million immigrants in the United States with temporary protected status. That number includes people from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras and Nicaragua, the four countries whose citizens have temporary protected status. In this article we tell you all about it, don’t miss it.
What is Temporary Protected Status or TPS?
TPS (Temporary Protected Status) is a legal protection granted by the U.S. Government to those undocumented immigrants who have been admitted as refugees or protected under the Asylum Act. Individual beneficiaries may remain in the U.S. and work without restrictions for the duration of their legal status. TPS was created to provide access to the country to undocumented victims of natural disasters, civil wars, epidemics or armed conflicts in their countries of origin.
What are the requirements to apply for temporary protected status?
To submit your application you must have the form you wish to obtain from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Documentation Center. You can find it online by downloading and printing it or order it digitally from DHS by following the instructions provided prior to publication. Please note! If you do not have access to a computer, you can go to public libraries or community centers that have internet access to print the form (which must be completed and returned in original to DHS). Additional forms will soon be available digitally.
To apply for Temporary Protected Status, you must:
- Be admitted as a refugee or protected under the Asylum Act;
- Not possess a valid visa to enter the United States; and
- Have a valid passport or other document that can prove your identity and nationality.
How much does it cost to apply for Temporary Protected Status? TPS has a fee of $50 per application.
For how long is TPS granted?
Temporary protected status is granted for 6 months and can be renewed indefinitely as long as the condition that triggered it continues to exist.
Is it necessary to have a stable physical address to apply?
Yes, it is necessary to have an address where correspondence related to TPS can be sent. It must be something fixed and permanent such as your home address or the place where you are residing. If you do not know the address, it is best to get the contact information of people you trust (family or friends) and follow the steps to schedule an appointment.
What conditions must a country have to qualify for Temporary Protected Status?
Qualified countries are those affected by any of the following catastrophes:
1) Civil war, internal conflict or political persecution.
2) Natural catastrophe creating disastrous conditions in the national territory, including disasters related to tropical storm surge and severe storms occurring due to violent natural weather phenomena.
Which countries are designated for TPS?
The nations that are designated to receive TPS are:
- El Salvador
- Sudan, North Sudan
What are the benefits of TPS?
TPS gives you the certainty of being able to continue to stay in the country legally, which guarantees you:
- You can get a job: at the time you file your application with DHS, you will be able to obtain an identification card called a “Work Authorization” through the EAD (Authorization for Employment) program. If you are an undocumented worker with regularized status through TPS, you may be able to provide services in various fields of employment and receive compensation for your services.
- You will not be detained based on immigration status: When you file your application with DHS, you will be able to obtain a card indicating your immigration status and the type of status you hold. In other words, you will be able to enter any DHS office without being detained based on your immigration status.
- You can travel abroad: You will also be able to travel abroad during the period in which you are registered in TPS, as long as you keep your status valid. To do so, you must apply for a travel authorization (for stays of no more than 90 days) and present it along with your passport at the time of boarding.
- You will be able to renew your status: If you continue to meet the requirements to obtain TPS and you have not received a negative resolution of your case, you will be able to continue with updated information at DHS.
How do I apply for TPS?
The first thing you must do is schedule an appointment to apply for temporary protected status through this link: https://citas.uscis.gov/appointment.
Once you have scheduled your appointment, you will need to prepare the following documents:
- Form I-821, “Application for Temporary Protected Status”.
- Two (2) passport size photos.
- Valid passport or document that allows you to prove your identity and nationality.
- Birth certificate.
- Documents that prove your immigration status in the United States (it can be the I-94, entry/departure document, DACA acceptance letter, etc.).
- Proof of an employment relationship or financial evidence that shows that you have a monthly income below the minimum wage established by law.
- Letter of invitation if you are traveling abroad to apply for TPS.
- Copy of social security or similar document.
- Results of the last tuberculosis (TB) test for persons 15 years of age and older.
- Medical certificate certifying that you are free of contagious diseases.
- Notarized letter authorizing a person to pick up your application in case you are unable to attend the scheduled appointment.
- Invoices, receipts or bank statements showing your address of residence.
How can TPS benefits be renewed?
To renew your benefits, you must file Form I-821 (Application for Temporary Protected Status) indicating the date you wish to begin the renewal procedure. You must attach a copy of your passport and an affidavit stating that you meet all the requirements established for TPS. In addition, you must pay a fee of $50 for each application.
The procedure to renew TPS is as follows:
- Complete Form I-821 indicating the date you wish to begin the renewal procedure.
- Attach a copy of your passport and an affidavit stating that you meet all the requirements established for TPS.
- Pay the $50 fee for each application.
- Send Form I-821, a copy of your passport, and the affidavit to USCIS.
- Submit Form G-1145 (Request for a Reduced Examination Fee) to request a fee reduction of $85 per person.
How long can I apply for TPS renewal?
Beneficiaries may apply for 3 years of renewal to continue enjoying the benefits of this program, as long as they continue to meet the requirements established for TPS.
How do I know if my application has been approved?
Once you have submitted your application, USCIS will contact you by phone and email. You will need to schedule an appointment to appear in person to be fingerprinted. If fingerprinting is not possible, you will have to go to an office designated by USCIS.
If your application is approved, you will receive an official document with your temporary protected status number.
If you have any questions about the application process, you can call the Centro de Atención Telefónica para Inmigrantes (CATA) at 1-800-375-5283.
Can a TPS denial be appealed?
If your TPS application is denied, you can appeal the decision. The appeal must be submitted in writing and be properly argued. Form I-290B (Notice of Appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals) must be completed and sent to USCIS along with a copy of the denied Form I-821, your passport, and an affidavit stating that you meet all the requirements for TPS.
The cost of the appeal is $630. If you wish to file an appeal, contact an immigration attorney at Superior Justice.