(CNN Español)– Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration benefit established by the United States government for people of certain nationalities who cannot safely return to their countries of origin, either due to conflict ongoing arming, a natural disaster, and other extraordinary temporary conditions.
TPS recipients, as well as individuals who are eligible during the initial review of their cases, will not be removed from the US and will not be detained by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Beneficiaries can also search for work in the US using the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and obtain authorization to travel.
TPS status is granted for terms of 6, 12 or 18 months at a time, periods that can be extended if the country of origin continues to meet the necessary conditions for its designation. However, as its name implies, TPS status is temporary, so it is not a precedent for seeking lawful permanent residence or US citizenship.
Till March, approximately 320,000 people were under TPS status, with a majority of beneficiaries coming from El Salvador, followed by Haiti, Honduras, Nepal and Nicaragua, according to data from the Congressional Research Service (CRS).
Who is eligible for TPS?
To be a beneficiary of TPS, it is necessary to be a citizen of a country designated under that category or a person without nationality whose last residence was a country designated for TPS. In addition, you must have been physically present in the US since the program’s most recent effective date, in addition to having continuously resided in the US since the date specified by DHS. These are the differences between continuous residence and physical presence, cited by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
In the case of citizens of Venezuela, they are required to have continuously resided in the United States since March 8, 2021, while for citizens of El Salvador the effective date is March 9, 2001.
They will not be eligible to apply or maintain TPS status:
- People convicted of one felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States.
- If it is found inadmissible under the provisions of the section 212 (a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
- If you are subject to any of the impediments to obtaining asylum.
- If you do not re-enroll in TPS, as required.
How do I apply for TPS?
In the case of being eligible, the form I-821 and you can also request the Employment Authorization through the form I-765. When making your initial application, you will need to submit the following documents:
- Evidence of identity and nationality
- Evidence of date of entry into the U.S.
- Evidence of continuous residence
How much does it cost to apply for TPS?
According to a government official who spoke with journalists to provide them with reference information, the application to TPS has a cost of US $ 50. In addition, a fee for biometric exams with a cost of US $ 85 must be paid, and if a work authorization is required, which costs Additional US $ 410. In total, applying for TPS has a cost of US $ 545. The cost for minors is US $ 50.
What countries have TPS in the United States?
A dozen countries have Temporary Protected Status in the US due to conditions in those nations that make the return of nationals to those countries unsafe. The reasons may be armed conflict, natural disasters, or extraordinary temporary conditions.
According to him USCIS, citizens of these countries can access TPS:
- El Salvador (automatic extension until the October 4, 2021)
- Haiti (automatic extension until the October 4, 2021)
- Honduras (automatic extension until the October 4, 2021)
- Nepal (automatic extension until the October 4, 2021)
- Nicaragua (automatic extension until the October 4, 2021)
- Somalia (extended until the September 17, 2021)
- Sudan (automatic extension until the October 4, 2021)
- South Sudan (eextended to May 2, 2022)
- Syria (eextended to September 30, 2022)
- Venezuela (valid until September 9, 2022)
- Yemen (exxtended until September 3, 2021)
In March, the Secretary of National Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, designated Myanmar to receive the TPS for 18 months in response to current conflicts. Previously, the citizens of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone had temporary protected status.
Timeline of important facts about TPS
1990: TPS status was established by Congress as part of the Immigration Act of 1990. El Salvador was the first country to be a beneficiary of TPS.
November 1998In the wake of Hurricane Mitch, then Secretary of Justice Janet Reno announced that she would temporarily suspend the deportation of citizens of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
January 5, 1999: The Ministry of Justice granted TPS status to Honduras and Nicaragua due to “serious flooding and associated damage” and “substantial alterations to living conditions” caused by Hurricane Mitch.
2001Before leaving office in January 2001, President Bill Clinton said his administration would temporarily suspend deportations to El Salvador due to a major earthquake.
2001: The George W. Bush administration granted TPS status to Salvadoran citizens after two earthquakes that shook the country. Both the Bush and Barack Obama administrations extended TPS to Central Americans in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, considering that these countries were unsafe for their citizens due to the alteration of living conditions caused by natural disasters.
End of 2017: The Donald Trump administration decided to revoke the TPS status for Nicaragua and El Salvador, and put a final decision on hold for Honduras.
November 2017: DHS announced that TPS for Nicaragua would end on January 5, 2019 because “recovery efforts related to Hurricane Mitch have been largely completed.”
January 8, 2018: DHS announced its decision to terminate TPS for El Salvador after a transition period of 18 months. The TPS for El Salvador was scheduled to end on September 9, 2019, but the termination has not gone into effect due to a legal challenge.
October 2019: The US government announced the decision to extend one more year the permission to live and work without risk of being deported, extending the validity of work permits until January 4, 2021.
December 2020: DHS extended TPS-related documentation until October 4, 2021 for people from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, and other countries.
March 2021: The government of President Joe Biden granted TPS to hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans, with which it is expected that some 300,000 people will apply and can remain legally in the United States, for at least 18 months.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism