By: Hiba Ghalib, Esq. Associate Attorney
TPS (Temporary Protected Status) is a temporary immigration status available to foreign nationals present in the United States whose home countries are designated by the Department of State to be temporarily unsafe or extraordinarily dangerous.
On March 23, 2012, it was announced that Syria would join the list of nations currently designated TPS status. During the period for which a country is designated, TPS beneficiaries from that country may not only remain in the United States lawfully, but they may also obtain work authorization.
TPS differs from asylum because while it allows its beneficiaries to remain in the United States to avoid a forced return to their home country’s unsafe conditions, it is not a way to obtain permanent residency status in the United States. By its very nature, TPS is temporary. While the initial approval is generally for 18 months, the Department may designate a particular country unsafe and may maintain TPS indefinitely. However, the Department may also decide not to renew TPS for a particular country, in which case the individuals would automatically revert to the same immigration status they maintained before TPS. If that status has since expired or been terminated, the alien reverts to unlawful status upon the termination of the TPS designation. On the other hand, while the conditions that one must meet to make a strong case of asylum are more stringent than the requirements for TPS, he or she may apply to adjust their status to obtain permanent residency one year after an approved asylum.
To qualify for TPS, a Syrian applicant must meet the following requirements:
• Be a national of Syria;
• Have continuously resided in the U.S. during the time the unsafe conditions arose in your country; and
• Have been continuously physically present in the U.S. since that time
Even if an applicant meets the above-listed requirements, he or she will be deemed ineligible for TPS if he or she has been convicted of two misdemeanors, or one felony. Please note, that a prior order of deportation is not a bar to obtaining TPS. Also note that an application for TPS does not prevent one from also seeking to obtain relief in any other form available to him or her, such as asylum.
TPS is a useful tool available to Syrians who seek safe haven in the United States, to live and work temporarily, amidst a violent political conflict that has claimed the lives of over 9,000 Syrians and shows no signs of ending anytime soon.
Time to apply? Please contact Kuck Immigration Partners LLC at (404) 816-8611 today to discuss how we may help you in your case. We are able to handle cases from all over the world, with our wide range of experience and expertise. Additionally, we have an Arabic speaking attorney, Hiba Ghalib, who is located at our Atlanta location, ready to listen to your case and address your immigration concerns.