For those seeking a safe haven from persecution in their home countries, asylum can provide relief and protection. In order to qualify for asylum, a person must be unwilling or unable to return to his or her home country because of past persecution that person suffered, or a well-founded fear of future persecution. It is important to note that the persecution a person has or will suffer must be because of:
- Membership in a particular social group, or
- Political opinion
The U.S. government, the Department of Homeland Security specifically, has designated citizens of the following countries eligible for TPS, assuming they are otherwise eligible:
- El Salvador
- South Sudan
If you are from one of the listed countries you may be eligible to apply for TPS, provided you also:
- Establish continuous physical presence in the US since the effective date of the TPS designation for your country
- Do not have certain criminal convictions
- Timely apply for TPS during the specified registration period
- Establish continuous residence in the US
TPS: TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS
What is TPS?
The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely. The Secretary may designate a country for TPS due to the following temporary conditions in the country: ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane), or an epidemic, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.
What are the benefits of TPS?
Individuals who are TPS beneficiaries:
- Are not removable from the United States
- Can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD)
- May be granted travel authorization
- Cannot be detained on the basis of his or her immigration status in the United States.
Benefits of employment authorization include:
- Legally working by filing Form I-9 with an employer
- Obtaining a Social Security Number
- Obtaining a driver’s license and state identification
Who is eligible for TPS?
To be eligible for TPS, you must:
- Be a national of a country designated for TPS
- File during the open initial registration or re-registration period, or you meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of your country’s TPS designation
- Have been continuously physically present in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation date of your country
- Have been continuously residing in the United States since the date specified for your country.The law allows an exception to the continuous physical presence and continuous residence requirements for brief, casual and innocent departures from the United States
You may NOT be eligible if you:
- Have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States
- Are found inadmissible as an immigrant under applicable grounds in INA section 212(a)
- Participated in the persecution of another individual or engaged in or incited terrorist activity
What documents are required?
Identity and Nationality Evidence
You will need a copy of your passport, a copy of your birth certificate, accompanied by photo identification, or any national identity document bearing your photograph or fingerprint issued by your country, including such documents issued by your country’s Embassy or Consulate in the United States.
Date of Entry Evidence
You will need a copy of your passport, I-94 Arrival/Departure Record, or copies of documents specified in the ‘Continuous Residing Evidence’ section below.
Continuously Residing Evidence
- Employment Records
- Rent receipts, utility bills, receipts or letters from companies
- School records from the schools that you or your children have attended in the U.S.
- Hospital or medial records concerning treatment or hospitalization of you or your children
- Attestations by church, union or other organization officials who know you and where you have been residing