In the interest of protecting foreign nationals who are temporarily stranded in the United States due to unsafe conditions in their country of origin, the Secretary of Homeland Security has the authority to designate certain immigrants for temporary protected status (TPS). By applying for temporary protected status through U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), individuals from those designated countries may legally remain in the United States on a short-term basis until conditions back home have improved.
If your country of origin is experiencing an environmental disaster, a localized epidemic, ongoing armed conflict, or some other extraordinary condition that temporarily makes it unsafe for you to return, you may want to consider seeking temporary protected status in Washington, DC. A knowledgeable immigration lawyer could explain during a private consultation how TPS works and what steps you should take to best serve your interests.
Eligibility Requirements for Temporary Protected Status
Only individuals who are nationals of TPS-designated countries or who have no declared nationality but most recently maintained permanent residence in such a country are eligible to apply for temporary protected status in Washington, DC. These applicants must also have been continuously physically present and have maintained continuous residence in the U.S. since the date on which their country of origin received its TPS designation. In addition, anyone to whom any of the following conditions apply is ineligible to apply for or renew TPS, regardless of their country of origin’s designation:
- Inadmissibility to the U.S. as an immigrant based on the criteria outlined in 8 U.S.C. §1182
- Subject to any mandatory bars to asylum, such as participation in terroristic activity or persecution of another individual
- Prior conviction(s) in a U.S. state or federal court of any felony or any two more misdemeanor offenses committed within the U.S.
- Failure to file an application within the designation registration or re-registration period, with some exceptions for individuals who meet specific late initial filing criteria
- Failure to re-register for TPS upon expiration of initial status without good cause for missing the relevant deadline
An experienced attorney in Washington DC could provide guidance on a case-by-case basis about a particular individual’s eligibility for TPS.
What Countries Currently Have TPS Designation?
As of August 2021, the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated the following nations for TPS:
- Burma (Myanmar)
- El Salvador
- South Sudan
All TPS applicants from any of these countries must file Form I-821 to begin the process of seeking temporary protected status. Importantly, individuals from Burma, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, or Yemen may file this form online if they wish to do so, while all other applicants must submit a paper copy to USCIS by mail. Certain individuals seeking TPS in Washington, DC may also be eligible to seek work authorization by including Form I-765 with their initial application.
Talk to a Washington DC Attorney About Temporary Protected Status
Temporary protected status could allow you to seek short-term safe haven in the United States while your home country goes through an unpredictable and tumultuous situation. Still, this option is only available to qualifying individuals who submit thorough applications in a timely fashion. Therefore, applying for temporary protected status in Washington, DC is not something you should undertake before speaking with a knowledgeable immigration lawyer about your options. Call Hacking Immigration Law, LLC today to schedule a meeting with our experienced attorney.