From time to time, the Secretary of the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) may designate a foreign country for TPS (Temporary Protected Status) due to circumstances in the country that temporarily inhibit the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain cases, where the country is unable to adequately handle the return of its nationals. The USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States. Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.
A successful TPS application will trump an order of removal for the duration of the temporary protected status.
In general, an applicant must show that he or she has been physically present and residing in the United States during the time period specified by the DHS in its TPS designation period. An applicant must additionally be a national of the designated country (or if stateless, one who last resided in the designated country,) – and not have resettled in a 3rd country prior to arriving in the United States.
Individuals who have been convicted of a felony or more than one misdemeanor are generally ineligible for TPS although there is a small exception for certain misdemeanors. The Immigration and Nationality Act defines the term “conviction” broadly, which means that in cases where the defendant plead “no contest” or “guilty” and the judge imposed some form of penalty (jail, probation, fine, etc,) the outcome is considered a conviction, even if the sentence was suspended or the adjudication withheld.
Individuals who are granted TPS, in order to retain such status, must re-register during each of the re-registration periods. Failure to timely re-register will result in termination of TPS status and possible removal from the United States.
In cases of those who failed to register during the initial registration period, the law provides that in certain cases an applicant may file for “late initial” registration. If you had TPS but failed to re-register, the law provides for late re-registration in cases where “good cause is shown.
Applicants denied TPS may be able to appeal a denial to the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), or if in removal proceedings, they may renew the application before the Immigration Court.
Before applying for TPS, it is critical that you meet all the legal criteria for TPS status, because USCIS may use the information contained in the application to initiate immigration court removal proceedings against those whose applications are denied. Call the law offices of Mitchell J. Cohen, P.A. in Hallandale Beach (954 457-1941) or Fort Myers (239) 931-6558 to schedule an appointment with the attorney for an in-depth evaluation of your eligibility.
Information contained in this website is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship, nor does it constitute legal advice to any person reviewing such information. No electronic communication with Attorney Cohen on its own will generate an attorney-client relationship. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements. If you have a question, please call Attorney Mitchell J. Cohen for a consultation: Hallandale Beach (954) 457-1941 or Fort Myers (239) 931-6558. www.GreenCardCohen.com.