When disasters strike, noncitizens living in America may find themselves stranded in the United States. Foreign nationals who cannot remain in their homeland because of armed conflicts, natural disasters, or other extraordinary conditions may be able to apply for “TPS”—a special status that temporarily allows them to live and work in the U.S. Although this status is not a Green Card, it could pave the way to gaining one for some foreign nationals. If you are approved, Immigration Services cannot deport you, and you will receive temporary employment authorization.

Federal law allows the Secretary of Homeland Security ability to designate TPS. You can file for this protection during open registration or late initial filing periods during extensions of your home country’s designation. However, you must qualify under the government rules, file particular forms, and have been physically present inside the United States before a certain date. If you have further questions about this process or whether you may be eligible, consider speaking with a Boston temporary protected status lawyer. From filing your application to providing advice and legal assistance, a committed attorney from our firm is here to take the lead with this complex process. Contact our firm today to get started.

“I think of my clients from Nepal who were studying in Boston colleges when the April 2015 earthquake struck. TPS protection saved them from having to graduate from school and go back to a city in rubble.” Jamie Gorton, Managing Attorney

Currently Designated Countries

Our attorneys at Gorton Law want to highlight the following TPS programs that have current designations as of June 2023. All of the information and dates below are subject to change:

  • Haiti has been re-designated for TPS due to natural disasters and extreme political instability. TPS for Haiti is available for Haitians who have lived in the United States since November 6, 2022. TPS for Haiti is a critical program in Boston and in Malden.
  • There is a large Nepali community in Greater Boston, and Nepal has been designated for TPS for people living in the United States since June 24, 2015.
  • El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. These Central American countries were scheduled to have TPS designations terminated, however on June 13, 2023, that decision was reversed and TPS for these countries were extended.
  • Ukrainians residing in the United States since April 11, 2022 became eligible for TPS due to the outbreak of armed conflict.

The complete list of countries with TPS designations as of June 2023 are below:

If you are unsure about your eligibility for Temporary Protected Status, a skilled Boston attorney can determine if you qualify.

Eligibility for Temporary Protected Status

To be eligible for TPS, a foreign national must meet specific criteria. Besides citizenship in a designated TPS country and filing during appropriate registration periods, applicants must:

  • Be physically present in the U.S. since their home country’s most recent designation effective date
  • Reside continuously in the U.S. since the date specified for the home country, allowing for brief, innocent departures that must be reported to the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) when applying or re-registering for TPS
  • Apply for any necessary waivers of inadmissibility, for example for fraud or misrepresentation
  • Not have any felony convictions or two or more misdemeanor convictions for crimes in the United States
  • Not be a security risk, involved in drug trafficking, involved in prostitution, or harboring an infectious disease under 8 United States Code § 1182
  • Not be involved in terrorist activities

As a Boston immigration attorney can further explain, some Temporary Protected Status holders paroled into the U.S. may take steps to qualify for a Green Card. Paroled TPS holders could be granted a one-time entry into the U.S. for a specific reason, such as to seek medical care. The rules around this travel program have recently changed, so working with an immigration lawyer may be critical for compliance with new rules.

The Secretary of Homeland Security is the sole determinant for which designated countries remain on the eligibility list, which is reviewed annually.

Documents Needed to Apply for TPS

Applicants will need to file several documents and forms when pursuing TPS. These include proof of identity and nationality, such as passports, driver’s licenses, and birth certificates. Applicants also need evidence of their continuous presence in the U.S. from the date determined for their country, such as tax, bank, or school attendance records.

If an applicant is involved in any court proceedings, criminal or civil, they must produce extensive records concerning arrests, convictions, divorce, and child custody. They must also show documents filed for previous immigration applications and attach four passport-sized photos. An experienced attorney serving Boston is well-versed in the specific documents required to file for Temporary Protected Status. A member of our team can assist you in submitting your application accurately and promptly.

A Boston Temporary Protected Status Attorney is Your Immigration Lifeline

If you are unable to return to your country of citizenship because of insurrection, war, economic and political instability, or a natural disaster in your home country, America offers the prospect of living in a welcoming and safe place. If eligible, you could work and prosper here.

If you hail from a designated country and meet the complex requirements, or are unsure whether you do, let us explore your situation and advise you. A Boston Temporary Protected Status lawyer from our firm can serve as your immigration lifeline. Contact our team today to schedule a confidential consultation.