Given to qualified individuals of designated countries, temporary protected status is a type of temporary immigration status that allows beneficiaries to remain in the U.S. for a pre-designated length of time.
However, if the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services grants you TPS, be aware that is not the same as permanent resident status. You can’t become a citizen unless you meet the criteria and file the appropriate paperwork to apply; even then, your TPS status does not guarantee that you’ll be granted citizenship.
When your temporary protected status terminates, your immigration status returns to what it was before the USCIS granted you TPS.
Are You Eligible for Temporary Protected Status?
The USCIS uses specific criteria to determine if you qualify for temporary protected status. Not everyone meets the criteria, but you may be eligible for other forms of amnesty if the USCIS chooses not to grant you TPS.
You may qualify for TPS if:
- An armed, ongoing conflict is occurring in your country that would make it dangerous for you to return home
- Your state or country has asked the U.S. to offer TPS designation to its immigrants because it is suffering a serious environmental disaster that has disrupted basic living conditions
- Other temporary but catastrophic conditions have happened in your state or country that prevent you from returning and living safely
In addition to meeting one of these conditions, you must have lived in the U.S. since the Secretary of Homeland Security designated your country for TPS or renewed its designation.
The USCIS can grant temporary protected status for at least 6 months and not more than 18 months.
Many people find that it’s better to work with a Milwaukee immigration lawyer than to spend a significant amount of time submitting documents, navigating complex immigration laws and waiting for a determination from the USCIS. It can be an arduous process for someone not familiar with U.S. laws and legal customs.
Work Permits and Traveling Outside the U.S. on TPS
Once USCIS approves your TPS application, you can request and receive authorization to work legally in the U.S. However, you may not travel abroad. You must remain in the U.S. to maintain your status.
If the USCIS denies your TPS request, you may be able to appeal the decision. Your lawyer will walk you through the process and help ensure that everything goes smoothly during your application and beyond.