Information on Temporary Protected Status
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status granted to nationals of specifically designates countries that are facing armed conflict, environmental disaster, or extraordinary and temporary conditions. Congress established TPS in the Immigration Act of 1990 with the express purpose of preventing nationals from being sent back to countries where life had become dangerous or untenable due to specific conditions. (americanimmigrationcouncil.org).
As of August 2017, an estimated 325,000 TPS beneficiaries live in the United states More than 90 percent of individuals with TPS are nationals of El Salvador, Honduras or Haiti; the remaining beneficiaries come from Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, south Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Many of these beneficiaries have lived in the U.S. for decades. They have strong familial ties in the U.S. and are active members of the work force, working in a variety of sectors across the country. These beneficiaries make important contributions to America’s Economy and society at large.
TPS is exactly what it stands for however, and that is Temporary. The current administration is currently reviewing many countries who have received TPS designation to determine if the designation still applies under the current conditions of their country today.
Recently, USCIS has notified us the acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke has determined that the country conditions in Sudan have changed such that Temporary Protected Status in no longer warranted. Individuals from Sudan who are in the U.S. with Temporary Protected Status will lose their status as of November 2, 2018.
On November 6, 2017, Elaine Duke announced her decision to terminate TPS designation for Nicaragua with a delayed effective date of 12 months to allow for an orderly transition before the designation terminates on January 5, 2019. She also determined that additional information is necessary regarding the TPS designation for Honduras, and therefore has made no determination regarding Honduras at this time. As a result, the TPS designation for Honduras will be automatically extended for 6 months form the current January 5, 2018 date of expiration to the new expiration date of July 5, 2018. (dhs.gov)
TPS for Nicaragua will terminate on January 5, 2019. Elaine Duke has stated the extension of termination date for Nicaraguans will provide time for TPS beneficiaries from Nicaragua to seek an alternative lawful immigration status in the United States, if eligible, or, if necessary, arrange for their departure.
Most recently, a decision was made to terminate TPS for El Salvador after a determination that the original conditions caused by the 2001 earthquakes no longer exist. To allow for an orderly transition, the effective date of the termination of TPS for El Salvador will be delayed 18 months. The termination of El Salvador’s TPS designation becomes effective September 9, 2019.
Once TPS expires many of the beneficiaries of TPS will return to undocumented status and become subject to deportation, if they do not leave the U.S., because these individuals return to the immigration status held prior to receiving TPS - which more often than not is undocumented status. Unfortunately, at this time, there is no specific avenue for permanent status for these beneficiaries, once TPS expires, unless they qualify on another basis separate and apart from TPS
If you are from Sudan, Nicaragua, or El Salvador and are in the U.S. with TPS status, it is strongly advised that you consult with a qualified immigration attorney to determine if you qualify for any other immigration benefits.