What is Temporary Protection Status (or TPS) in the United States?
- Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is an immigration status that gives immigrants from certain countries the right to remain in the United States temporarily, based on dangerous conditions in their home country.
- Eligibility for TPS depends on several factors, including having been in the U.S. before a certain date (the “continuance residence date”) and having a no more than one misdemeanor (and no felonies) on your U.S. criminal record.
- Usually, TPS lasts for 18 months. However, it is often renewed if the dangerous conditions in the country in question have not resolved.
- Ukraine is currently Designated for Temporary Protected Status until October 19th, 2023, but may be renewed at that time.
- TPS is not necessarily a pathway to citizenship in and of itself, though an immigration attorney may be able to use TPS as part of a strategy toward a pathway to citizenship.
Temporary Protective Status (TPS) is an immigration status that gives people an opportunity to remain in the United States temporarily based on dangerous conditions in their home country. Specifically, these conditions must be considered so dangerous that the Attorney General has decided that it would be inhumane to force anyone to go back.
Is Ukraine Currently Designated For Temporary Protection Status Or TPS?
Yes, Ukraine is currently designated for Temporary Protected Status (or TPS).
How Long is the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Ukraine Valid at This Time?
As of right now, Ukraine has been designated TPS through October 19th 2023.
Typically, the way TPS works is that the Attorney General will only designate a country for 18 months at a time.
However, there are some countries where they continually renew the TPS status since the dangerous conditions have not yet resolved in any significant way. There are some countries that have been designated for Temporary Protective Status for over 20 years.
Does TPS Create a Path to Permanent Residence or Citizenship?
The answer to whether Temporary Protected Status creates a path to permeant residence or citizenship is complicated.
To qualify to adjust your status and get a green card or permanent residence, you have to have been lawfully admitted to the United States.
Different courts have different opinions on whether TPS counts as a lawful admission. Recently, a Supreme Court decision that held Temporary Protected Status does not automatically qualify an immigrant’s admission to the United States as lawful. However, there may still be some strategies we can utilize to get around that, especially if we can get the case heard before a more amenable court.
One major strategy goes as follows:
TPS allows you to apply to travel on advanced parole—i.e., being able to take trips outside of the United States (within limited contexts) and being able to re-enter the United States after those trips. This is a privilege not extended to undocumented or illegal immigrants.
While re-entering the US under advanced parole is not considered the same thing as a lawful admission, being paroled in the first place and being allowed to take the trip counts the same as a lawful admission.
So, that potentially is an option. I would say that if you have TPS and you are interested in becoming a permanent resident, then we should discuss your options further. We may potentially be able to utilize this strategy, and/or many other strategies, to help you toward your goals.
Who Is Eligible For TPS?
In order to be eligible for Temporary Protected Status, you must first be a citizen of one of the handful of countries that are on the TPS list.
As of right now, those countries are:
- El Salvador
- South Sudan
If you are a citizen of one of those countries, there are additional requirements you must meet.
One of those requirements is called the “continuance residence date” for your country. When a country is given temporary protected status, there is a date set referred to the “continuance residence date.” This is the date by which you must have been in the United States to qualify for Temporary Protected Status. The continuance residence date is different for each country and may change with time depending on the circumstances involved.
Another requirement for TPS has to do with the application process. When the government declares that a given country is being granted Temporary Protected Status, they also issue a specific timeframe within which citizens of that country (who have been in the U.S. since at least the continuance residence date) must apply for TPS coverage. These application dates also vary by country and may shift depending on circumstances, but they are generally taken rather seriously.
In addition, your qualification for TPS may be affected by any criminal convictions you may have, either in the past, recently, or even after you are granted TPS. Criminal convictions can bar you from being eligible for TPS in some cases. Specifically, you will not be eligible for TPS if you have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors in the United States.
Can Your Firm Help a Ukrainian Apply for TPS in the United States? How Should Someone Start That Process?
Right now, there are paths forward for Ukrainian citizens to apply for TPS, if they are otherwise qualified.
Give us a call and we can discuss their eligibility, making sure that we are able to help them. If they are eligible, then we can proceed.
For more information on Temporary Protection Status For Ukrainians, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (617) 718-5550 today.
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