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Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible individuals from certain countries that are experiencing ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or other extraordinary conditions. TPS protects individuals from deportation and authorizes them to live and work in the United States for a limited period.

To apply for TPS, you must meet all eligibility requirements. This includes being a national of a TPS-designated country, continuously residing in the U.S. since a specific date, and undergoing background checks. TPS application requirements can vary depending on your country of origin.

Review Eligibility

The first step is determining if you are eligible for TPS based on your country of origin and immigration history. Eligibility is generally based on:

– Being a national of a country designated for TPS. The list of designated countries changes over time.

– Residing continuously in the U.S. since a specific date outlined in the Federal Register notice for your country. There are some exceptions for brief absences.

– Meeting admissibility requirements, or obtaining a waiver if applicable. This involves undergoing background checks.

– Filing during the registration period outlined in the Federal Register notice. Late initial filings are not usually accepted.

Prepare Documentation

Once you have confirmed your eligibility, gather documents to prove your identity, nationality, residence, and admissibility. Required documents may include:

– Valid passport from your country of origin
– Birth certificate showing place of birth
– Government-issued IDs like a driver’s license
– Proof of continuous U.S. residence such as rent receipts, utility bills, employment records
– Two passport-style photos
– Medical examination records (for some applicants)
– Fingerprints (for some applicants)
– Court records if you have any criminal history

Complete and Submit Forms

The next step is completing all required TPS application forms. Core forms include:

– Form I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status. This provides biographic and immigration details.
– Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization. This allows you to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
– Filing fees or fee waiver request

Optional forms may include Form I-131 Application for Travel Document if you need advance parole to travel abroad and return. All forms must be signed and submitted with supporting documents according to instructions.

USCIS Review Process

Once the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) accepts your application, they will review your forms, documentation, fingerprints, and background checks. You may receive notices to provide additional evidence or attend a biometric services appointment.

If approved, you will receive an approval notice and EAD valid for 6-18 months. You must regularly re-register TPS and renew your EAD to maintain valid status. If denied, you can appeal the decision.

Key Takeaways

The TPS application process involves confirming eligibility, gathering documents, completing required forms accurately, submitting your application packet, and cooperating with USCIS review. Being prepared with strong supporting materials is essential. Staying up to date on requirements for your country is also critical, as TPS rules and timelines can change. With attention to detail, you can successfully navigate the process.


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