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Marilyn Orbach-Rosenberg
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Temporary Protected Status Immigration Attorney in New York City and Queens

Sometimes it would not be safe for a foreign national residing in the United States to return to his or her home country. For instance, there may be a civil war or other armed conflict going on, or there may be an environmental disaster such as an earthquake or hurricane or an outbreak of disease which has reached epidemic proportions. In these situations, an individual may be able to stay in the U.S. as a beneficiary of Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Orbach Rosenberg Law provides an experienced New York immigration attorney who can help TPS beneficiaries stay in the country, obtain work authorization, or even move toward permanent residence.

How TPS Works

To obtain TPS, you have to file Form I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status and Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization (you must file this form even if you are not seeking authorization to work). You may also need to file Form I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility if you might otherwise be inadmissible. Your application must also be accompanied by sufficient evidence to prove your identity, nationality, date of entry and continuous residence in the U.S. Your immigration attorney can help you identify and gather appropriate evidence and prepare a strong application.

The requirements to be eligible for TPS are as follows:

  • You must be a national of a TPS-designated country
  • If you are without nationality, then you must have last habitually resided in a TPS-designated country
  • You have to file during open initial registration or in a re-registration period, unless you meet the requirements for late initial filing during an extension period
  • You must have been continuously physically present in the U.S. since the most recent designation date for your home country
  • You must have been continuously residing in the U.S. since the date specified for your country

You may not be eligible for TPS if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the U.S.
  • You are found to be inadmissible under certain grounds
  • You are subject to a mandatory bar to asylum due to persecution of another, terrorist activity, or other grounds

If you are found to be eligible for TPS, you are not removable from the United States. You can also obtain an employment authorization document, or EAD, during this time. Once you are granted TPS, you cannot be detained by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) because of your immigrations status.

Although TPS is only temporary, you can work toward lawful permanent residence by applying for nonimmigrant status and then filing for an adjustment of status. You can also apply for any immigration benefits that you are otherwise eligible for.

Is TPS the same as asylum?

No. TPS is different from asylum in many ways. However, there are some situations in which both TPS and asylum would apply to you. Applying for or gaining TPS protection will not affect your application for asylum, and being denied asylum will not necessarily affect your chances at registering for TPS.

How do I find out if my home country is designated for TPS or not?

The United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) maintains a current list of countries designated for TPS on its website.

How long does TPS last?

The information on TPS for your particular country will show when TPS is expected to expire for your home country. You will also see a re-registration period. You must re-register during each re-registration period in order to maintain your TPS benefits.

Will I lose TPS is I leave the country, even briefly?

As noted above, you must meet the requirements for continuous physical presence and continuous residence in the U.S. to obtain or maintain TPS. However, brief, casual and innocent departures from the country will not necessarily jeopardize your TPS. USCIS must be informed of any absences.

What if my application is denied?

Unless your application was denied on certain mandatory criminal or security grounds, you have the right to appeal a denial to the Administrative Appeals Office, but this appeal must be filed within 30 days of the denial of your application. You can also file a motion to reconsider with the service center that denied your application. Your immigration lawyer can help you understand your options and advise you on whether to file an appeal or a motion to reconsider.

If you are currently in removal proceedings, you can ask the immigration judge to review your TPS request and adjudicate your application. A denial by an immigration judge is appealable to the Bureau of Immigration Appeals (BIA).

Get Experienced Legal Representation for Your Temporary Protected Status

An experienced immigration attorney can advise you on the necessary steps and represent you throughout the process to obtain or maintain Temporary Protected Status (TPS). In New York City, contact Orbach Rosenberg Law for assistance.

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