TPS

TPS Basic Requirements and Required Evidence for TPS Applications

Purpose of Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary status that the United States government (DHS) grants to persons already in the United States that are from countries the United States has determined are unsafe for them to return to due to reasons such as natural disasters or civil unrest or dangers.

BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR TPS

8 C.F.R. §1244.2.
1. Is a national of a foreign state TPS eligible country.

2. Has been continuously physically present in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation of that Country.

3. Has continuously resided in the United States since such date as the Attorney General may designate.

4. Is admissible as an immigrant except as provided under section 1244.3 (conviction of a felony or two or more misdemeanors, or has been persecutor of others, has committed a particularly serious crime, has committed a serious nonpolitical crime, or is a danger to the security of the United States)

5. Is not ineligible for TPS under section 1244.4 (a felony, two misdemeanors, or essentially the same bars as to asylum).

In-depth Description of Requirements

1. Is a national of a foreign state TPS eligible country, or last habitually resided there. 8 C.F.R. § 1244.2(a).

a. Acceptable evidence in descending order of preference: passport, birth certificate accompanied by photo identification, or national identity document from alien’s country of origin bearing phot and/or fingerprint. If none of these are available, may accept an affidavit showing proof of unsuccessful efforts to obtain such documents, explaining why the consular process is unavailable, and affirming that s/he is a national of the designated country. 8 C.F.R. § 1244.9(a)(1).

2. Has been continuously physically present in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation of that country. 8 C.F.R. § 1244.2(b).

a. May submit any of the following to proof: employment records, rent receipts, utility bills, school records, hospital or medical records, attestations by churches, unions, or other organizations evidencing residence, or other documents such as money order receipts, birth certificates of USC children, passport entries, correspondence, social security card, selective service card, automobile records, property records (purchase or rents), tax receipts, insurance records, or “any other relevant document.” 8 C.F.R. § 1244.9(a)(2).

3. Must have continuously resided in the United States since such date as the Attorney General may designate. 8 C.F.R. 1244.2(c).

a. Absence must be of short duration and reasonably calculated to accomplish the purpose(s) for the absence. 8 C.F.R § 1244.1.

b. Absence was NOT the result of an order of deportation, an order of voluntary departure, or an administrative grant of voluntary departure without the institution of deportation proceedings. 8 C.F.R. § 1244.1.

c. Purpose for absence or actions while outside of United States must not be contrary to law. 8 C.F.R. § 1244.1.

4. Must be admissible as an immigrant under 8 C.F.R. § 1244.3 (see INA § 244(c)(2)(A) for exceptions to the regular grounds of inadmissibility listed in section 212) and not ineligible for TPS under 8 C.F.R. § 1244.4. 8 C.F.R. § 1244.2(d), (e).

a. Exceptions to inadmissibility. 8 C.F.R. § 1244.3.
i. Sections 212(a)(4) (regarding public charge) 212(a)(5) (regarding labor certification and qualifications) and 212(a)(7)(A)(i) (regarding documentation requirements) shall not apply. 8 C.F.R. § 1244.3(a).

ii. AG may waive any other provision of section 212(a) in the case of individual aliens for humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, or when it is otherwise in the public interest. 8 C.F.R. § 1244.3(b).

iii. May NOT waive section 212(a)(2)(A)(i), 212(a)(2)(B) (regarding criminal acts), 212(a)(2)(C) (regarding drug offenses) unless it is a single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana, or 212(a)(3)(A), (B), (C), (D) and (E) (regarding national security, participation in Nazi persecutions, and engaging in genocide). 8 C.F.R. 1244.3(c).

b. Ineligible for TPS. 8 C.F.R. § 1244.4.

i. Convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States, 8 C.F.R. 1244.4(a); or

ii. Described in section 208(b)(2)(A) (regarding persecution of others, particularly serious crime, and danger to society). 8 C.F.R. 1244.4(b).

5. Must register for TPS during the initial registration period, 8 C.F.R. § 1244.2(f)(1); OR

6. Must register for TPS during any subsequent extension period if, at the time of the initial registration period, 8 C.F.R. § 1244.2(f)(2):

a. Applicant is a nonimmigrant or has been granted voluntary departure status or any relief from removal, 8 C.F.R. § 1244.2(f)(2)(i);

b. Applicant has an application for change of status, adjustment of status, asylum, voluntary departure, or any relief from removal which is pending or subject to further review or appeal, 8 C.F.R. § 1244.2(f)(2)(ii);

c. Applicant is a parolee or has a pending request for reparole, 8 C.F.R. § 1244.2(f)(2)(iii); or

d. Applicant is a spouse or child of an alien currently eligible to be a TPS registrant, 8 C.F.R. § 1244.2(f)(2)(iv).

USCIS Forms required:
To register or re-register for TPS you must file: (some forms may not apply depending on the facts of your application)
1) Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status ($50 initial + $85 biometrics fee, re-registration $0)
2) Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization ($380)
3) Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility ($585)
4) Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver

PLEASE NOTE: Both I-821 and I-765 forms must be filed even if you do not want work an Employment Authorization Document. If you are aware when you apply that a relevant ground of inadmissibility applies to you and you need a waiver to obtain TPS, and fees or fee waiver request, with your TPS application package. However, you do not need to file a new Form I-601 for an incident that USCIS has already waived with a prior TPS application. USCIS may grant a waiver of certain inadmissibility grounds for humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, or when it is in the public interest.

Evidence

When filing a TPS application, you must submit:

• Identity and Nationality Evidence: to demonstrate your identity and that you are a national of from a country designated for TPS (or that you have no nationality and you last habitually resided in a country designated for TPS)

• Date of Entry Evidence: to demonstrate when you entered the United States

• Continuously Residing (CR) Evidence: to demonstrate that you have been in the United States since the CR date specified for your country (See your country’s TPS Web page to the left)
Any document that is not in English must be accompanied by a complete English translation. The translator must certify that:

• He or she Is competent both in English and the foreign language used in the original document

• the translation is true and correct to the best of his or her ability, knowledge and belief

Identity and Nationality Evidence

We encourage you to submit primary evidence, if available. If USCIS does not find that the documents you submit with your application are sufficient, we will send you a request for additional evidence. If you cannot submit primary evidence of your identity and nationality, available, you may submit the secondary evidence listed below with your application.
The following information explains the different types of evidence you can provide.

Primary Evidence
  • A copy of your passport
  • A copy of your birth certificate, accompanied by photo identification
  • Any national identity document bearing your photograph or fingerprint (or both) issued by your country, including such documents issued by your country’s Embassy or Consulate in the United States. Such as a national ID card or naturalization certificate
No Primary EvidenceIf you do not have any of the primary evidence listed above, you must submit an affidavit with:

  • Proof of your unsuccessful efforts to obtain such documents
  • An explanation why the consular process for your country was unavailable to you, and affirming that you are a national of your country

USCIS will interview you regarding your identity and nationality, and you may also submit additional evidence of your nationality and identity then if available.

Secondary Evidence
  • Nationality documentation, such as a naturalization certificate, even if it does not have your photograph and fingerprint
  • Your baptismal certificate if it indicates your nationality or a parent’s nationality
  • Copies of your school or medical records if they have information supporting your claim that you are a national from a country designated for TPS
  • Copies of other immigration documents showing your nationality and identity
  • Affidavits from friends or family members who have close personal knowledge of the date and place of your birth and your parents’ nationality. The person making the affidavit should include information about how he or she knows you or is related to you, and how he or she knows the details of the date and place of your birth and the nationality of your parents. The nationality of your parents is of importance if you are from a country where nationality is derived from a parent.

You may also provide any other document or information that you believe helps show your nationality.

PLEASE NOTE:

Birth in a TPS designated country does not always mean you are a national from that country. Please see your TPS designated country’s nationality laws for further information.

Date of Entry Evidence

• A copy of your passport
• I-94 Arrival/Departure Record
• Copies of documents specified in the ‘Continuous Residing Evidence’ section below
Continuously Residing (CR) Evidence
• Employment Records
• Rent receipts, utility bills, receipts or letters from companies
• School records from the schools that you or your children have attended in the U.S.
• Hospital or medial records concerning treatment or hospitalization of you or your children
• Attestations by church, union or other organization officials who know you and where you have been residing
Please see the I-821 Form Instructions for more details on acceptable evidence.

When and Where to File

For information about when and where you must file your TPS application, please see the country specific pages to the left.

Application Process

Step 1: File Your Petition
Once you have prepared your TPS package with the forms, evidence and filing fees (or request for a fee waiver), you will need to send it to the address indicated on your TPS country page to the left. Please make sure you sign your application and include the correct fee amount (or fee waiver request). These are the two of the most common mistakes USCIS receives on TPS applications.

Step 2: USCIS Receives Your Application
When USCIS receives your application, we will review it for completeness and for the proper fees or a properly documented fee waiver request. If your case meets the basic acceptance criteria, your application will be entered into our system and we will send you a receipt notice. At the top of this notice you will find a receipt number which can be used to check the status of your case online.
If you do not receive your receipt notice within three weeks of filing, you can call Customer Service at 1-800-375-5283 to request assistance. If your application is rejected at the initial review stage, you may re-file within the registration period after correcting the problems described in the USCIS notification.
If your application was rejected because we determined you were not eligible for a fee waiver, you may submit a new TPS package. Go to the ‘Fee Waiver’ section above for more information.

Step 3: USCIS Contacts You
If USCIS needs to collect your photograph, signature, and/or fingerprints (these are called biometrics), USCIS will send you an appointment notice to have your biometrics captured at an Application Support Center (ASC). Every TPS applicant over 14 years old must have their biometrics collected. Biometrics are required for identity verification, background checks and the production of an EAD, if one has been requested.
In certain situations, such as when it’s impossible to take a fingerprint, USCIS can waive the collection of biometrics. In some cases, we may be able to reuse the biometrics previously collected in association with your previous TPS application. Even if you do not need to attend an ASC appointment, you still need to pay the biometrics fee (if required) to help cover costs associated with reusing your biometrics.

Step 4: Go to the ASC

When you report to an ASC, you must bring:
1. Evidence of nationality and identity with a photograph of you, such as a passport

2. Your receipt notice

3. Your ASC appointment notice

4. Your current EAD, if you already have one
If you cannot make your scheduled appointment, you may reschedule. To reschedule an ASC appointment, make a copy of your appointment notice to retain for your records, then mail the original notice with your rescheduling request to the ASC address listed on the notice. You should submit your request for rescheduling as soon as you know you have an unavoidable conflict on your scheduled ASC date. A new appointment notice will be sent to you by mail. Please note that rescheduling a biometrics appointment may cause the adjudication of your applications to be delayed.
WARNING: If you fail to appear for your ASC appointment without rescheduling, or if you repeatedly miss scheduled ASC appointments, your TPS application could be denied for abandonment.
If there is an emergency need for you to travel abroad for humanitarian reasons, you may request expedited processing on your advance parole application (Form I-131) after you have appeared at an ASC for your biometrics appointment. Please see the travel section below for more information.

Step 5: USCIS Determines Work Eligibility
If you are not seeking an employment authorization document (EAD), skip to Step 6.

If you are …Then…
Applying for TPS for the first time and seeking an EADUSCIS will review your case to determine whether you are eligible to work before we make a final decision on your TPS application. If you are found to be eligible upon initial review of your TPS application (prima facie) you will receive an EAD.

Note: If your application is denied and you choose to appeal to the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) or request review of your application by an immigration judge, your EAD will be extended while you are waiting for a decision. To request an extension of your EAD, you must file a Form I-765 along with evidence of your appeal to the AAO or that you have requested an immigration judge to review your TPS application.

Re-Registering for TPS and seeking an EADYou will receive your new EAD when your entire TPS package is adjudicated.

USCIS makes every effort to avoid backlogs at this step, but we urge you to remember that USCIS may experience a higher volume of applications in the first few months of a registration period.

Step 6: USCIS Adjudicates the Application

During this phase, we may ask you for additional documents to establish your eligibility for TPS. If you receive a request for evidence (RFE) or a notice of intent to deny, it is extremely important that you respond immediately to avoid processing delays and possible denial for failure to timely respond. Upon completion of your case, USCIS will notify you if your request for TPS is granted or denied. If one of the waivable grounds of inadmissibility applies to you, USCIS will give you an opportunity to submit a Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility if you did not include this with your TPS package. Please submit this form within the time frame specified in the USCIS notice, or your case will be denied.

Step 7: USCIS Approves or Denies the Application

If your application for TPS is…Then…
Approved and you filed an initial applicationUSCIS will send you an approval notice and an EAD, if you requested one and haven’t received it before this step.
Approved and you filed a re-registration applicationUSCIS will send you an approval notice if you do not request an EAD.

USCIS will send you a new EAD if you do request one.

DeniedUSCIS will send you a letter indicating the reason for your denial and, if applicable, provide you with the opportunity to appeal the denial.

Maintaining TPS

Once you are granted TPS, you must re-register during each re-registration period to maintain TPS benefits. This applies to all TPS beneficiaries, including those who were initially granted by USCIS, an Immigration Judge, or the BIA. Follow the instructions above to apply for re-registration.
Automatic Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Extension
Sometimes DHS must issue a blanket automatic extension of the expiring EADs for TPS beneficiaries of a specific country in order to allow time for EADs with new validity dates to be issued. If your country’s EADs have been automatically extended, it will be indicated on your country specific pages to the left.

Filing Late

Late Re-Registration for TPS
USCIS may accept a late re-registration application if you have good cause for filing after the end of the re-registration period of your country. You must submit a letter that explains your reason for filing late with your re-registration application.
If you file your TPS re-registration application late, processing may be delayed and can lead to gaps in your work authorization.

Late Initial Filing for TPS

You can still apply for TPS for the first time during an extension of your country’s TPS designation period, even if the initial registration period has closed. If you qualify to file your initial TPS application late, you must still independently meet all the TPS eligibility requirements listed in the Eligibility section above.

At least one of the conditions below must have existed during the initial registration period for your country or during any future initial registration period if your country was re-designated for TPS:

• You were a nonimmigrant, were granted voluntary departure status, or any relief from removal
• You had an application for change of status, adjustment of status, asylum, voluntary departure, or any relief from removal which was pending or subject to further review or appeal
• You were a parolee or had a pending request for re-parole
• You are a spouse or a child of an individual who is currently eligible for TPS

Please check your country-specific Web page for the dates of the initial registration period or periods that apply for late initial filing. You must file while one of the conditions listed above either still exists or within 60 days of the condition ending in order to be eligible for late initial filing for TPS. The 60-day time limit does not apply if you are filing late as a child of a currently eligible TPS beneficiary.

If your parent is currently eligible for TPS and you are his or her child (unmarried and under 21 years old) at any time during a TPS initial registration period for your country, you may still be eligible for late initial filing for TPS, even if you are now over 21 years old or married. There are no time restrictions to submit a late initial filing in this situation, and you may apply for TPS during an extension of your TPS designated country.
PLEASE NOTE: You cannot obtain TPS as a derivative because your parent or child has TPS.


Travel

If you have TPS and wish to travel outside the United States, you must apply for a travel authorization. Travel authorization for TPS is issued as an advance parole document if USCIS determines it is appropriate to approve your request. This document gives you permission to leave the United States and return during a specified period of time. To apply for advance parole, you must file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document (see form on right). If you leave the United States without requesting advance parole, you may lose TPS and you may not be permitted to re-enter the United States.

TRAVEL WARNING: If you have been unlawfully present in the United States and then leave, you may become inadmissible, even if you traveled with an approved advance parole document. The amount of time for which you will be inadmissible will depend on the length of your unlawful presence within the U.S.

Generally you will be permitted to re-enter the U.S. and resume your TPS if you return within the period specified on the advance parole document and your country is still designated for TPS. However, you may become ineligible for future benefits, such as permanent residence status, based on any unlawful presence or other grounds.

If USCIS is still adjudicating your TPS application, you may miss important USCIS notices, such as Requests for Additional Evidence, while you are outside the U.S. Failure to respond to these requests may result in the denial of your application.

We encourage you to read and understand the travel warning on Form I-131 before requesting advance parole, even if you have been granted TPS. If you have been unlawfully present in the U.S. for any period of time, you may want to seek legal advice before requesting advance parole for travel.

Change of Address

If your address changes after you file your application, you must notify USCIS immediately. For information about how to notify USCIS go to www.uscis.gov/addresschange.

For more information or to Schedule a Personal Consulation Contact

Jeffrey Y. Bennett
The Law Office of Jeffrey Y. Bennett, LLC

1828 Swift Avenue, Suite 425
North Kansas City, MO 64116
Tel: 816-759-2776 English
Tel. 816-759-2777 Espanol
Fax: 816-759-2769
www.JYBennettLaw.com

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