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What is Temporary Protective Status and am I eligible?

According to the United States Department of Homeland Security, immigrants who have come to Florida from countries that are facing extreme difficulties, such as war, famine or epidemics, may be eligible for Temporary Protected Status. Countries eligible for TPS are designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security, typically for temporary conditions that would makes it dangerous for nationals of that country to return home.

Individuals deemed eligible for TPS may be granted authorization to travel, obtain an employment authorization document and remain protected against removal from the United States. The Department of Homeland Security cannot detain individuals who have been granted TPS based on their immigration status.

It is important to note that the status afforded by this unique measure is only temporary and will not automatically result in permanent resident status. However, individuals who have been granted TPS may apply for additional benefits or protections, file for a status adjustment or apply for nonimmigrant status.

It can be difficult to figure out which countries and individuals are eligible for TPS. Moreover, it may require additional research to discern whether TPS does in fact provide the most apt recourse for a given immigrant's circumstances. An attorney with a background in immigration may help in this way. By reviewing an individual's situation, the attorney may help determine whether that individual is eligible for TPS and if it is the right tool for him or her. Furthermore, the attorney may advise an individual making plans for transitioning from TPS to a permanent immigration status. Above all, the attorney may provide specific legal counsel pertaining to issues of immigration and naturalization law, whereas this blog post is intended for the purpose of general discussion.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, "Temporary Protected Status", November 08, 2014

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