Eligible nationals from the countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone have until Aug. 18 to establish Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation. The deadline marks the end of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’) 90-day extension of the initial registration period, and it is also inclusive of those people without nationality who last resided habitually in Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone.
TPS eligibility requires meeting certain criteria. Included in these criteria is continuous residency in the United States since Nov. 20, 2014 as well as continuously physically present in the United States since Nov. 21, 2014. Individuals who apply for TPS designation are also required to undergo thorough security checks. Those individuals who have certain criminal records or those who are deemed to pose a threat to national security aren’t eligible for TPS designation.
Registering for TPS designation requires applicants to submit:
- Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status
- Biometric service fee (or fee-waiver request) for those applicants aged 14 or older
- Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, even in cases where no EAD is desired
- Form I-765 application fee (or fee-waiver request) for those who want an EAD. Applicants who don’t want an EAD don’t need to provide the fee.
Form I-765 fees don’t apply to applicants who are under age 14 or who are over age 66. These applicants receive their initial EAD cards at no cost.
DHS offers TPS designation for several reasons. These include:
- Ongoing armed conflict, such as in the case of a civil war
- Environmental disaster like an earthquake or hurricane
- Extraordinary or temporary conditions
DHS offers TPS designation for nationals of foreign countries where conditions are unsafe for return or in cases where conditions don’t allow for the adequate handling of the return of nationals. In the United States, it’s the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service that grants TPS status to nationals of certain countries.
Nationals who are granted TPS designation, or who have preliminary eligibility for TPS on initial review, aren’t removable from the United States. However, TPS designation is not a path toward lawful permanent resident status or any other immigration status.