Armed conflict in the Republic of Yemen has spurred Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson to designate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to eligible nationals of the Arab nation who currently reside in the United States. In response to a threat to personal safety on their return—a result of the humanitarian emergency resulting from ongoing armed conflict—eligible nationals can apply to receive TPS status from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS.)
“Requiring Yemeni nationals in the United States to return to Yemen would pose a serious threat to their personal safety,” according to a USCIS release.
Yemen’s TPS designation went into effect September 3 and is effective through March 3, 2017. The designation means eligible Yemen nationals won’t be forced out of the United States and might also receive and Employment Authorization Document (EAD.) USCIS offers a 180-day registration period, which runs through March 1, 2016. Status applications can be filed by both Yemen nationals as well as those without nationality who last “habitually resided” in Yemen, according to a USCIS release.
USCIS requires that eligible TPS applicants demonstrate continuous physical presence and also continuous residency in the United States since Sept. 3, 2015. Those who apply for the TPS status undergo a security check. Those individuals who have “certain criminal records” or “who pose a threat to national security” are ineligible for TPS.
The DHS secretary can bestow TPS designation on countries for a number of reasons. While ongoing armed conflict, such as the case with Yemen, is one such instance for TPS designation, others include environmental disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes or an epidemics or other “extraordinary and temporary conditions.”
TPS beneficiaries and those who are designated as preliminarily eligible on officials’ initial review of the case aren’t removable from the United States and can obtain EAD for employment. These beneficiaries and applicants can also be granted travel authorization. TPS status also means DHS officers are prohibited from detaining individual beneficiaries based on their immigration status.