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There’s nothing worse than feeling unsafe every minute of your life. For many in overseas countries, this is an unfortunate reality. As such, the United States has enacted temporary protected status (TPS) programs for migrants. If you’re a migrant and your home country is no longer safe to return to, it’s imperative to understand whether or not you qualify for this program. The following blog explores what you must know about this process and how a dedicated New York City temporary protected status lawyer can assist you through this process to help you live your life safely and without fear.

What Is Temporary Protected Status?

Temporary protected status is offered to migrants currently in the United States who are set to return to their home country, which is deemed unsafe to live in. If approved, you can remain in the United States for a set period until the conditions in your home country improve to a safe level. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for determining whether or not a country will receive TPS designation. If a country is classified, all migrants of that country currently present in the United States can apply for this program.

It’s essential to understand that TPS is drastically different from other types of immigration from unsafe countries, like seeking refugee or asylum.

Most countries on this list will have a residency period of up to 18 months. However, this period is often extended to account for ongoing issues. Things that can lead to designation include civil wars, natural disasters, and other extraordinary occurrences.

How Do I Know if I Qualify for This Program?

The first step to discovering whether or not you are eligible is checking to see if your country is listed as a TPS-designated nation. As of now, the following are countries deemed unsafe by the DHS:

  • Afghanistan
  • Myanmar, formerly Burma
  • Cameroon
  • El Salvador
  • Ethiopia
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Syria
  • Ukraine
  • Venezuela
  • Yemen

If you are a national of this county, have filed during the registration period, and have been continuously present and residing in the United States since the designation date of your country, you are eligible to apply for this program.

In the event you are convicted of a felony or two misdemeanors in the United States, are barred from seeking asylum for any reason, or do not meet the physical presence requirements, you are ineligible for this program.

How Can I Apply?

If you wish to apply, you must first file a Form 1-821, Application for Protected Status. In addition to this form, you’ll need to submit evidence showing you are a national of the country, proof of when you entered the United States, and proof you have continually resided in the country.

Once you submit the necessary forms, the United States Customs and Immigration Services will contact you to collect your biometric data, determine your work eligibility, and approve or deny your application.

As you can see, this process can be complex. That’s why it’s in your best interest to consult an immigration attorney to help. At the Law Office of Jason A. Dennis, we believe you should not be forced back to an unsafe country. Our team is dedicated to helping you. Contact us today to learn more.