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Obtaining temporary protected status

Escaping your native country may be the most difficult and dangerous decision of your life. Perhaps you desired to protect your family, and you worried for their safety every minute of the day. While you may want to return home, war, famine, an epidemic or some other extraordinary situation may make life there dangerous and difficult or make it impossible for you to even try to return. You may be eligible to remain in Colorado a little longer.

A federal humanitarian program allows provisional status to people like you from certain countries that are experiencing temporarily unsafe conditions. If you qualify for this program, you may be able to stay here in safety until circumstances improve in your country.

Which countries are eligible?

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security offers temporary protected status to citizens of designated countries who are already in the United States but cannot safely return home. TPS allows you protection from deportation due to your status as an immigrant. Additionally, you will receive authorization to work and travel under TPS.

Currently, DHS has designated 10 countries for the TPS program, which are:

  • El Salvador
  • Honduras
  • Haiti
  • Nepal
  • Syria
  • Nicaragua
  • Yemen
  • Sudan
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan

Each of these countries has a different designation date, that is, the latest date on which you can arrive in this country to qualify. Temporary status for each country also has an expiration date, and your protected status expires on that date. The secretary of DHS may extend those dates, depending on how close the circumstances in your country are to resolution.

In addition to being physically present in the United States, you must complete the TPS filing process, including filling out forms and providing the appropriate fee or a waiver of the fee. DHS requires you to submit certain documentation, such as proof of your identity and nationality, proof of your continuous presence in the United States and evidence of the date you came to this country. Your country may also have specific filing requirements you will want to investigate.

Getting help with TPS

Missing the deadline for registration or failing to meet other filing requirements may prohibit you from staying in the United States under the TPS program. Additionally, if you have a felony conviction or two misdemeanors on your record, you are not eligible for TPS.

Seeking the protection of this humanitarian program may provide you with safety for a period of time until conditions in your country improve. However, missing deadlines or important requirements in the application process may jeopardize your chances for eligibility. An experienced immigration attorney can assist you in the application process. Further, if DHS denies your application, an attorney can represent your case on appeal.

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