The federal government recently announced the termination of temporary protected status (TPS) for immigrants from El Salvador. This is not the first country to lose TPS in recent memory, as immigrants from Haiti will have their status revoked on January 22nd, 2018. Many families may wonder what comes next and if they can stay in the United States. We will review what can happen after TPS ends and the options immigrants have to stay in the country.
What is temporary protected status and what happens when it ends?
Congress created TPS as part of the Immigration Act of 1990 to protect immigrants who faced hostile conditions in their home countries. The status by itself does not give immigrants path to citizenship or permanent residency. Immigrants who lose TPS will no longer have legal status, and they can face deportation.
What options do TPS recipients have?
Immigrants who have TPS can get permanent residency many ways, including:
- Family based sponsorship: Immigrants who are direct family members of citizens may be eligible for permanent residency. A parent, child or sibling can sponsor an immigrant to get their green card.
- Employment sponsorship: United States based employers and prospective employers can sponsor employees for visas and permanent residency. The law splits immigration applications into several categories depending on a person's education and relevant skills.
- Marriage to a citizen: Similar to family based sponsorship, spouses of United States citizens can get permanent residency. The citizen in the relationship can use the Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) to start the process.
These are a few ways that immigrants who have TPS can gain permanent residency. An immigration lawyer can give you more potential routes to permanent residency if your TPS status is at risk. Taking early action can prevent interruptions in your family's life and allow you to avoid deportation.