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Understanding Temporary Protected Status

“Temporary protected status” allows certain citizens of other countries to remain in the United States if their home country is too dangerous to enter. The Secretary of Homeland Security can designate a country and its residents as having temporary protected status, giving them the chance to stay in the U.S. until their home country becomes safe to go home to once again. They may also seek and be granted authorization to work in the United States while they stay, in order to support themselves and their families.

Typically, a country is extended temporary protected status by the United States because it is experiencing an armed conflict like a civil war, it has recently faced an environmental disaster or epidemic, or for other “extraordinary and temporary conditions.”

People who qualify for temporary protected status in the United States cannot be removed from the U.S. while their status lasts. However, they can lose their protected status and be removed if the are convicted of certain deportable offenses, or if they are convicted of two or more crimes for any offense above a Class C ticket. So even convictions on two non-removable offenses like DWI will result in the revocation of your TPS status and deportation.

While temporary protected status does not automatically lead to permanent residency or citizenship in the United States, a person who has temporary protected status may seek an immigrant or non-immigrant visa. However, grounds of inadmissibility (such as unlawful presence) still apply, so before seeking a visa talk with your attorney to make sure you are admissible. Your attorney can help you determine which visas you may be eligible for and to seek one of them if you wish. Your attorney can also help you ensure that you meet the filing deadlines for temporary protected status, including those for late filing if necessary, and that you keep your status current.

At Peek & Toland, L.L.P., our experienced Austin immigration attorneys can help you protect your legal rights and get the paperwork you need to stay in the United States legally. Contact us today to learn more.

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