When a country is temporarily unsafe for its nationals to enter, the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security may list that country as one with “temporary protected status” (TPS). Temporary protected status extends to protect citizens of the designated country who are already in the United States, giving them a place to stay until their home country becomes safe to enter once again.
In the wake of Typhoon Haiyan’s devastation of the Philippines, several lawmakers are pushing to grant Filipino citizens present in the U.S. temporary protected status. Environmental or natural disasters that make a country unsafe to enter for a period of time may qualify a country for TPS under U.S. law, allowing the Secretary of Homeland Security to extend temporary protected status to those affected by the recent typhoon.
If granted, temporary protected status would extend the following protections to qualified individuals:
- They cannot be removed from the United States while the protections last. While their home country is unsafe to enter, this prevents protected individuals from becoming “stateless.”
- They may qualify for an employment authorization document (EAD), allowing them to work while they are in the U.S.
- They may be granted travel authorization.
Although temporary protected status does not lead to permanent resident status, a person who has temporary protected status may apply for other immigrant or non-immigrant visas while in the United States.
At the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C., our experienced immigration attorneys will help you get the paperwork you need to enter the U.S. safely and legally. Contact us today to learn more.