As part of the Immigration Act of 1990, Congress created TPS, or temporary protected status, for foreign nationals who are unable to return home due to civil war, disaster, or other harmful circumstances. For thousands of foreign nationals currently in the United States, the TPS status of their home country is set to end within the next 12 months, making them susceptible to deportation.
Foreign nationals from countries that have been granted TPS status enjoy a myriad of benefits. Chief among the benefits is that they may not be removed from the United States, even if they arrived in the country illegally. An immigration lawyer in Chicago may also fight for employment authorization and travel permissions for residents with identified TPS status.
TPS status is only a temporary designation for foreign nationals, and is not a pathway to citizenship or permanent resident status; however, residents with TPS status can use their time to seek alternative methods to remain in the United States after the TPS arrangement ends.
Residents with TPS status typically apply for permanent residency in one of three ways.
Marriage To A US Citizen
One of the oldest ways to receive permanent resident status is to marry or become engaged to an American citizen. Spouses may file an immigrant visa petition on behalf of the non-citizen spouse, while engaged couples can file a fiancé/fiancée visa before the ceremony.
Employer Sponsored Visas
The employment authorization permitted under TPS status enables foreign residents to establish a relationship with employers who might be willing to sponsor an employment visa. There are five levels of employment based visas, EB-1 to EB-5, with the highest priority given to those who qualify for EB-1 visas.
Residents from many countries that currently have TPS status may also qualify as asylum seekers. People who have experienced violence and discrimination from foreign groups due to race, religion, nationality, social status, or political stance may apply for asylum with Form I-589. An immigration lawyer in Chicago can help residents with TPS status complete the paperwork for a change to asylum seeker status.
Foreign nationals from countries like: Guinea, Haiti, Liberia, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen have less than a year to file the proper paperwork to request a change in status and seek permanent residency. Failure to do so may lead to deportation and further obstacles to immigration.