Temporary Protected Status: What it is and What the Future May Hold

     TPS or Temporary Protect Status is a status granted by the United States to foreign citizens who are in the US and unable to return to their country of origin due to ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or an epidemic. Those that are eligible and apply for TPS are not removable and can obtain employment authorization. However, to be eligible, an individual has to be present in the US on the day that TPS is designated. Those coming later cannot apply, and those still in the effected country cannot apply either. TPS is a temporary benefit that does not lead to permanent residency.


     Currently, there are ten countries whose citizens have been granted TPS. Those countries include: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The current administration as recently decided to end TPS for Haiti and Sudan. This means that citizens for those countries must plan to depart on the expiration date of their TPS designation, which is Jan. 22, 2018 and Nov. 2, 2018 respectively.


      What is in store for TPS recipients from other countries is uncertain. Many have noted that it is rather shocking that TPS would be ended for Haiti, a country that was granted TPS in 2011 due to natural disasters and is still rebuilding to this present day. Contrast that with El Salvador which was granted TPS in March 2001 and Honduras and Nicaragua in January 1999. These TPS designations were made after natural disasters struck these countries, and the status continues to today. The administration must make a decision whether to continue TPS for these countries as each of them come up for renewal in 2018. As such, many have speculated that if protection for Haiti is ending, then it is logical to think protection for El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua will end as well, since they have been protected for much longer a time and as such, those countries have had time to rebuild.


     While this is not a call to panic, it is a call to consider other alternatives. Marriage to a US citizen can open up options, or if someone has been the victim of a crime, that person may be eligible for a U visa. The point is to consider other options. For some, there may be no other option, but for others, there may be alternatives to consider.