Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a designation that the United States can give to foreign citizens from countries that have been affected by a significant disaster. That status is to protect foreign citizens in the United States who cannot return to their home country safely. It has been granted in the wake of environmental disasters, such as earthquakes and hurricanes, and in the middle of ongoing armed conflict.
For someone to receive TPS, they must already be staying in the United States on the day the status is announced. Temporary Protected Status is always announced as a surprise. It does not allow more citizens from the country to enter the United States and still receive the status after it has been announced.
When someone has been granted TPS, they are allowed to remain safely and legally in the United States. They can receive a Work Permit and earn money while they are here. It protects them from deportation, and can give them Travel Authorization to leave and reenter the United States.
The Temporary Protected Status program has been criticized by some for leaving the foreign citizens who receive it in limbo. It does not give them a Green Card or any form of citizenship. In fact, in June 2021 the Supreme Court voted unanimously that foreign citizens with Temporary Protected Status could not apply for Green Cards while under the status. Since it must be renewed every year, it allows people to live and work in the United States for twelve months – with no guarantee that they will be able to stay come the next year.
TPS typically lasts a year from when it is announced, but it will be continually renewed by the government if the home country issue has not been fully resolved. As of July 2021, there are twelve countries that have been designated for Temporary Protected Status, with approximately 400,000 foreign citizens in the United States currently under the status. Today we will be focusing on the most recent addition, Haiti – which is important because it received the status once before.
Haiti was first granted TPS in 2010, after a horrific earthquake devastated the country. The status was renewed until 2018, but then President Trump tried to abruptly end it. The Trump Administration faced several lawsuits for removing the status without providing a legitimate reason behind the decision. The people who sued won their lawsuit and TPS for Haiti remained. In May 2021, as a result of ongoing political turmoil, the Biden Administration granted Haiti Temporary Protected Status once again, offering a special eighteen-month-long protection. Getting TPS twice is an unprecedented big deal that allows citizens who did not receive it the first time to receive it now. While it does not grant a Green Card, Temporary Protected Status can be extremely helpful to those who receive it – allowing them to work and live in the United States. If your home country has been granted Temporary Protected Status, contact Heitz Immigration Law today for help receiving the status yourself. We want to open the door to opportunity for you!