Another temporary protection

NEPALESE ARE NOW ENTITLED TO TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS

Jeb Johnson, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (hereinafter referred to as “USCIS”) announced on June 24, 2015, that President Obama’s administration has decided to designate Nepal for Temporary Protected Status (widely known as TPS) for 18 months based on the conditions resulting from the devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25, 2015, and the subsequent aftershocks. As a result, eligible nationals of Nepal residing in the United States may apply for TPS with USCIS.

The TPS designation for Nepal became effective on the day of the announcement and will be in effect through December 24, 2016. The registration period ends on December 21, 2015.

TPS is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of a country (in this case Nepal) or persons without nationality who last resided in Nepal designated for TPS under the Immigration & Naturalization Act.  During the period for which a country is designated TPS, TPS beneficiaries are eligible to remain in the U.S. (not be removed) and may obtain work authorization.  However, once the designation is terminated, the beneficiaries return to the same immigration status they maintained before the TPS or any other status they might have obtained while registered for TPS.  Therefore, immigrants from Nepal do not get any other status (i.e., permanent resident status) based on the TPS. However, there are some new developments and exceptions involving applications for lawful permanent residents of TPS beneficiaries that may become handy. 

Who is eligible to register for TPS for Nepal?

In order to qualify, you must:
1. Be a national of Nepal or an individual who last resided in Nepal and doesn’t have any nationality;
2. Have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 24, 2015;
3. Have been continuously and physically present in the U.S. since June 24, 2015;
4. Satisfactorily complete routine background checks required of all applicants; and
5. Meet the other eligibility criteria set forth in the Immigration & Naturalization Act.

The USCIS set a sixty day re-registration period which started on January 7, 2015 and will end on March 9, 2015.  If you fail to re-register in a timely manner during the re-registration period without good cause will result in a withdrawal of the TPS immigration benefits.  You must re-register by filing form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status and form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.  Of course, you must pay the appropriate fees or file the Fee Waiver Request. 

The fees are approximately $465. 

You should remember that this article is not intended to provide you with legal advice; it is intended only to provide guidance about the TPS.  Furthermore, the article is not intended to explain or identify all potential issues that may arise in connection with the filing of a TPS petition.  Each case is fact-specific and therefore similar cases may have different outcomes.

I represent individuals in immigration cases.  If you have any questions or concerns about an immigration case and/or you are undocumented, you can call me at (315) 422-5673, send me a fax at (315) 466-5673, or e-mail me at joseperez@joseperezyourlawyer.com. The Law Office of Jose Perez is located at 120 East Washington Street, Suite 925, Syracuse, New York 13202. Please look for my next article in the August edition.

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