The government’s Temporary Protected Status designation, or TPS, has potentially saved thousands of lives on foreign soil. Currently, over 400,000 international citizens are in the US because of conditions in their countries that displaced them and even threatened their lives. Thanks to provisions in the Immigration Act of 1990, people in war-torn countries or untenable circumstances can take safe passage for a certain amount of time as designated by the US. If conditions in his native country have not improved, he can request an extension for up to 18 months to continue living in California or another state.
Internationals seeking refuge under this program must apply in their countries; but, the program is not a path to citizenship. It is a protection with an end date. However, there are ways in which a TPS recipient may get on the path to citizenship. If his circumstances change so that he becomes eligible for an adjustment of status, he could become a green card holder. If he gets married to a US citizen, seeks asylum, or is sponsored through another qualifying means, he can request that his status be adjusted.
Furthermore, he is not subject to deportation while in the TPS program, except in the case of negative extenuating circumstances. If his petition for adjustment is denied, he remains subject to the constraints of the TPS program. If he overstays his TPS departure date, he is considered undocumented and is subject to an order of deportation.
Help for the Future
With wars and threats of war looming, natural disasters an other calamities, the TPS program will be needed well into the future. The office of The Secretary of Homeland Security has the charge of selecting the countries that are eligible for participation. And, applicants must meet specific requirements for acceptance into the program. When they do, they can live, work and travel with a sense of safety and freedom.