Temporary protected Status (TPS) provides a temporary haven for noncitizens living in the United States when natural disasters or civil strife in their home countries make it unsafe for them to return. Noncitizens granted TPS have non-permanent lawful status, which includes the right to live and work freely in the US, avoid removal, and apply for travel authorization.
Ten countries are currently designated for TPS, including El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
The Trump Administration announced its intention to terminate TPS for El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Sudan, and Haiti but subsequent litigation in the U.S. District Courts in California and New York challenging the agency’s attempts to terminate TPS, resulted in preliminary injunctions preventing DHS from terminating the TPS designation for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti and El Salvador pending the outcome of the litigation. The latest notice, issued November 4, 2019, provides that TPS status will remain in effect for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Sudan through January 4, 2021 or until the resolution of the litigation. Should the government prevail in its appeal, termination of TPS for Nicaragua and Sudan will take effect no earlier than 120 days from the issuance of any appellate mandate to the district court and 365 days from the issuance of such mandate for El Salvador.
Individuals who currently have TPS are automatically extended for employment authorization through January 24, 2021.
An important issue regarding TPS is the extent to which TPS beneficiaries can apply for adjustment of status in the United States. Certain federal courts have held that TPS recipients do qualify for adjustment and one federal court has held that they do not. DHS announced in July 2019 that it would deny adjustment to TPS recipients in any areas of the US where it does not conflict with the federal court decisions. The Second Circuit, which is the federal court covering New York City and Long Island, has not ruled on this issue. Our law firm is part of the ligation challenging the DHS position and we will update our clients of any progress in the case.