Temporary Protective Status has been granted to citizens of Yemen! The Department of Homeland Security has announced that beginning September 3rd, the Republic of Yemen has been designated for TPS for a period of 18 months, until March 3, 2017.
What is TPS
Temporary Protective Status (TPS) is a humanitarian effort that establishes a temporary safe haven in the U.S. for foreign nationals of certain countries. Countries are granted TPS if the Attorney General has determined, with respect to that foreign state, that: there is an ongoing armed conflict within the foreign state that poses a serious risk to the personal safety of the country’s nationals if returned there, as is the case with Yemen; there exist extraordinary and temporary conditions in the foreign state preventing its citizens from returning safely; or, there has been an earthquake, flood, drought, epidemic, or other environmental disaster resulting in a substantial but temporary disruption of living conditions in the area affected, the foreign state is unable temporarily to handle the return of its nationals, and the foreign state has affirmatively requested the designation.
To be eligible for TPS, one must establish identity and Yemeni nationality (or that you have no nationality but last habitually resided in Yemen) – established by passports, a birth certificate with photo ID, or other national identity documentation – and proof of residence and continuous physical presence within the U.S. since the designation date of September 3rd. – established by employment records, rent receipts, school records, and other documents. Additionally, the applicant must be otherwise admissible to the U.S.; they must not be firmly resettled in a third country; must not be ineligible because of one felony or two or more misdemeanor convictions; and, they must register for TPS within the period provided by the Attorney General.
There are many benefits to TPS. Generally, the foreign national will be granted the protective status for 6 to 18 months, which may be extended, and will not be deported during the TPS period. The person will be granted employment authorization during the initial TPS period or one year, whichever is shorter, and throughout any TPS extensions. Further, the person shall not be detained because of their status, may travel abroad (if granted permission to do so), may change or adjust their status in some cases, may apply for asylum, and may apply for cancellation of removal once TPS expires. It is important to note, however, that TPS does not provide a pathway to a green card or citizenship.
TPS and Yemen
Due to the ongoing armed conflict within Yemen, the Department of State has determined that Yemeni nationals to return to Yemen would endanger their personal safety. Thus, the estimated 500 to 2,000 Yemeni nationals believed to be currently residing in the United States with non-immigrant status or unlawful status are likely eligible for TPS.
How We Can Help
If you are a Yemeni national currently residing in the U.S. and are interested in obtaining TPS, we can help you. Although there are fees associated with the application process, it is possible to obtain a fee waiver for the TPS application, and we can help. Additionally, a TPS applicant may be required to appear – and will be required to appear if they cannot provide a passport, birth certificate with photograph, or other national identity documentation – in person, however, they have the right to counsel and may be able to represent you.