TPS May Be Ending, What Can You Do?
By Liliana Gallelli, Esq. and Christopher Kerosky, Esq.
A Court ruled this week that the Trump Administration’s cancellation of, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) was valid. This means that TPS may be ending for over 200,000 citizens of El Salvador living here. This post outlines the options for them to stay in the U.S. under existing laws. These suggestions also apply equally to Hondurans, Nicaraguans and others who are losing their TPS status here.
When does TPS really end for Salvadorans?
TPS for El Salvadorians will expire in November 2021. For other immigrants with TPS, the ending date is January 2021.
Will I have enough time to obtain another legal status?
If you start your process now, this is enough time to obtain a work permit or Legal Permanent Resident Status (Green Card) for most people qualifying for other types of status.
What are the possibilities for staying here?
1. Apply for Legal Permanent Residency (Green Card Status) through spouse or adult child
If you have an immediate family member (spouse or child over 21 years of age) who is US Citizen, you may be able to apply for Legal Permanent Residency (Green Card Status). Most people with TPS who live in California do not even need a waiver (pardon) thanks to a new court ruling from last year. It is important to apply for this before TPS ends.
2. Apply for Legal Permanent Residency (Green Card Status) through work
This option may be available for certain individuals depending on when they arrived in the US and if they have an employer willing to submit a petition on their behalf.
3. Parole in Place
If you have a family member who is in the US Armed Forces or Reserves, or served in the past, you may be eligible to apply for Parole in Place. Parole in Place gives you the right to apply for a work permit and can also help you apply for Legal Permanent Residency (Green Card) in the future.
4. U Visa
If you, your spouse or your minor child have ever been the victim of a crime here in the US and you reported it to the police, you may be able to apply for a U Visa. With a U Visa, you can apply for a work permit and eventually Legal Permanent Residency.
If you have a well-founded fear of persecution of returning to El Salvador, you may be eligible for asylum. This option often provides work permission within 6 months of filing. It also offers a path to permanent residence if the application is approved.
Because any new procedure will take time before you can obtain status or even a work permit, it’s important to determine what options are possible given the facts of your case. Each case is different and time is of the essence.
Make sure to renew TPS for the final renewal. TPS status can help you obtain other legal status, particularly in California (and a handful of other states), and it protects you temporarily from deportation. Maintaining your legal status is extremely important in the Trump era, when the Department of Homeland Security currently has a policy of exempting no one from deportation, if they are here without status.
This was written by Christopher Kerosky and Liliana Gallelli, both immigration attorneys licensed in California.
WARNING: The foregoing is an article discussing legal issues. It is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. We recommend that you get competent legal advice specific to your case.