If you have obtained Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the United States, you may be breathing a sigh of relief. However, that may turn to stress and frustration if you are faced with a situation where you have to leave the country. TPS allows you to remain in the country legally without fear of deportation, but it does not guarantee reentry into the United States if you travel abroad. Luckily, in most cases, this can be resolved with the appropriate paperwork and documentation. If you ever have questions about how to proceed, it is a good idea to consult with an immigration attorney.
TPS is a status granted to individuals who would face significant danger if they were to return to their home countries. This danger can be due to war, natural disaster, or political unrest. The status is generally granted for a period of two years but can be renewed indefinitely until the United States government determines that no threat exists anymore for the foreign nationals to return to their home country. Unlike refugee status, which is determined on a case-by-case basis, TPS is granted on a country-by-country basis. Unless the country that you are from is on the list of TPS-eligible nations, you will not be able to apply.
If you are in the United States on TPS and need to travel abroad, there is a new procedure for obtaining the authorization that you need so as not to lose your status. You must request permission from USCIS by filing petition I-131, which is an application for a travel authorization document (Form I-512T). If the USCIS grants your application, you will receive the travel authorization document. This document is available to non-U.S. citizens who have valid temporary protected status and will provide you with evidence that you have received the proper pre-authorization to travel, and that you can be re-admitted into TPS upon your reentry to the country, provided you meet all other necessary requirements. It should be noted that if you filed an I-131 petition for an advance parole document, you do not need to re-file, USCIS will continue to honor pending petitions by issuing advance parole documents. If you have questions about this or want to make sure that you follow all of the proper procedures so that your status will not be negatively impacted by your travel, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney before you take any actions.
TPS is a complex status and the rules and regulations around it can be difficult to understand, navigate, and follow correctly. Our experienced immigration attorneys can help ensure that you have the appropriate travel documents so that you are able to go abroad without fear of losing your status or being denied reentry into the country. Contact the Sverdloff Law Group in Chicago, Illinois today to get the help you need to travel and live the life you want without losing the status that you need to remain safe in the U.S.