Given the calamity that has struck the Phillippines recently in the wake of the most powerful storm to have hit land in recent time, a discussion regarding Temporary Protected Status, TPS, for citizens of the Phillippinnes is warranted. TPS may be designated to a country, when conditions exist such as an ongoing armed conflict or a natural disaster that make travel or return to the country dangerous for nationals of that country. Once TPS designation occurs, nationals of that country residing in the U.S. receive a temporary, humanitarian form of relief from removal.
Who is eligible for TPS?
- · Be a national of a country designated for TPS, or a person without nationality who last habitually resided in the designated country;
- · Register for TPS status during the initial registration period;
- · Demonstrate continuous physical presence in the U.S. since the effective date of the designation; and
- · Demonstrate continuous residence in the U.S. since the date specified in the designation.
A national who registers for TPS cannot be removed to their native country that has been designated TPS. The national will receive work authorization and may be eligible for travel. Under a recent interpreation of the TPS statute and regulation by a Federal Circuit Court, nationals that are granted TPS may adjust their status to that of a lawful permanent resident under certain circumstances.
Can Congress designate TPS?
No. This is a decision made by the Executive branch of the government through the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Secuirty or the President of the United States.
A grant of TPS would allow Filipinos here in the U.S. to work and support their families in the Philippines who were impacted by the Typhoon. Remittances account for almost 10 percent of the Philippines' Gross Domestic Product. Now, more than ever, those funds are needed to help support the recovery process.