Asylum and Temporary Protective Status
Under asylum laws, the U.S. government may grant safety to an eligible individual who has suffered or has good reason to fear suffering in in their home country under certain conditions. Examples of harm suffered or feared may include:
- Imprisonment, or unlawful detentions
- Death threats
To qualify for asylum, the harm must arise from the individual’s:
- Membership in a particular social group (e.g. the LGBTQ community)
- Political opinion
If your spouse and/or children (under the age of 21 and unmarried) are present with you in the United States, you may include them on your application. If they are not, you will have to first be granted Asylum before you can petition to bring your family members to the States. Someone granted Asylum will be eligible to legally work in the U.S., establish eligibility for legal permanent residency status, and eventually naturalization.
If you think you qualify to receive Asylum, you should consult with one of our attorneys right away, as applications for such status must be filed within one year of your entry into the United States.
Temporary Protective Status (TPS)
Foreign nationals may be protected from deportation if their home country has been deemed by the U.S. government to be unsafe to return to, or their government cannot handle the return of their nationals. Qualifying scenarios may include civil war or ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or similar extreme circumstances.
If a person properly registers for TPS, assuming certain other conditions are met, he or she:
- Will not be removed/deported
- Will not be detained by the Department of Homeland Security, unless there is an underlying criminal issue
- Can obtain a work permit
- Can apply for a travel document
A grant of TPS, by itself, does not allow a person to apply for permanent residency; however, TPS does allow a person to stay in the U.S. and, in some jurisdictions, they can apply for permanent residency by other means.