What to Do If Your Temporary Protected Status is Ending Soon

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What to Do If Your Temporary Protected Status is Ending Soon

As the name of the program suggests, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) does not last forever. It ends at some point and sometimes after decades of extension of the program. Those with TPS from countries where the TPS is about to expire will naturally wonder what will happen after TPS ends. According to the law, once TPS ends, those who benefited from it revert to where they were before TPS was granted, unless they have since changed their status to some other valid immigration status that renders TPS expiration not relevant for them. At Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC, we help clients in the Chicago area whose TPS has expired or is about to expire. 

Potential Solutions for Individuals Whose TPS Is Ending Soon

There are only two things that can happen when TPS is about to end; either the TPS is somehow extended, or it ends. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to influence either as this is purely or solely at the discretion of policymakers in Washington.

However, there are a few solutions you may wish to consider in anticipation of your TPS ending soon and two are as follows:

  • Seek Cancelation of Removal. If you entered the country without inspection and you do not wish to risk leaving the United States to pursue your green card from outside the country as the law requires, then your next best option is what is known as cancellation of removal. This is a relief or defense available to a person of “good moral character” who has been living continuously in the United States for more than 10 years and has a “qualifying” relative such as a US citizen spouse or US citizen child under the age of 21.
  • Marry Your US Citizen Fiance. For anyone who does not have valid immigration status in the United States and is engaged to a US citizen, marriage can help. If TPS is ending soon for you, it is likely right after it ends you will be placed in removal or deportation proceedings where the government will try and have you deported to your native country. Marrying a US citizen can be a solution, but you must keep in mind several things. First, the marriage must be genuine and not for purposes of circumventing US immigration law. Second, if you entered the country without inspection by a customs officer at a point of entry to the United States, then keep in mind you cannot automatically be given legal status in the United States even if you marry a United States citizen and the visa petition is approved. In that case, you must leave the country and apply for the green card outside of the United States, which has its own complications that could prevent you from ever returning to the United States. It is best to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer to advise you on the best way forward.

For more information as to what your other options may be if your TPS is ending soon in the Chicago area, contact us today and schedule a consultation.