Added Benefit of Renewing Temporary Protected Status Now

Last week, I wrote about the importance for those who have Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to renewing their status before immigration reform passes.

Hondurans and Nicaraguans are renewing now. Salvadorans will be renewing in June and July. The reasons I gave focused on Salvadorans, Nicaraguans, and Hondurans not wanting to risk losing work authorization for years, or forever, which would happen if they decided to “wait and see” if immigration reform passes.

There is another great reason to renew TPS that I want to discuss today.

The proposed legalization program in the immigration reform bill envisions a ten-year wait for new applicants before they can apply for permanent residence. During this wait, they would be in something called Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) Status. They would then need to wait three more years as a permanent resident before they can apply for citizenship.

But for those with TPS, the bill “counts” time a person had continuously been under TPS towards the ten-year wait to apply for permanent residence. Hondurans and Nicaraguans have had TPS for 13 years and Salvadorans have had it for 11 years. In other words, most people with TPS from these three countries will be able to immediately apply for permanent residence once the new law goes fully into effect.

This will fast-track them toward citizenship.

When these Central Americans with TPS become permanent residents, they will be able to file for permanent residence for their spouses and children. Five years after receiving permanent residence, the TPS immigrant can apply for United States citizenship.

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.