While some people from other countries want to become citizens and reside in the United States forever, others seek to stay here for a shorter period of time. There could be multiple reasons for this including outbreaks of deadly disease in their home country. Recently, the Department of Homeland Security announced that natives of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, who are in the U.S., may remain here to avoid the Ebola virus that is ravaging those countries.
For individuals who are native to those countries to take advantage of the policy, they must apply for, and be granted, Temporary Protected Status. When someone receives this protection they can obtain an Employment Authorization Document and will not be removed from the country. The TPS is good for a period of 18 months.
Those who are native to Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia and would like to remain in the country need to meet certain qualifications. They must:
- Not have a criminal record.
- Undergo a security check.
- Be in the country continually after Nov. 21, 2014.
There is a 180-day registration period for those who would like to obtain TPS. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is accepting these applications through May 20, 2014.
It is possible that individuals from the Western African nations impacted by Ebola could have questions regarding their eligibility for a TPS. For those who find themselves in this situation it may be beneficial to work with a lawyer. The assistance of such an individual could be the difference between securing the protected status or not.
Source: USCIS, “DHS Announces Temporary Protected Status Designations for Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone,” Nov. 20, 2014