On April 25, 2015, a devastating earthquake hit the country of Nepal, killing 9,000 people and injuring an estimated 23,000 more. Hundreds of thousands of Nepalis have been rendered homeless and jobless as the country seeks to rebuild itself in the aftermath of this tragedy.
The United States has offered temporary immigration aid to Nepalis who are currently in the U.S. but cannot return to Nepal because their homes are destroyed. This relief is called Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and it will allow qualifying Nepalese nationals to remain in the U.S. and obtain work authorization. By designating Nepal for TPS relief, the U.S. has made a critical move in helping those who have lost homes, property, and jobs.
What is TPS
In general, TPS is a temporary benefit that provides designated nationals with short-term legal authorization to live and work in the United States. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) estimates that there are approximately 25,000 Nepalis currently living in the U.S. who are eligible for TPS. USCIS recently began accepting applications for TPS and work authorization, and the agency is wholly committed to quickly and efficiently reviewing these applications. In order to qualify for TPS, the applicant must be able to show that he or she is a Nepalese national, has been continuously physically present in the U.S. since the date that Nepal was designated for TPS, and has been continuously residing in the U.S. since the date of TPS designation. Additionally, USCIS must receive the applicant’s TPS petition before December 21, 2015, which is the day the registration period closes.