Temporary Protected Status l Victims of Crime or Domestic Violence

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a temporary immigration status granted to eligible nationals of designated countries. TPS beneficiaries will not be required to leave the United States (while TPS remains valid) and may obtain work authorization for the initial TPS period and for any extensions of the designation. TPS does not lead to permanent resident status. When the U.S. government terminates a TPS designation, beneficiaries will return to the same immigration status they had before TPS (unless that status has expired or has been terminated) or to any other status they may have been granted while in TPS. You may currently be eligible for Temporary Protected Status if you are from El Salvador, Honduras, Burundi, Liberia, Somalia, Sudan, or Nicaragua and do not have any felony or more than two misdemeanor convictions.

Victims of Crimes

Victims of certain crimes are eligible for temporary nonimmigrant visas such as:

  1. S visas for victims of organized crime or terrorism
  2. T visas for victims of human trafficking
  3. U visas for victims of violent crimes (including but not limited to domestic violence, involuntary servitude, false imprisonment, kidnapping, blackmail, and assaults.

These visa categories provide a stay of three years and may eventually lead to lawful permanent residence.

Victims of Domestic Violence

The Violence against Women Act (VAWA) and the battered immigration women’s protection act allow individuals who are married to a citizens or lawful permanent residents to acquire residency either through self petitioning or cancellation of removal.

Self-petitioning/Battered spouse Petitions

An individual seeking legal permanent residency through marriage is usually dependent upon their resident spouse in the petition process. However, the victim of domestic violence can apply for residency independent of their spouse. The resident spouses excluded from the petitioning process when an individual files an application under the VAWA.

Cancellation of Removal

An individual who is in a removal proceeding or is about to be placed into a removal proceeding may seek a cancellation of removal under the VAWA. However, VAWA is applicable only when an individual is in a removal proceeding.

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