Friday, December 13, 2013

US-based Filipinos call on PH gov't to act soonest

Supertyphoon Yolanda as it hits the Philippines.
Many US-based Filipinos are calling on the Philippine government to act in the soonest possible time over the US government's impending plan to put the Philippine nationals under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

But without a letter of request from the Philippine government, the TPS can't be granted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The TPS will, once and for all, allow many Filipinos in the United States to be covered by the TPS to come out from the shadows and work legally for undetermined number of years.

The Philippines is qualified to be covered by the TPS considering that it has been hit by the worst super typhoon in the world history. Currently, at least a million Filipinos are scattered all over the United States. Some of them are working without the necessary permits in order to survive. Once the TPS is approved,
many of them will be able to work legally and continue sending remittances to their relatives in the areas affected by the worst typhoon that ever hit the Philippines.

According to the USCIS website: "The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country's nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately.  USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States.  Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS."

The Secretary may designate a country for TPS due to the following temporary conditions in the country: a) Ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war), b) an environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane, or an epidemic, and c) other extraordinary and temporary conditions.

"During a designated period, individuals who are TPS beneficiaries or who are found preliminarily eligible for TPS upon initial review of their cases (prima facie eligible): a) Are not removable from the United States, b) can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD), c) may be granted travel authorization, d) once granted TPS, an individual also cannot be detained by DHS on the basis of his or her immigration status in the United States," the USCIS stated.

The USCIS added: "The TPS is a temporary benefit that does not lead to lawful permanent resident status or give any other immigration status. However, registration for TPS does not prevent you from: a) applying for nonimmigrant status, b) filing for adjustment of status based on an immigrant petition, c) applying for any other immigration benefit or protection for which you may be eligible."

The TPS will surely benefit many Filipinos in the U.S, whose immigration status is in limbo.

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