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NACARA & Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA)

Certain Cubans, Guatemalans, Nicaraguans, Salvadorans and nationals of former Soviet bloc countries, as well as their dependents, may be eligible for special immigration benefits. Individuals from these countries who entered the U.S. before certain dates and applied for asylum or registered for certain benefits may be eligible for this relief. NACARA may also apply to family members of people granted this status.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

The government designates certain countries for Temporary Protected Status or “TPS” if conditions in that country temporarily make a person’s return unsafe, or if its government is unable to sufficiently handle the return of its nationals. A country may be designated for TPS if it has a civil war or ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster, or other similar situation. If a person properly registers for TPS, assuming certain other conditions are met, he or she: (1) will not be removed/deported; (2) will not be detained by DHS, unless there is an underlying criminal issue; (3) can obtain a work permit; and (4) can apply for a travel document, although one should consult an attorney to assure that leaving the country will not cause other immigration problems. A grant of TPS, by itself, does not allow a person to apply for permanent residency. However, TPS does allow a person to stay in the country and, if the person is eligible, he or she can get or apply for permanent residency by other means.

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