#Typhoon #Haiyan. Officials estimate that about 10, 000 people have died in this tragedy, and more than nine million have been affected and are now struggling to survive without food, shelter or clean water.
The U.S. has in several occasions elected to provide Temporary Protective Status (TPS) to foreign nationals, who are from a country which (1) has been under ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war); (2) has suffered an environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane), or an epidemic; or (3) has any other extraordinary and temporary conditions; since these country’s conditions temporarily prevents the country’s nationals from returning home safely. For example, the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated TPS for nationals of Haiti in 2010, after the country was hit by 7.0 magnitude earthquake.
During the designated TPS period, the beneficiaries will be able to obtain employment authorization document (EAD) and travel authorization. In addition, beneficiaries will not be removable from the U.S. and shall not be detained on the basis of his/her immigration status.
We hope the U.S. soon designates Philippines as a TPS country, allowing Philippines nationals who live in the U.S. to apply for TPS status and work authorization.
In the mean time, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Filipino nationals impacted by Typhoon Haiyan may be eligible to benefit from the following immigration relief measures:
- Change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States, even when the request is filed after the authorized period of admission has expired;
- Extension of certain grants of parole made by USCIS;
- Extension of certain grants of advance parole, and expedited processing of advance parole requests;
- Expedited adjudication and approval, where possible, of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;
- Expedited processing of immigrant petitions for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs);
- Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications, where appropriate; and
- Assistance to LPRs stranded overseas without immigration or travel documents, such as Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards). USCIS and the Department of State will coordinate on these matters when the LPR is stranded in a place that has no local USCIS office.
For more information on temporary protective status please click.