The Obama administration will be granting temporary legal status and work permits to Yemen nationals currently in the U.S. due to armed conflict in their home country.
DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson announced his decision to designate Yemen for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) through March 3, 2017 on Thursday.
“Yemen is experiencing widespread conflict and a resulting severe humanitarian emergency, and requiring Yemeni nationals in the United States to return to Yemen would pose a serious threat to their personal safety,” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services explained in its announcement.
“As a result of Yemen’s designation for TPS, eligible nationals of Yemen residing in the United States may apply for TPS with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS),” it added.
TPS is a designation granted to certain foreign nations “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.”
The designation allows nationals from those countries to remain and work in the U.S. temporarily, although the government has a history of repeatedly extending such designations based on circumstances within the country.
“To be eligible for TPS, applicants must demonstrate that they satisfy all eligibility criteria, including that they have been both ‘continuously physically present’ and ‘continuously residing’ in the United States since September 3, 2015. Applicants also undergo thorough security checks. Individuals with certain criminal records or who pose a threat to national security are not eligible for TPS,” USCIS added.
Last fiscal year USCIS issued more than 85,000 work permits to TPS beneficiaries.