USCIS has announced that it would grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for citizens of Nepal through December 24, 2016. TPS provides relief to individuals whose countries are not safe due to civil unrest, natural disasters, or other temporary, but substantial catastrophes. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal on April 25, 2015, devastated the country, leaving many people homeless or without proper services. The continued aftershocks further complicate efforts to rebuild and recover.

To qualify for TPS, an individual must be a citizen of Nepal and be in the U.S. on June 24, 2015, the date of the USCIS announcement. Applications will be accepted from June 24, 2015, through December 24, 2015. TPS and work authorization will be valid through December 24, 2016.

The TPS designation is great news for Nepalese living in the U.S., and for U.S. companies whose Nepalese employees’ H-1B cases were not selected in this year. TPS will provide these employees the opportunity to live and work in the U.S. a little while longer.