In June 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designated Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nepal on environmental disaster grounds due to conditions resulting from a severe earthquake in the country in April 2015. On Oct. 26, 2016, DHS extended TPS for eligible nationals of Nepal for an additional 18 months, effective Dec. 26, 2016 through June 24, 2018, citing continued and lingering effects of this earthquake, which affected 25-33 percent of Nepal’s population, destroying more than 755,000 homes and leaving thousands of people displaced in camps.
To qualify for Nepalese TPS, the following requirements must be met:
- Applicant must be a Nepalese national or an alien with no nationality who last habitually resided in Nepal;
- File during the open initial registration or re-registration period, or meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of Nepal’s TPS designation;
- Maintain continuous physical presence in the United States since June 24, 2015; and
- Reside continuously in the United States since June 24, 2015.
Eligible nationals from Nepal who are granted TPS cannot be removed from the U.S. and are authorized to work and obtain employment authorization documents (EADs) as long as they continue to meet the TPS criteria. Although TPS is a temporary benefit that does not result in lawful permanent residence, TPS registration does not prevent an individual from applying for nonimmigrant status in the United States, filing for adjustment of status based on an immigrant petition, or applying for any other immigration benefit.
TPS beneficiaries from Nepal who would like to extend their status must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period from Oct. 26, 2016 through Dec. 27, 2016. The 18-month extension also allows TPS beneficiaries to apply for new EADs with an expiration date of June 24, 2018. To allow for seamless work authorization, EADs with a current expiration date of Dec. 27, 2016 will receive an automatic six month extension through June 24, 2017.