Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced yesterday that it was designating Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nepalese nationals currently living in the United States for an 18-month period.  Nepal’s TPS designation is effective from June 24, 2015 to December 24, 2016.  DHS took this action after Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson determined the conditions in Nepal following the earthquake that hit the country on April 25, 2015 posed a substantial threat to living conditions in the country.  Employers should alert all company representatives responsible for the completion of I-9 forms about this development.

Temporary Protected Status

A country can be designated for TPS due to temporary conditions in the country that 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.  Individuals granted TPS benefits are not removable from the United States, can obtain an employment authorization document (EAD) to work in the United States, and may be granted travel authorization to travel outside the United States.  The granting of TPS does not, however, result in or lead to permanent resident status.

Individuals who want to apply for Nepal’s TPS designation must submit an application during the 180-day registration period, which runs from June 24, 2015 to December 24, 2016.  During this period, individuals who wish to work and/or travel must apply for an EAD and/or a travel document through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  Further information is available in the Federal Register.