Immigrants from Nepal, the Asian nation that was deeply affected by a devastating earthquake earlier this year, have been granted special protective status by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This status was granted by virtue of a legislative action that was initiated by Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York, a region where many Nepali immigrants have traditionally chosen to settle.
In mid June, Democratic Representatives Joe Crowley and Grace Meng from Queens announced the Designation of Nepal for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which is currently in effect until December 24, 2016. Representative Meng, who is member of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, mentioned feeling proud that the U.S. has resolved to allow Nepali immigrants to overstay their visas for a humanitarian purpose.
In April and May of 2015, Nepal was ravaged by a series of powerful earthquakes that claimed nearly 9,000 lives and caused massive destruction of infrastructure. Afterward, Senator Schumer, along with Representatives Meng and Crowley, wrote a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, urging them to extend TPS to the Nepali community of the U.S.
In the past, the U.S. has granted TPS to immigrant communities from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti after natural disasters caused destruction in these impoverished nations. The main goal of TPS goes beyond humanitarian relief. Research has shown that these programs and immigration services are also useful in terms of curbing illegal immigration from regions already devastated by disaster and strife.
The TPS measure could benefit anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000 Nepali immigrants currently residing in the U.S. To qualify for these benefits, the immigrants must have a valid passport from Nepal and must have entered the U.S. on or before June 24, 2015. The deadline to apply for this special TPS measure is December 21, 2015.
Nepali immigrants residing in San Diego who believe they may qualify for this benefit should consider retaining a San Diego immigration lawyer to help them with this filing. It is important to remember that TPS programs can be extended beyond their initial deadlines and cutoff dates. However, these extensions typically require additional filings.
For more information on TPS or for help filing the correct paperwork, contact KS Visa Law in San Diego at (858) 874-0711. Schedule a free consultation with a professional immigration attorney who can answer questions and ensure paperwork is filled out correctly. We look forward to helping you.