Most entries below contain actual legal discussions of events directly related to Filipinos in or immigrating to the United States.
Remember- These writings are provided for general information only and do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. Each person's needs and requirements are different and require a personal evaluation to determine the proper legal course of action.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Philippine TPS Will Raise Special Immigration Issues

I have written on TPS issues in the past, and have instructed attorneys and
students on this topic for many years.  The question I am receiving from
other Immigration Law attorneys now is "How will TPS interact with H-1B

The designation of Temporary Protected Status for the Philippines would
create an unusual problem.  Many thousands of the Filipinos in the U.S. are
already in a temporary legal status, most commonly  B-1, B-2, H-1B, H-1C,
H-4, J-1, J-2, F-1 or F-2 status.  This was not the case with the prior
countries designated for TPS.  While it is easy to obtain TPS status, what
must be planned is what will happens when TPS ends?  What is the end game if
you want to return to your previous nonimmigrant status?

It is possible to be granted TPS and still maintain your old status, but you
must continue to follow the rules of the old status.  For example, if you
are an H-4 (dependent spouse or child of an H-1B worker), just being granted
TPS does not end nor violate your H-4 status, as long as you continue to
follow the rules for H4s and extend your H4 status before it expires.
However, H-4s are not allowed to be employed.  If you ask for work
authorization with your TPS, and then are employed, you violate your H-4
status.  You are no longer an H-4, just a person with TPS.

The issue then is how to return to your old nonimmigrant status when TPS
ends?  For a change of status in the United States, TPS is considered a
valid nonimmigrant status, making it possible in some cases to switch back
from TPS to your prior nonimmigrant status.

Some people may choose to continue with the requirements of their old
status, depending on their own circumstances.  For example, if you are an
H1B worker in a job that requires frequent travel outside of the US, you may
find travel as an H1B to me much easier than having to repeatedly obtain
advance permission to travel under TPS.

These are the type of issues that must be discussed and strongly considered
before a person in valid status obtains a TPS work card and violates their
current status.

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