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African Services, Partners Hold Legal Clinic on Ebola-Related Temporary Protected Status

On May 2nd, 2015 African Services Committee's legal team partnered with the United States Sierra Leonean Association, the City Bar Justice Center, volunteer attorneys from around the city, Staten Island Liberian Community Association, and the Guinean Association of Staten Island to conduct the second free Ebola-related temporary protected status (TPS) legal clinic for nationals of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The clinic took place at the United States Sierra Leonean Association in Park Hill, Staten Island.  

 

Volunteer attorneys explained what TPS grants, helped attendees complete the TPS application, explained fees and the fee waiver process, work permit application and answered questions.  

 

More than two dozen attendees received free legal assistance.  

 

TPS is a temporary status for nationals of designated countries, usually those that have experienced a conflict, natural disaster, or some other extraordinary event. TPS gives these nationals a safe haven from being legally compelled to return to their country, while their country experiences one of these extreme events. Haiti was designated as eligible for TPS following the earthquake in 2010. 

 

   

  

A total of 25 people also received free health screening from the ASC's testing team (including blood glucose, blood pressure, hepatitis and HIV testing), which was available to participants throughout the day.   

Click here to view and download the TPS Checklist in English and here for the French version.

For more information or questions about the clinic call 212.222.3882 or email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

TPS Issued to Nationals of Countries Hardest Hit by Ebola

November 20th was an important day for nationals from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea living in the United States on that historic day, as they woke up to news regarding much-anticipated immigration relief in the form of Temporary Protected Status, or TPS.

TPS is a temporary benefit status for nationals of designated countries, usually those that have experienced a conflict, natural disaster, or some other extraordinary event. TPS gives these nationals a safe haven from feeling legally compelled to return to their country while their country experiences one of these extreme events. Haiti was designated as eligible for TPS following the earthquake in 2010.

"The general rationale behind TPS is that in circumstances of conflict or natural disaster, it is not safe for a national of the designated country to be returned to their country during the crisis, so they should be granted status in the United States," said ASC Supervising Attorney Kate Webster.

"Also, given those extraordinary circumstances, nationals of the country in crisis should be allowed to work in the United States, not only to support themselves, but also to be able to send money home to friends and relatives who could be suffering from the conflict or natural disaster."

Temporary in nature, the grant of TPS for the three countries affected most by Ebola is for a period of 18 months. The initial registration period is from Nov. 21, 2014 to May 20, 2015. It requires that an individual is a national from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea, that they can document they were present in the US on the day of the designation, which is Nov. 20, 2014, and also that they have been in the US since that time.

Ebola-related TPS seekers must show that they are admissible otherwise, which means that individuals with previous interaction with immigration or who have a criminal history may not be eligible and should consult with a lawyer.

If someone is granted TPS they are eligible to apply for employment authorization to get a work permit, and eligible to apply for a travel document. Once employment authorization is granted, one can apply for a social security number. 

Click here to read the official announcement. 

 

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