What Can You Do To Prepare for TPS? – Part 1: Gather Your Documents

The last few weeks have seen several promising signs indicating that TPS for Guatemala may be approved soon. This has obviously generated a lot of excitement, and has led to a growing number of questions about what people can do now to prepare for a grant of TPS. So, in the interest of making everyone’s lives a little bit easier, we are starting a series of posts with tips to help you prepare.  This is the first installment in that series.

1) Pull together all of the paperwork that you’ll need to file the TPS application.

In order to qualify for TPS, you have to submit two forms: I-821 (the application for temporarry protected status) and I-765 (the application for work authorization).  I-821 requires you to submit proof of two things: 1) that you are a national of the affected country and 2) that you were here before the “effective date” and have remained in the US continuously since that date.

If Guatemalan TPS is approved, you will need to provide a copy of one or more of the following in order to prove your Guatemalan nationality:

A. Your Guatemalan  passport  (Best)

B. A Guatemalan Birth Certificate and some form of official photo identification  (OK)

C. Any other official national identity document from Guatemala that has your name and picture or fingerprint on it. (If you have to)

You should use the best form of ID you have available, and are allowed to submit multiple forms of ID if you have them. Remember that you can submit a copy, and are not required to submit your actual passport or original birth certificate.

Next, you have to submit proof of your date of entry. If you came through a border checkpoint and have an entry stamp in your passport, you’re all set.  If not, you can use an I-94 entry/departure record (if you have one), or some of the documents in the next group (A through E below). The key here is to prove that you entered the U.S. before the “effective date” of the TPS. The effective date hasn’t been determined yet (and won’t be until TPS is issued), but is most likely going to be around May 29, 2010.

You will also need to submit proof that you have been in the US continuously since before the effective date of the TPS.  So, you should take this time to gather any and all evidence that you have been in the U.S. continuously since before the end of May. This can include:

A.  Any employment records, such as W-2′s, pay stubs, old tax returns, etc.

B. Proof of bills you’ve paid over the last few months, including rent, utilities, etc. (they have to be in your name, and have to have dates on them.

C. School records for yourself or your children, showing that you or your children attended U.S. schools during the time period in question.

D. Hospital or medical records showing you or your children went to the doctor or hospital.

E.  Letters of attestation from your church, union, or other formal organization that support your claim to residence.  This category is often the least-preferred form of proof, but can work in a pinch, or to support something from groups A through D or F, below.

F. Other documents showing that you’ve been here, such as receipts, wire transfer documents (if you sent money back home), birth certificates for U.S. born children, deeds, mortgages, contracts, and so on. Basically, anything you have that has your name on it and a date is something you want to have handy.

We recommend that you sort your documents according to the above categories, and then put them in chronological order, so as to make the review process easier for the USCIS officer. In fact, this list of documents is largely drawn from USCIS’s own instructions for preparing form I-821.

If you have any questions about this post or the tips above, please post it in the comments below, email us at Guatemala@Kolasinski-Law.com, or contact our firm directly at (209) 408-0104 or (877) 573-0018.

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50 Responses to “What Can You Do To Prepare for TPS? – Part 1: Gather Your Documents”

  1. Ari Says:

    Hi Patrick,

    I was hoping you could answer a question regarding criminal history & TPS. From my understanding TPS applications in which the applicant has 2 or more misdemeanor convictions will be ineligible. When researching this rule I came accross this:

    The regulations define a “misdemeanor” for this purpose to be any crime “punishable by imprisonment for a term of one year or less, regardless of the term such alien actually served,” unless the crime is punishable only by a maximum term of five days or less (see 8 C.F.R.
    244.1).

    My question: Would a “State” violation type Misdemeanor such as “Public Intoxication” in which only a fine was issued and/or jail sentence of less than 5 days count towards the TPS bar?…

  2. GuatemalaTPS.Info » Blog Archive Says:

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