What is Form I 821?
Applicants from eligible countries may use Form I-821 to apply for temporary protected status, commonly referred as TPS. TPS is given based on the political climate of the country which can endanger the safety of the applicant if returned back to the country. Examples of unsafe conditions include an ongoing armed conflict and a natural/man-made disaster. Currently, USCIS grants the TPS for following 10 countries:
- El Salvador
- South Sudan
Once an applicant receives the temporary protected status, the individual cannot be detained or deported by the Department of Homeland Security until the status is revoked. It is important to note the TPS does not lead to a permanent resident card. Individuals interested in obtaining a green card must pursue through a valid process (e.g., immigration through employment).
Application must be aware Form I-821 does not include I-821D: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA), which is subject to termination based on the latest federal government policy changes.
What are Form I-821 Instructions?
Filing fees for TPS is $50. If applicants are re-registering, there is no fee. Additionally, applicants over the age of 13 must file a biometric fee of $85. When filing a I 821 petition, applicants must also file Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) even for those not planning to work in the United States.
Once applicants file the petition package to the USCIS along with sufficient evidence and processing fees, USCIS will receive and process the application. Upon review, applicants will receive an appointment notice to provide biometrics such as fingerprints at a local USCIS designated office, also known as a Application Support Center. Applicants must bring the following materials:
- Evidence of nationality and identity with a photograph (e.g., passport)
- Receipt notice
- ASC appointment notice
- Current EAD if applicable
If approved, applicants shall receive an approval notice and be granted a temporary protected status. Note if an approved application must travel outside the United States, he/she must file for a travel authorization, Form I-131: Application for Travel Document. Leaving the country without an approval Form I-131 may lead an individual from re-entering the country.
Applicants under certain financial circumstances can file a fee waiver form (I-912)to waive the filing and biometric fees. An example of valid circumstance is an individual living at or below 150% of federal poverty guidelines.