In response to the first major earthquake to hit Nepal in the past several weeks, Representative Green of Texas introduced H.R. 2033 to provide Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to nationals of Nepal present in the U.S. to remain in the U.S. temporarily while Nepal rebuilds. TPS is a status that may be authorized for nationals of certain countries, present in the U.S. during a designated timeframe, who are affected by natural disasters, epidemics, ongoing armed conflicts and other emergencies. It allows these individuals to remain in the U.S. to live and work. TPS provides important concrete benefits to individuals and the countries themselves by stemming the flow of nationals from returning to countries unprepared to take them back in. It provides individuals with employment authorization so they may send remittances back to their home countries. The remittances constitute a vital source of funds for rebuilding infrastructure, supporting family and friends devastated by the emergency situation, and creating jobs. Countries including Haiti, El Salvador and Sudan are also designated TPS countries.
TPS designation has not yet passed for Nepal. Until it does, there are some alternatives for Nepali nationals in the U.S. who would like to extend their stay. Nepalis may be able to extend their nonimmigrant (temporary) status even if their period of authorized stay has already expired. Students from Nepal may be able to obtain employment authorization due to the emergency situation. And waivers of certain filing fees may be available due to the financial hardship imposed by the earthquakes.
Nevertheless, TPS designation is an essential component of the relief the U.S. can and should provide to nationals of Nepal affected by this terrible series of disastrous earthquakes. Urge your Congressmen to act quickly to authorize H.R. 2033.